By Lisa Morton
As early as 1899, when the first Old Settlers Reunion was celebrated in Van Horn, the residents of Culberson County realized the potential benefits of attracting outside visitors; as one writer put it, Culberson County “is the kind of raw-mountain, raw-grasslands country that breeds mystics and imaginative, lyrical chambers of commerce.” The Old Settlers Reunion became an annual event and remained so until 1958, when Frontier Days took its place, eventually being held in conjunction with the Jubilee celebration of former Van Horn High School students and teachers beginning in 1990 and to run every five years as such.
However, the 2020 Jubilee was postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and thus will be celebrated this weekend along with the traditions and heritage of Van Horn and Culberson County. The Jubilee committee rescheduled the event from June after they were notified that local space company, Blue Origin, would be blocking most of the hotel/motel rooms in town for its first crewed suborbital launch into space from at their ranch outside of Van Horn. Blue Origin then rescheduled the launch leaving the county events destined to share the local stage.
The 2021 Van Horn Jubilee formally opens with registration at Van Horn School Cafeteria located at 200 W. 7th Street starting at 5pm followed by a reception from 6pm until 8pm hosted by the Van Horn Women’s Service League. Everyone is invited to a memorial service at Eagle Field at 9pm to finish the day’s events.
Saturday is jam-packed with events, (see Jubilee Schedule of Events on page 6), that will end with a free dance at Van Horn City Park, 3rd and Austin Streets, from 9pm until 1am, featuring Wayne West from Sierra Blanca, Texas. But don’t forget you can still take part in the annual Okey Dokey 5K Run/Walk, honoring the memory of Van Horn’s beloved Mayor Okey Lucas, on Saturday morning where they will continue to register late participants at 8am at Eagle Field. Please check with local town Facebook posts for any updates, scheduled events and for other events taking place. Mountain View Golf Course will open at 9am on Saturday and Sunday.