Attendees of the Crothersville Red, White and Blue Festival have come to expect certain features of the annual event.
The opening ceremony always is patriotic with American flags and a tribute to veterans.
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Children can play games and check out the rides or participate in the baby or prince and princess contest.
Families can watch the parade together Saturday afternoon, attend the fireworks show that night and purchase items from the various food and craft vendors.
But, officials said, every once in a while, it’s good to change things up a little bit.
This year, for the first time in more than 20 years, Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department will have a waterball contest on the street in front of the school. Other new events are a balloon launch to celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial, a flag ceremony led by a local Cub Scouts group, a 5K Glow Run/Walk and a pork burger eating contest.
The festival, celebrating its 41st year, will kick off at 6 p.m. Wednesday with rides on the Crothersville Community School Corp. grounds. Brady Amusements will offer a special ride promotion. Discount bracelets can be purchased at The Peoples Bank in Crothersville for $13.
On Thursday, registration for the baby contest will start at 2:30 p.m. in the school gymnasium, and judging will begin at 4 p.m.
Booths open at 5 p.m., and the prince and princess contest winners will be announced on the main stage at 5:30 p.m. A half-hour later, baby contest winners will be announced.
Little Mr. and Miss Red, White and Blue winners will be announced at 6:15 p.m. on the main stage, followed by the opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m., Little League awards at 7 p.m., a talent show at 7:30 p.m. and live music at 8:15 p.m.
At 5 p.m. Friday, booths open, and Cub Scouts Pack 522 will conduct a flag ceremony on the main stage. Line dancers and three bands will play on the stage later that night.
The Crothersville High School Class of 2019 is sponsoring the 5K Glow Run/Walk at 8:30 p.m. Registration will start an hour before at the school’s flagpole. Drinks will be provided midway through the race, and snacks and a chance to win door prizes will be at the end.
Saturday’s festivities begin at 7 a.m. with Crothersville FFA serving breakfast at its booth. Other booths open two hours later.
The waterball contest will start at 8 a.m. on Preston Street. That involves teams of five competing against each other using fire hoses to push a ball and keep it on the opponent’s side the longest.
Two team members will be responsible for the lead hose, two will be on the backup hose and one will be the coach. Shoes must be worn, while helmets and coats will be provided for the double-elimination tournament.
“It’s almost like tug-of-war, but only you’re pushing the ball with water instead of pulling,” said Brian Clouse, a Crothersville-Vernon volunteer firefighter and president of the board of directors. “You push it to one side the longest or furthest in a three-minute time limit.”
Registration is $25 per team and will start at 7:30 a.m. Each member must be at least 18 years old and sign a waiver of liability.
Clouse said the department is excited about bringing the contest back to the festival.
“We just started talking about it and watching videos, and it looks like it’s a blast,” he said. “We’ve heard countless people tell us they just love watching it.”
Also during the festival, the fire department will serve fish and rib eye steak dinners from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. New at the fire station this year is a Firehouse Ice Cream vendor, who will sell cotton candy, milkshakes and ice cream in a firetruck booth.
Other features Saturday morning include a pedal tractor pull, a bubble gum blowing contest, the pork burger eating contest, basketball camps and raffle drawings from the various booths. Entries for the cake and pie contest also will be accepted that morning at Crothersville Town Hall, and they will be raffled off at the main stage at 5:45 p.m.
A pet and bike parade will start at noon, followed by the festival parade at 1:30 p.m. Linda Begley is the grand marshal.
On the main stage Saturday afternoon and evening, line dancers, martial artists and music groups will perform, and the balloon launch will be conducted.
After the Indiana Bicentennial Commission-endorsed balloon launch at 4:30 p.m., professional speaker and Crothersville native Scott McKain will speak along with a couple of politicians and others.
The grand finale of the festival will be a patriotic fireworks show by Zambelli Fireworks at 10 a.m. at Bard Street Park behind the school. Radio 96.3 WJAA will broadcast live starting at 9 p.m., offer free 3-D glasses in the Cool Bus and start the countdown for the show.
Visitors are encouraged to come early with lawn chairs or blankets.
Also throughout the three days of the festival, an antique farm machinery show will be along Howard Street, and a collection of pictures of Crothersville and its residents will be on display at Hamacher Hall.
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41st annual Crothersville Red, White and Blue Festival
6 p.m.: Rides open; discount bracelets can be purchased at The Peoples Bank in Crothersville for $13
2:30 p.m.: Baby contest registration in the school gymnasium
4 p.m.: Baby contest judging
5 p.m.: Booths open
5:30 p.m.: Prince and princess crowned
6 p.m.: Baby contest winners announced
6:15 p.m.: Little Mr. and Miss Red, White and Blue crowned
6:30 p.m.: Opening ceremonies
7 p.m.: Little League awards
7:30 p.m.: Talent show
8:15 p.m.: F.E. Project
5 p.m.: Booths open
5 p.m.: Boy Scout Pack 522 flag ceremony
5:30 p.m.: Country Kickers
6 p.m.: 105.3 WMPI spinning wheel
6:30 p.m.: Midwest Station
7:30 p.m.: Grandview Junction
8:30 p.m.: Backwoods Bluegrass
8:30 p.m.: Crothersville High School Class 2019 5K Glow Run/Walk
7 a.m.: FFA breakfast
7:30 a.m.: Waterball registration
8 a.m.: Otter Basketball Camp
8 a.m.: Waterball contest
10 a.m.: Parade registration
10 a.m.: Bubble gum blowing contest
10 a.m.: Pedal tractor pull registration
10:30 a.m.: Pedal tractor pull
11 a.m.: Pork burger eating contest
Noon: Pet and bike parade
12:30 p.m.: The Long Family Singers
1:30 p.m.: Parade
3 p.m.: Stars and Stripes
4 p.m.: Ko’s Martial Arts
4:30 p.m.: Celebrate Indiana 200
5 p.m.: Redemption gospel group
5:50 p.m.: Cake and pie raffle
6 p.m.: Jerry Zollman and Troy Seal
7 p.m.: Hewitt and Fink
7:45 p.m.: Southern Comfort
8:45 p.m.: Raffles from vendors
9 p.m.: Last Exit
10 p.m. Zambelli Fireworks show
Throughout the festival
Antique farm machinery show along Howard Street.
A collection of pictures of Crothersville and its residents from the archives of Garland “Gus” Louden on display at Hamacher Hall on Howard Street.
Fish and rib eye steak dinners and Firehouse Ice Cream at the Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department at the corner of Moore and Armstrong streets.
Handicap parking will be in the school administration building parking lot.
Restrooms are located inside the gym entrance to the left.
Parade, Marion Gill, 812-523-1889
Baby contest, Kristye Lewis, 812-350-4864
Cake and pie contest, Danieta Foster, 812-793-3836
Prince and princess contest, Zabrina Nicholson, 812-793-2051
Entertainment, Bobby Deal, 812-889-3710
5K Glow Run/Walk, Kathie Rose, 812-595-1468
Pedal tractor pull, Traditional Young Farmers, 812-216-3981
Otter Basketball Camp, Kevin Hensley, 812-216-5302
Pork burger eating contest, Denise Maxie, 812-530-6346
Zambelli Fireworks, Brady Riley, 812-525-1399
Water ball contest, Jason Hillenburg, 812-569-7468, or Brian Clouse, 812-530-1789
Antique tractors, Kevin Hoevener, 812-524-0372
Master of ceremonies, Terry Prine, 812-523-3869
Booths and general information, Sherry Bridges, 812-569-0407, or Doris Kovener, 812-793-2573