Looking for small-town fun where you can eat, drink and brush flanneled elbows with friends all in the comfort of your favorite pair of jeans? Head to McKinleyville this week/weekend for the "tail" end of the 50th annual Pony Express Days. The event, which has already seen a Kick-Off Mixer and outdoor Chili Cook-off earlier this week, gears up for the mane event on Saturday, when a horse-friendly parade clip clops down Central Avenue and a festival at Pierson Park gets underway. But before that, there are a few fun events saddled up and raring to go. Thursday, May 31, catch the Fireman's Muster in the upper parking lot at Pierson Park at 6 p.m. (free). Watch local firefighters perform a bucket brigade and hose relay. Then polish your boots and get ready to go scootin' at the Pony Express Days Dance on Friday, June 1 from 8 p.m. to midnight at Azalea Hall, featuring live music by Lone Star Junction ($10).
On Saturday, June 2, take your family to Azalea Hall from 8 to 10:30 a.m. for good eatin' at the Pancake Breakfast ($7, $3). Once fortified, you're all set for a full day of festivities. The parade marches down Central Avenue starting at Murray Road at 11 a.m. and ends at School Road (free). Then from noon to 4 p.m., the festival at Pierson Park is your destination for fun with live music by TAXI, vendors of all types, food, beverages, fire station open house, the Pony Express Saloon, a kids corner and horseshoe tournament (free entry).