Crothersville turns red, white and blue for annual festival


CROTHERSVILLE — A tribute was given to veterans who unselfishly served the United States to ensure the freedom of their fellow Americans.

A moment of silence honored those no longer with us, and a prayer was offered to give thanks for their sacrifice.

Finally, the 13 folds of the flag were demonstrated while the meaning of each one was explained.

Each year around Flag Day, the Crothersville Red, White and Blue Festival occurs in the small southeastern Jackson County community. American flags are placed around the community and on the school grounds, and many festivalgoers show pride for their community and country by wearing the nation’s colors.

“It’s like America,” Isaac Spencer, 11, a member of Boy Scout Troop 522 of Crothersville, said after helping with the flag-folding demonstration.

“Patriotism,” Owen Prince, 11, a fellow Scout, said.

Those two boys and another Scout, Langston Davis, 12, participated in Thursday’s opening ceremonies in front of Crothersville Community Schools. They considered it a privilege to honor the flag and honor veterans, as Spencer and Prince both have grandfathers who served in the military.

“The first time that I did it, we had to have help from (troop leaders), but once the second and third time came around, we could do it all by ourselves,” Spencer said of folding the flag.

Assistant Scoutmaster Cheryl Baker stood close by in case the boys needed her help. The troop recently was asked to conduct the flag-folding demonstration at the 47th annual festival and was happy to do so.

“The flag folding and the meaning behind it is very important, and the boys agreed to do it,” she said. “We normally do learn it, but these boys just came into the troop from the pack, so we had to do a real fast learn, but it’s something they need to know anyway.”

Festival committee member Katie Masters began opening ceremonies with a brief history of the festival getting its start surrounding Flag Day, which is on June 14 each year.

She said veterans have always been honored during the ceremony, which officially kicks off the three-day festival.

“As you enjoy this year’s Red, White and Blue Festival, also remember those who are currently serving and those heroes that are no longer with us,” she told attendees.

“The freedom we enjoy is extremely special, and that is why we must defend it,” she said. “Now is the time for each of us to take part in protecting it. We must remember that the defense of freedom is not just for those in the military. Each of us here shares that duty and that responsibility. We must work together to ensure that everyone feels the benefits of freedom.”

Following a moment of silence, Albert Stormes offered a prayer. He first thanked the men and women who sacrificed their lives so that Americans could have the freedoms celebrated today.

“Father, I pray that this week, not only can we celebrate but also remember why we’re here and to be thankful for the grace that you’ve shown and lay it on all of us,” he said. “We remember those that served and gave the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you.”

Masters and the Scouts then presented the flag-folding demonstration, from the first fold being a symbol of life to the 13th fold with the stars uppermost reminding Americans of the national motto “In God We Trust.”

After the opening ceremonies, the festival prince and princess contest, sponsored by Crothersville FFA, was conducted.

Four third-graders, four fourth-graders and two fifth-graders from Crothersville Elementary School were in the running, and the winners were based on the most money raised in recent weeks.

This year’s prince is Drey Howard, 9, son of Casey and Amanda Howard of Crothersville, and the princess is Emerie Niccum, 9, daughter of Travis and Kelly Hien of Crothersville.

First runners-up were Blaine Lewis and Ellie Spencer, and second runners-up were Alec Quillen and Ashtyn Allman.

In all, the 10 contestants raised $3,895.48. Half will go to the Crothersville FFA Toy and Food Drive that’s conducted each year around Christmastime, and the other half will go back to the festival.

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