Visitor Guide

John Wisdom Wagon Train Ride

John wisdom wagon train (1)

John Wisdom Wag Train

Saddle up for the final ride! This is the 40th John Wisdom Wagon Train and Billy Puryear Ride to celebrate John Wisdom, “Georgia’s Paul Revere”, who warned Rome of impending attack by Union forces in May of 1863. The 16-mile ride, led by Wagon Train Master, Billy Puryear, begins and ends with a parade down Broad Street in Rome, Georgia. Participants will camp at the fairgrounds ($10/person admission).  The Wagon Train Dance will feature music by Scott Thompson & Friends ($5/person admission).

Location: The Wagon Train ride begins and ends at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds located at 1400 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Rome, GA 30161.

Ride Details: The ride begins Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and will cover a 16-mile round trip path with two breaks and a stop for lunch. The ride returns to the fairgrounds at 5 p.m. after the parade.

Parade: The public is invited to cheer on the participants in the final ride of John Wisdom Wagon Train and Billy Puryear Ride. The parade will begin between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. The route starts at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Broad Street and travels north down Broad Street to Rome City Hall where the steps will be decorated to serve as a parade stand.  Parade spectators are encouraged to fill the parade stand and line the street along the parade path. Nelle Reagan will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. The Grand Marshal of the parade is Mike McDougald.

Everyone is invited to continue the celebration after the ride for the cowboy dance and concert featuring Scott Thompson & Friends at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds. Tickets are $5 each and are available at the gate. The event will be held at the Mather Payne Special Events Building from 7:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Participants are welcome to bring chairs and the event is BYOB.

Coggins Test: Proof of current test must be provided in order to participate. Representatives from the Georgia Department of Agriculture will be at the entry gate.

Primitive Camping: The main gate opens on Friday, October 18 at noon. Camp sites will need to be cleared Sunday, October 21 by 11 a.m.

Wagon Train Admission:Participants riding or camping will receive a collector button, which is to be worn at all times during the event as proof of paid admission. $10 for adults, $5 for Children 12 and under. Participants must sign waivers of liability.

Lunch:Lunch will be provided by Rome Shriner’s Club for a cost of $9 per person.

Scott Thompson & Friends

Scott Thompson & Friends

Cowboy Dance:Featuring SCOTT THOMPSON & FRIENDS; the dance is open to the public. Tickets are $5 each and are available at the gate. Dance will be at the Mather Payne Special Events Building at the fairgrounds from 7:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Please note: Admission to the dance is not included in your button price. BYOB!

T-shirts: Commemorative T-shirts will be available for purchase at the fairgrounds.

Friendly Reminders: 
– Any public display of alcohol misuse is subject to Rome and Floyd County Police action.
– No littering on the roadways.
– Please wear shirts within city limits.
– Glass is not allowed at the fairgrounds; use paper or plastic cups.
– Do not leave horses tied to trees or fences.
– Clean up around your campsite before you leave.
– Extinguish all burning embers. Remove all burned and unburned wood.
– Do not use firepits as trash receptacles.

Event Questions: Billy Puryear, 706-506-1989

Travel Information: Rome-Floyd Welcome Center, 706-295-5576, 800-444-1834