A late 1800s reenactment and an educational mobile unit to help women protect themselves are new to this year’s Crothersville Red, White & Blue Festival.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the same without pausing to honor veterans, offering a variety of booths, activities and entertainment for all ages and capping it all off with a fireworks show.
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The 43rd annual event, tagged by festival director Sherry Bridges as “Indiana’s most patriotic festival,” runs Thursday through Saturday in the southeastern Jackson County town.
“Our community takes pride in honoring our veterans and Old Glory,” Bridges said.
A day before the festival, people can check out Family Fun Night on the Crothersville Community Schools grounds. Steel Horse Midway Attractions will operate from 5 to 9 p.m. Discount bracelets may be purchased for $13 at The Peoples Bank in Crothersville. At the ticket booth Wednesday, they will be $15, and wristbands for Thursday through Saturday are the same price.
The carnival will continue from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
All three days of the festival, an antique farm tractor show will be set up on Howard Street.
On Thursday, registration for the baby contest begins at 2:30 p.m. in the school gymnasium. The entry fee is $5. Judging in six categories from birth to 48 months starts at 4 p.m. First and second places will be awarded to a boy and a girl in each category, and winners will be announced from the stage at 6 p.m.
Also Thursday, the Little Mr. and Miss Red, White and Blue contest will be conducted for boys and girls ages 5 to 7. Registration starts at 2:30 p.m. in the gym with judging at 5:15 p.m. The entry fee is $10. Winners will be announced from the stage at 6:15 p.m.
At 5 p.m., booths will open, and the Crothersville Singers will perform on the stage. That will be followed by the festival prince and princess crownings and Buddy Bat from the Louisville Bats baseball team visiting with fans at 5:30 p.m.
Opening ceremonies will be at 6:30 p.m. in front of the school as the community pauses to salute local veteran John Nehrt.
For the remainder of the evening on the stage, there will open mic time, Long Family Singers and Redemption Cross.
On Friday, booths will open again at 5 p.m. The Crothersville Singers will perform at the same time, and the rest of the night will include the Country Kickers and bluegrass music from Matthew Williams, Grandview Junction, James White & Deer Creek and Back Woods Bluegrass.
Other features Friday night include the Colts in Motion traveling museum, Sky’s the Limit Stilt Walking roaming the festival grounds, the Kids Mini Run for ages 6 to 12 and a 5K Glow Run/Walk. Proceeds from the latter two events will benefit Crothersville elementary travel basketball teams.
Saturday’s festivities kick off with Crothersville FFA serving breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at its booth. The other booths will open at 9 a.m.
Registration for the coed volleyball ($20 per player) and three-on-three basketball ($50 per team) tournaments start at 8 a.m. in the gymnasium.
The Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department once again will sponsor a waterball contest with registration at 8 a.m. and hoses up at 9 a.m. at the fire station on Moore Street.
Firefighters also will be serving their fish and steak sandwiches from noon to 10 p.m. Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Women Armed and Ready mobile unit is one of the new features, set up on Preston Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Its purpose is to empower women to protect themselves and their loved ones and train in the proper use of a firearm, storage and being prepared for dangerous circumstances.
The Arts in the ‘Ville arts and craft show will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hamacher Hall on Howard Street, and the Crothersville Historical and Cultural Arts Association will sell hot dogs, chili dogs, drinks and dessert.
Children’s activities will kick off at 10 a.m. with a bubble gum blowing contest for ages 5 to 12. Registration for the pedal tractor pull is at 10 a.m. with the first pull at 10:30 a.m. on South Preston Street. The pet and bike parade for kids in preschool through fourth grade is at noon in front of the stage. The oldest contest at the festival features kids decorating their bicycles and dressing their pets up in red, white and blue.
Kids also can participate in the pork burger eating contest at 11 a.m., seeing how many FFA pork burgers they can eat in 10 minutes. Adults will get their chance at 11:15 a.m. Winners will receive cash prizes.
Cowboy Posse Productions is another new feature. Scenarios from the shootout at the O.K. Corral to Jesse James and the Daltons will be reenacted at noon and 3 p.m. on Preston Street.
“You won’t want to miss this event,” Bridges said.
Registration for the parade starts at 11 a.m. at East and Bard streets. Judging is at 1 a.m., and the parade steps off at 1:30 p.m., traveling along Bard, Armstrong, Moore and Preston streets. Retired Crothersville postmaster Carolyn King will be the parade marshal.
Stage entertainment starts with Crothersville’s own Brian Fink at 12:30 p.m. Other performers throughout the day include Stars & Stripes, The Ladds, Cole Wienhorst, Ko’s Martial Arts, Alley Katz, Southern Comfort and Shiddy Half Songs Band. Booth raffles will be drawn from the stage at 8:50 p.m.
Zambelli Fireworks will light up the Crothersville sky with the Thrill in the Ville fireworks show to conclude the festival at 10 p.m.
“The Red, White and Blue Festival committee encourages the community to bring their lawn chairs and enjoy the events while visiting with family and friends,” Bridges said.
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43rd annual Crothersville Red, White & Blue Festival
2:30 p.m.: Baby contest and Little Mr. and Miss Red, White and Blue registration (gymnasium)
4 p.m.: Baby contest judging
5:15 p.m.: Little Mr. and Miss Red, White and Blue judging
5 p.m.: Booths open
5 p.m.: Crothersville Singers
5:30 p.m.: Festival prince and princess crownings
5:30 p.m.: Buddy Bat
6 p.m.: Baby contest winners announced
6:15 p.m.: Little Mr. and Miss Red, White and Blue crownings
6:30 p.m.: Opening ceremonies
7 p.m.: Open mic
7:30 p.m.: Long Family Singers
8:30 p.m.: Redemption Cross
5 p.m.: Booths open
5 p.m.: Crothersville Singers
5:30 p.m.: Country Kickers
6 p.m.: I 105.3 WMPI live broadcast and prize wheel
6 p.m.: Colts in Motion traveling museum
6 p.m.: Sky’s The Limit Stilt Walking
6:45 p.m.: Matthew Williams
7:45 p.m.: Grandview Junction
8 p.m.: 1-mile Kids Mini Run
8:45 p.m.: James White and Deer Creek
9 p.m.: 5K Glow Run/Walk
9:15 p.m.: Back Woods Bluegrass
7:30 a.m.: FFA breakfast (FFA booth)
8 a.m.: Coed volleyball tournament (gymnasium)
8 a.m.: Three-on-three basketball tournament (gymnasium)
8 a.m.: Waterball contest registration (fire station)
9 a.m.: Booths open
9 a.m.: Waterball contest (fire station)
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Women Armed and Ready mobile unit (Preston Street)
10 a.m.: Bubble gum blowing contest
10 a.m.: Pedal tractor pull registration (Preston Street)
10:30 a.m.: Pedal tractor pull (Preston Street)
11 a.m.: Parade registration (Bard and East streets)
Noon: Pet and Bike Parade
Noon: Cowboy Posse Productions shootout
12:30 p.m.: Brian Fink
1:30 p.m.: Parade (Bard, Armstrong, Moore and Preston streets)
3 p.m.: Cowboy Posse Productions shootout
4 p.m.: The Ladds
4:40 p.m.: Colt Wienhorst
5:30 p.m.: Ko’s Martial Arts
6 p.m.: Alley Katz
8 p.m.: Southern Comfort
8:50 p.m.: Booth raffles
9 p.m.: Shiddy Half Songs Band
10 p.m.: Zambelli Fireworks Thrill in the Ville show (Bard Street Park)
10:30 p.m.: Festival closes
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Parade, Marion Gill: 812-216-8146
Baby contest, Kat Baute: 812-521-3821
Prince and princess contest, Linda Myers: 812-793-2051
Entertainment, Bobby Deal: 812-889-3710
Pedal tractor pull, Traditional Young Farmers: 812-216-3981
Coed volleyball tournament, Kourtney Settle: 812-525-7788
Three-on-three basketball tournament, Chad Wilson: 812-530-1181
Pork burger eating contest, Denise Maxie: 812-530-6346
Zambelli Fireworks show, Brady Riley: 812-525-1399
Antique tractor show, Floyd Barger: 812-595-9747
5K Glow Run/Walk and Kids Mini Run, John Riley: 812-528-0610
Waterball contest, Jason Hillenburg: 812-569-7468
Hamacher Hall, Linda Seals: 812-521-3695
Master of ceremonies, Terry Prine: 812-523-3869
Booths and general information: Sherry Bridges, 812-569-0407, or Doris Kovener, 812-793-2573
Handicap parking will be in the school administration parking lot, 201 S. Preston St. Restrooms are inside the gym entrance to the left.
Pets should be left at home unless they are in a contest or a service animal. Bicycles should not be ridden on the festival grounds except for participating in the parade.