Jessie James Days begin in Pineville, Mo.

Nightly music, food, carnival rides, and fundraising for Pineville Rural Fire Dept
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PINEVILLE, Mo. — Many know Pineville as the beginning point of your canoe trip on Elk River. But there is much more to the McDonald County Seat.

Jessie James Days is an annual small-town celebration held every August. This year like many others there is a carnival in town for the kids to enjoy. Purchase arm bands at City Hall in advance for $15 or $20 during the event. All monies raised goes to the Pineville Rural Fire Dept.

“Nightly music, vendors, carnival and cook shack ran by the Fire Department! Parade is Saturday at 5:00 p.m with a chicken dinner following.” — JESSIE JAMES DAYS EVENT PAGE

Each evening music begins at 6 p.m. and everyday there are special events.

QUESTION: But why the name of the festival? ANSWER: In 1938 Pineville was chosen to be the backdrop of the Hollywood film, Jessie James.
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“In 1938, the Hollywood movie ‘Jesse James’ was filmed in the Missouri Ozarks. The movie, produced by Twentieth Century Fox and starring Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, and Nancy Kelly, was primarily filmed in the small town of Pineville, as well as elsewhere in McDonald County. Additional filming locations included Lake Ozark, Missouri. Pineville was selected to represent Jesse James’ hometown of Liberty, Missouri, due to its resemblance at the time to 19th Century Missouri. Pineville’s population at the time was 383, and many of its citizens took part in the movie as extras. The film, which was a box office success, was Missouri’s first major contribution to Hollywood filmmaking history. The city of Pineville continues to commemorate its role in the film with its annual “Jesse James Days” celebration.” — Missouri State Archives

| Click here to view more of the images of the filming behind the scenes in the Digital History Archive from the State of Missouri.


Article copy from the Pineville Democrat, August 11, 1938. Details on what the town would experience as it was transformed into Liberty, Mo. as the backdrop of the film starring Henry Fonda and others. Source McDonald County Library via FB.

The McDonald County Library will show the Jessie James film twice a day, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. The library also invites everyone to enjoy their Jessie James movie collection that was filmed on the Pineville Square.

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Although this is a fun week to celebrate the film that put the city on the map, it’s not thought that Jessie James was ever in Pineville. His hometown was Liberty, Mo.

You’ll have to make time to visit Jessie James Days and learn more before it ends Saturday night, August 20.

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