2022 Locals Love Us Favorite Theater Production: 'Legends of the Falls'
Debbie Holloway had a hard time containing her excitement when she learned that Legends of the Falls, a theatrical hayride in Cottonwood Shores, was chosen by readers of The Picayune Magazine and KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune as a 2022 Locals Love Us Favorite Theater Production.
Holloway was the event coordinator and served as tour guide on the historic hayride, which pulled its audience between staged locations while sharing the history of Cottonwood Shores and the Highland Lakes. “Oh, my stars!” she exclaimed. “To have that validation from the public — that we were voted the best — I’m thrilled.”
Holloway and Karrie Cummings, CFO and grant administrator for the city of Cottonwood Shores, were instrumental in putting together the volunteer project in its inaugural year last fall. The idea came to Holloway as she and a friend walked through the old Fuchs (pronounced Fox) Cemetery in Cottonwood Shores. The cemetery was the first stop on the hayride, where actors portraying different historic figures buried there recalled their lives.
The ride went on to visit the lakeshore, where a young Native American retold a harrowing tale of how he was murdered and buried along the riverbank.
At the final stop, another victim of murder — this one ended up at the bottom of Dead Man’s Hole — told his story and how it related to Cottonwood Shores.
“The actors walked into it blind,” Holloway said. “They didn’t even meet one another until rehearsal. They didn’t know what they were going to say or what I was going to say to them. I just said, ‘Can you research and portray this person?’ Each one of them created their own persona.”
Work has already begun on next year’s production, which includes an addition to the historic lineup: Sheriff Doc Miller, the only person known to have retrieved a body, rather than bones, from Dead Man’s Hole.
Sheriff Miller will regale the audience from a new location on the hayride, one that will resemble the rocky landscape around Dead Man’s Hole, which is located east of Marble Falls on the other side of U.S. 281 from Cottonwood Shores.
Other changes include an increase in festivities at the Cottonwood Shores Community Center, where the hayride loads up the audience for Legends of the Falls.
“We are already making adjustments to make it bigger,” Holloway said. “We want more of a festival-type atmosphere at the base site. We’ll have more booths, more activities for kids. We want to really draw people in. Even though history is the focus, we recognize we need other things as well.”
As the six rides quickly sold out, the team is adding two additional rides for a total of eight in 2022.
“Last year, we didn’t know if anybody was even going to show up,” Holloway said. “And, if they did show up, if they were going to like it. I can’t wait to tell each and every one of the people involved that we were voted favorite theater event. I am so blown away!”
In 2022, Legends of the Falls will be Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 22-23, rather than on Friday and Saturday as it was in 2021. Keep an eye open for when ticket sales begin in late summer and early fall. This extraordinary hayride through local history is sure to be a sell out again.
Find more articles like this in Best of the Highland Lakes