Celebrating 200 years: Food, fun featured at weekend event

A three-day event is planned for this weekend at Freeman Municipal Airport in Seymour as Brownstown, Jackson County and Indiana continue to celebrate their bicentennials.

The Jackson County Bicentennial Celebration will kick off at 6 p.m. Friday with an opening ceremony before doors open an hour later for the 8 p.m. concert featuring Medora native Forrest Turner opening for Bedford native Clayton Anderson.

Saturday is full of activities, including a variety of vendors, a fly-in, bounce houses, tractor and remote-control airplane displays, kickball and volleyball tournaments, airport museum tours, a cruise-in and live music.

Then on Sunday, there will be a church service, an ice cream social with old-time games and a performance by the Bicentennial Choir before the closing ceremony.

“We hope people come out and have a good time and celebrate our county,” said Chris Sommers, a member of the Bicentennial Planning Committee of Jackson County, which has organized the three-day celebration.

Sommers said the opening ceremony will feature color guards from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1925 and American Legion Post 89, both in Seymour. Her son, Cliff Sommers, who is president of the bicentennial committee, and Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman will speak. A couple of awards will be presented during the ceremony, too.

Tickets for Anderson’s concert are $13. They are available for purchase at The Jackson County Banner and Jackson County Courthouse, both in Brownstown, and the Jackson County Visitor Center in Seymour or by calling 812-525-2057.

Any police officers attending the concert will receive free admission.

Turner said he recently was contacted by one of the bicentennial committee members about being the opening act.

“Of course I was like, ‘Sign me up,’ because I’ve been trying to get out and play music a lot more,” he said. “I thought this would be a pretty good opportunity to be able to open for a pretty big up-and-coming name.”

Anderson has two country music albums under his belt and recently released a new single, “In the Dark.”

Turner said he always has been able to sing, but it wasn’t until about three years ago that he taught himself how to play guitar.

He will perform for about 30 minutes Friday night before Anderson takes to the stage.

“I saw him at the county fair last summer and got to meet him afterwards,” Turner said of Anderson. “He seems like a pretty nice guy.”

At 9 a.m. Saturday, vendors open and activities start.

Cherry Hill Aviation is conducting its final regional fly-in of the year from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Airplane rides will be available for $20, and Red Star Pizza will have food available for purchase. Flight training and advanced aviation education information also will be available, and warbirds and vintage aircraft will be on display.

The Freeman Army Airfield Museum, containing artifacts from the era when Freeman Field was a World War II multi-engine training base, will be open throughout the day for tours.

The remote-control airplane display will be presented by the Southern Indiana Flying Eagles, while the tractor display will be set up around 3 p.m. after traveling from the Houston Fall Festival.

The Seymour Parks and Recreation Department is in charge of sign-ups for the two sports tournaments for adults.

Psi Iota Xi Beta Mu chapter and Washington Lodge 13 Free and Accepted Masons, both of Brownstown, are presenting the Jackson County Festival of Wine and Brews from noon to 7 p.m in an airplane hangar.

Tickets are $20 and include a celebratory commemorative bicentennial glass for tasting. Tickets may be purchased from a Psi Iota Xi member, a Mason member, The Jackson County Banner, Jackson County Visitor Center or Family Drug.

Bottles of wine will be available for purchase at the event. Salt Creek Brewery, Chateau de Pique Winery, Salt Creek Winery and Butler Winery will be in attendance.

Live music, featuring Tyler Wessel, Margaret Brown and Colt Wienhorst, will start at 2 p.m. Captain Backfire will perform a free concert from 7 to 10 p.m.

Sommers said picnic tables will be available for people to use during the concerts throughout the celebration, but people also may bring lawn chairs and blankets.

The other event planned Saturday is a cruise-in. Beginning at 3 p.m., people may bring their vehicles to display.

On Sunday, vendors open at 9 a.m., a church service is set for 10:30 a.m. and the ice cream social and old-time games will start at noon.

At 2 p.m., the Bicentennial Choir, consisting of more than 40 members of Brownstown and Vallonia churches, will perform.

The closing ceremony at 4 p.m. will feature announcements about the weekend and upcoming bicentennial events.

If you go

What: Jackson County Bicentennial Celebration, organized by the Bicentennial Planning Committee of Jackson County

When: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Freeman Municipal Airport, 1025 A Ave., Seymour

Details: Groups and vendors with booths and fundraising events; adult kickball and volleyball tournaments; concerts; a beer and wine festival; a fly-in; a remote-control aircraft display; a cruise-in; bounce houses; a tractor display; airport museum tours; old-time games; an ice cream social; a church service; and a community choir performance

Information: jackson-co-indiana-bicentennial.org

Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.