Communities throughout the Midwest created their own entertainment, often organizing municipal bands. Voters approved a “band tax” for financing, to assure musicians would enliven holidays and special events.

This parade on North Main Street in Gallatin, MO, paused to be photographed. Businesses shown in the background include the McClaskey Mill & Feed Store, the Gallatin Democrat, the U.S. Express Company, and Crystal Kitchen. (date unknown)

The Gallatin business square is traditionally the center of local commerce and often the setting for community festivals and celebrations. This scene shows a 4th of July celebration, although the date is unknown.

Details shown in this scene of the Gallatin Street Fair of 1903 include a large clock (foreground) and a bandstand and tents on the courthouse lawn. The street clock was located in front of Davis Drug Store on East Main Street. Thus, the view of this photo is from the storefront, looking west.

The dome of the Daviess County Courthouse was decorated with streamers as Gallatin hosted the 1927 Chautauqua festival. Note the dirt path leading from the courthouse south entrance to the intersection of West Grand and Main Streets in the forefront of this picture.

Daviess County Picnic during the summer of 1924.

Tents were erected for Chautauqua festivities at Dockery Park in Gallatin, MO (date unknown)

The Hockensmiths were among the many families that attended Chautauqua held in Dockery Park, Gallatin, MO, each summer for a number of years. This photo taken in 1918 shows William Hockensmith, Olive Myrtle, Mary Margaret, and Grace holding Charlotte.

Gallatin business frequently worked together to promote retail trade especially during the Christmas season. Drawings for free prizes attracted large crowds to the square in hopes of translating participants into buying consumers. (date unknown)

Homespun fun sometimes included wheelbarrow racing on the square in Gallatin, MO. This race was run on the south side of the business square, with the Ford and Case Implement dealerships in the background, as well as McDonald Tea Room and Turpin Youtsey MFA Insurance. (date unknown)

Public gatherings catered by civic organizations were commonplace in community affairs, although this particular event and date are unknown. Among those ready to serve those in attendance is Leonard Reynolds, standing at left, who managed Merrigan’s Market and later Hales Super Market in Gallatin, MO. (date unknown)

Showing his community spirit, newspaper publisher Joe Snyder dressed for his role in portraying a politician during a Gallatin Chautauqua festival. (date unknown)

Homecoming parades were often celebrated by class after class of Gallatin R-5 students over the decades. Lavish floats such as this one shown on North Main Street in front of the Gallatin Democrat newspaper office were in the spotlight of festivities during the 1950s. (date unknown)

Nothing seems more traditional than a school’s Homecoming parade with floats and other entries competing for recognition. The GHS parade route goes by the judges’ table in front of the courthouse on Main Street. (date unknown)

Marching bands are the centerpiece of parades for fall festivals and school Homecoming parades, sometimes led by majorettes like these. (circa 1965)