Friday, November 15, 2019
In the late 1950s, Huntsville businessman and crossbow enthusiast Arlis Coger and other civic leaders convinced George Stevens to move his national crossbow tournament from north central Arkansas to Madison County, as a way to boost tourism. First held in October 1958, the medieval-themed tournament featured crossbow competitions, music, speeches, and a queen and her court. The crowds were entertained by costumed Lancers, who demonstrated their prowess by riding at full gallop to spear rings dangling from posts, and Crossbowettes, who conducted precision drills and crossbow shooting. While the crossbow competition itself lasted for fifty years, all the pageantry and performances by the Crossbowettes and Lancers ended after 1967.
Join us as we host a reunion of Crossbowettes, Lancers, and other friends of Huntsville’s Crossbow Tournament. At 2:00 p.m., museum photo archivist Marie Demeroukas will discuss the history of the Crossbow Tournament, followed by a showing of vintage home movies of the event through the years. A small display of Crossbowette and tournament memorabilia will also be on display through December 14, in conjunction with our photo exhibit, Scenes of Madison County.