By Kevin Harvison
McAlester Public Library Teen Librarian, Erin Austin, works on a giant version of the original True Grit book cover, published in 1968, which will be part of the library’s float in the big True Grit Day parade this Saturday at the Old Town Wild West Festival. Entries in the 9 a.m. parade include authentic 1870s wagons and stagecoaches, riders, marchers, floats from churches and businesses, an appearance by Belle Starr and an engine from the McAlester Fire Department. The parade will move south to north on Main Street beginning at the entrance to the Old Town Historic District, then proceed east to circle Hutchinson Park and the Tobucksy Courthouse. Saturday will be proclaimed True Grit Day in McAlester by Mayor Steve Harrison as part of the Wild West Festival and the kickoff of the library’s six-week lineup of events celebrating the Portis novel. Citizens are being asked to read the book and attend at least one library program about the beloved American Western.