Fredericksburg's Easter Fires
Fredericksburg, Texas has its own special version of the Easter bunny story dating back to 1847, when John Mueseback and the other men of the small settlement rode out to make a peace treaty with the Comanches.
Mueseback was the leader of the German immigrant families who had settled in the Pedernales Valley the year before. The final points of the treaty were being drawn up on Easter Eve, and the Comanches kept watch over the town, wary of a trick on the part of the settlers. At night, their campfires dotted the horizon.
Pioneer mothers tried to calm their frightened children, and answer their questions about the ominous campfires. The fires, they explained, were the Easter Bunny's. His huge pots were filled with a special dye made from the colorful wildflowers, and he was busily dying the eggs for Easter day. If the children went to sleep, they would find a nest of eggs the next morning.
Soon, the men returned from their successful negotiations with the Comanches, and heard the new Easter story. Since that year, the Easter fires were re-enacted both to celebrate Easter and the peace treaty
Over the years, the Fredericksburg Easter fires grew into a major event. Residents spend weeks gathering wood for the campfires, and over 800 townspeople played a part in the annual pageant. It was not a role the cast members took lightly--some parts were even passed down from parent to child.
The pageant was held until 2005 and has been suspended due to its many costs.
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Photo courtesy Fredericksburg CVB
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