Festival draws in large crowd
The Farmers and Merchant Bank was struck again by the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo Saturday.
Pilot Point celebrated the 10th annual Bonnie and Clyde Days at The Square on a cool, clear day.
In 1966, Pilot Point hosted Hollywood filmmakers and actors as they filmed a bank robbery scene at the Farmers and Merchant Bank for the 1967 Hollywood blockbuster film “Bonnie and Clyde.”
Wayne Purser has played a cop every year the re-enactment has taken place.
“It’s crazy,” he said. “It’s Pilot Point’s claim to fame. You know, it’s something for us to do. We talked about it 10 years ago and said, ‘Let’s just have a reason to have a festival,’ so we picked this.”
Bonnie and Clyde never actually robbed the Farmers and Merchant Bank in real life, but many believe Bonnie Parker, Clyde Borrow and their clan of criminals, the Barrow gang, used Pilot Point as a hiding post when driving through the area.
More than 500 lively and cheerful people lined up around the bank to watch Saturday’s re-enactment. The re-enactment took place twice during the day: one at noon and the second at 3 p.m.
Vintage outfits, classic cars and loud prop guns were on display as Bonnie and Clyde made their way into the bank, robbed it, held two women hostage, and came out and drove out of sight.
Bonnie Parker was played by Kimberly Titus, and Clyde Barrow was played by Brandon Brown.
“I love it,” Titus said. “I’ve always wanted to do it. I grew up as a child doing this, but it’s my first-time playing Bonnie for Pilot Point.”
Both Titus and Brown got a chance to fire blank bullet shots as the re-enactment took place in front of a startled crowd.
Brown, who is a fairly new to the Pilot Point community, said he was surprised by the amount of people who showed up to watch the re-enactment.
“It’s great,” he said. “I am new to Pilot Point but made a friend about a year ago who happened to see a post about it, passed it onto my wife and she then passed it onto me. We thought it would be a great way to introduce ourselves to the community.”
Festival attendees were able to enjoy live performances on the main stage by the University of North Texas vocal jazz quartet along with other several local artists. That evening, Tyler Rogers and Jarrod Morris took the stage to perform for the crowd with no admission fees, the water tower in the background.
There was plenty to do at the festival for adults and the little ones including a classic car show, antique tractor show and a kids zone, which included a zip line. Some of the other major main events included a pie eating contest and Soap Box Challenge derby, which lasted for several hours at the front end of the festival.
Main Street Director and Pilot Point native Lenette Cox said she loved the fact that everyone gets to see what Pilot Point is so proud of.
“I love the event,” she said. “Everyone loves this event, and everyone looks forward to it all year long. Everyone was very disappointed last year when we had to cancel, but today we couldn’t have asked for a better day.”