51st annual Fort Vallonia Days set for this weekend


On the third weekend of October each year, one of the smallest communities in Jackson County grows from 300 people to 30,000.

State Road 135 and the area surrounding Vallonia will fill with cars from across the region and state and even nearby states to get a taste of the history of the town, which was once considered as a potential site for the state capital.

The 51st annual Fort Vallonia Days will be Saturday and Sunday in the unincorporated community that lies in Driftwood Township 3 miles south of Brownstown.

Amanda Lowery, the secretary of the festival committee and its publicity chairman, said organizers expect a nice crowd after a successful 50th anniversary in 2018.

“We had great crowds last year,” Lowery said. “The attendance is always so dependent on weather. The weather really cooperated with us last year. We’re always hopeful for great weather.”

A couple of events added to last year’s slate of activities will return in 2019.

The Anything Goes kids obstacle course, which takes place behind Vallonia Christian Church, returns this year as does the pumpkin decorating contest. The contest will start Friday, which is the day before the festival begins. That’s when entries are due.

Food and craft booths will be in the center of the town, and flea market tables and demonstrations will be going on in and around the fort.

The demonstrations include a blacksmith and craftsmen and women making wooden bowls, ropes, brooms and cornhusk dolls, tatting, weaving rugs and baskets and chair caning.

Other activities include the Mick Gray Memorial Trail Ride; Wes Hartley Memorial Muzzleloading Shoot; a 5K run/walk; a baking contest; a baby contest; a horseshoe pitch; and a tomahawk/knife throw.

Jackson County United Way also is offering free flu vaccines.

Fort Vallonia Days souvenirs may be purchased at a stand in front of the Joe Jackson Hotel throughout the festival.

The ever-popular parade will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Local churches and organizations have relied on the festival over the years to generate funds. Vallonia Christian Church, for instance, uses part of its profits for missions and projects at the church, while a portion goes to the festival committee.

Fort Vallonia was settled by the French in the late 1700s. Around 1810, Gen. William Henry Harrison, then governor of Indiana, ordered a fort be built to protect 90 families in the area from Native Americans.

In 1968, a group of men talked about rebuilding a replica of the old fort. The Vallonia Lions Club and a steering committee came together in 1969 to start the festival.

The museum was dedicated and the posts were set to swing the gate for the fort in 1972.

The addition of a pavilion with a stage was built in 1985, and in 1991, the Garrison House was completed in the center of the grounds.


If you go

51st annual Fort Vallonia Days


4 to 6 p.m.: Pumpkin decorating contest entries due


9 a.m.: Mick Gray Memorial Trail Ride; state riding permit required

9 a.m.: Wes Hartley Memorial Muzzleloading Shoot

9:30 a.m.: Baby contest registration (gymnasium)

10 a.m.: Baby contest (gymnasium)

10:30 a.m.: Pumpkin decorating contest winners announced

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Free flu shots (Vallonia Christian Church)

11 a.m.: Stars and Stripes Cloggers

Noon: u4ia

1 p.m.: Parade

2 p.m.: Tomahawk and knife throw

2 p.m.: u4ia

3 p.m.: Dane Darlage

3 to 4 p.m.: Anything Goes kids obstacle course (field behind Vallonia Christian Church)

4 p.m.: Western dancing with the Country Kickers

5 p.m.: Karaoke with Tee Jay Entertainment


10 a.m.: Community church service (gymnasium)

11 a.m.: Cornhole tournament registration (near fort)

Noon: Sparkles and Spurs country western dancers

Noon: 5K run/walk registration

Noon: Cornhole tournament

Noon: Horseshoe pitch registration

12:30 p.m.: Horseshoe pitch

1 p.m.: Baking contest (gym)

1 p.m.: 5K run/walk

1:30 p.m.: Brownstown Central High School show choir

3 p.m.: Son Worshipers

4 p.m.: Drawings

Information: fortvalloniadays.com

No posts to display