CROTHERSVILLE

Of the past 41 years of the Crothersville Red, White & Blue Festival, only a few haven’t included a carnival.

The 42nd running of the festival, which goes from June 8 to 10 in the southeastern Jackson County community, will not feature a carnival.

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Instead, Fun Services of Indiana will provide a Family Fun Zone, which consists of inflatable amusements, on the Crothersville Community Schools grounds.

“If you are a small festival in the state of Indiana, you have an extremely hard time getting a carnival to come to your festival,” festival director Sherry Bridges said.

Brady Amusements provided the carnival during last year’s festival but couldn’t come this year because of a conflicting event.

In contacting carnival companies in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky, Bridges said they told her the Crothersville festival is too small or they couldn’t come unless they would be guaranteed at least $20,000 in ticket sales.

She said the carnival companies aren’t going to small festivals because they go in the hole financially.

“They pay the same road tax and federal fees as the billion dollar semis that go up and down (Interstate) 65, and the little guy can’t do it anymore, so the little guy is folding or the little guy is only going where he’s guaranteed $20,000 or more in sales,” Bridges said.

Bridges said the highest ticket sales she could recall was $14,000 a few years ago. Of the nearly $1,200 the festival committee made from the carnival, she said that went toward stage entertainment, the electric bill, trash services and other expenses.

Also, the carnival companies Bridges contacted charge $17 to $20 for wristbands.

“The festival committee, our main goal is family-oriented things to do, but we want it to be affordable for our community,” she said.

Fun Services of Indiana will kick off this year’s festival with bracelet night from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. Wristbands will be $8. For the remainder of the festival, wristbands will be $10, and single tickets will be $1. Hours will be from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday and June 9 and from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. June 10.

Bridges said the inflatables will be switched out each day so it’s different for children. Games for all ages also will be available.

“All committee members tried to find a carnival. They are just not out there for small festivals,” Bridges said. “We’ve got to have something there, and we’ve got something. It’s cheaper for the family, and we’re hoping that the community will enjoy it.”

Booths open at 5 p.m. Thursday. The prince and princess will be crowned a half-hour later on the stage, and baby contest winners will be announced at 6 p.m. Opening ceremonies will follow at 6:30 p.m. as the community pauses to salute a local veteran and honor the American flag.

“Our community takes pride in honoring our veterans and Old Glory,” Bridges said.

Entertainment, including Donovan Harris, Redemption Cross and The Colwells, will perform onstage to close out the opening day of the festival.

Booths also open at 5 p.m. June 9. A new feature, Colts in Motion, will be set up on Preston Street in front of the school gymnasium until 7 p.m. The 42-foot-long traveling museum is full of interactive Indianapolis Colts history and memorabilia. A variety of bluegrass music acts will perform throughout the evening.

June 10 is full of activities, starting with breakfast provided by Crothersville FFA at 7 a.m., a coed volleyball tournament at 8 a.m. and booths opening at 9 a.m.

Once again, the Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department will sponsor a waterball contest. It starts at 10 a.m. in the parking lot behind the school.

That morning, there also will be a bubble gum blowing contest, a pedal tractor pull, a cake and pie contest and a porkburger eating contest. Later in the day, the cake and pie entries will be auctioned off, with proceeds going toward the festival fireworks fund.

The pet and bike parade, a nearly 40-year tradition of children decorating their bicycles and dressing up their pets in red, white and blue, will be at noon in front of the stage.

The Red, White & Blue Parade will step off at 1:30 p.m., with the sectional-winning Crothersville girls basketball team as the grand marshal. The route will go along East and Bard streets, U.S. 31 or Armstrong Street and then down Moore and Preston streets. Registration starts at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of East and Bard streets, and judging will be at 1 p.m.

Onstage entertainment includes Long Family Singers, Stars & Stripes cloggers, Adam Schill of Big Top Productions LLC, Brian Fink, Ko’s Marital Arts, Matthew Williams, Monday Night Special and Alley Katz.

The festival will close with a Zambelli Fireworks show at 10 p.m. The Radio 96.3 WJAA Coolbus will broadcast live starting at 9 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early and bring their lawn chairs. 3-D glasses will be available.

All three days of the festival, there will be an antique farm machinery show along Howard Street and a fish fry at the fire department on Moore Street. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 10, a historical display, snacks and drinks will be at Hamacher Hall on Howard Street.

If you go

42nd annual Crothersville Red, White & Blue Festival

Wednesday

5 to 9 p.m.: Inflatable amusements; wristbands $8

Thursday

10 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Fish fry (Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department on Moore Street)

2:30 p.m.: Baby contest registration; birth to 48 months; entry fee $5 (school gymnasium)

4 p.m.: Baby contest judging

5 p.m.: Booths open

5 to 10 p.m.: Inflatable amusements; wristbands $10, single tickets $1

5:30 p.m.: Prince and princess contest (stage)

6 p.m.: Baby contest winners announced (stage)

6:30 p.m.: Opening ceremonies

7 p.m.: Donovan Harris

7:30 p.m.: Redemption Cross

8:30 p.m: The Colwells

June 9

10 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Fish fry (Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department on Moore Street)

5 p.m.: Booths open

5 to 10 p.m.: Inflatable amusements; wristbands $10, single tickets $1

5 to 7 p.m.: Colts in Motion (Preston Street in front of school gymnasium)

5 p.m.: Matthew Williams

5:30 p.m.: Country Kickers

6 p.m.: 105.3 WMPI live remote

6:45 p.m.: Backwoods Bluegrass

7:45 p.m.: Grandview Junction

8:45 p.m.: James White and Deer Creek

June 10

7 a.m.: FFA breakfast

8 a.m.: Coed volleyball tournament; $20 per player; maximum of eight players per team (school gymnasium)

9 a.m.: Booths open

9 a.m.: Waterball contest registration; $50 for a team of five

10 a.m. Waterball contest

10 a.m.: Pedal tractor pull registration (South Preston Street)

10 a.m.: Cake and pie contest registration (town hall on Howard Street)

10 a.m.: Bubble gum blowing contest; ages 5 and up (stage)

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Historical display (Hamacher Hall on Howard Street)

10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.: Fish fry (Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department on Moore Street)

10:30 a.m.: Parade registration (corner of East and Bard streets)

10:30 a.m.: Pedal tractor pull

11 a.m.: Porkburger eating contest (stage)

11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.: Inflatable amusements; wristbands $10, single tickets $1

11:15 a.m.: Cake and pie contest judging

Noon: Pet and bike parade; preschool to fourth grade (stage)

12:30 p.m.: Long Family Singers

1:30 p.m.: Parade

3 p.m.: Stars and Stripes cloggers

4 p.m.: Adam Schill of Big Top Productions LLC

4:30 p.m.: Brian Fink

5:15 p.m.: Cake and pie auction (stage)

5:30 p.m.: Ko’s Martial Arts

6 p.m.: Matthew Williams

7:15 p.m.: Monday Night Special

8:15 to 10:30 p.m.: Alley Katz

9 p.m.: Vendor raffles (stage)

10 p.m.: Zambelli Fireworks show (Bard Street Park)

10:30 p.m.: Festival closes

At a glance

Festival information

Parade: Marion Gill, 812-216-8146

Baby contest: Vickey Oliphant, 812-445-3218

Cake and pie contest: Town council, 812-793-2311

Prince and princess contest: FFA, 812-793-2051

Entertainment: Bobby Deal, 812-889-3710

Pedal tractor pull: Traditional Young Farmers, 812-216-3981

Coed volleyball tournament: Chad Wilson, 812-530-1181

Porkburger eating contest: Denise Maxie, 812-530-6346

Zambelli Fireworks: Brady Riley, 812-525-1399

Waterball contest: Jason Hillenburg, 812-569-7468

Antique tractors: Kevin Hoevener, 812-524-0372

Media: Brady Riley, 812-525-1399; Chester Jones, 812-216-0050

Master of ceremonies: Terry Prine, 812-523-3869

Hamacher Hall: 812-521-3695

Booths and general information: Sherry Bridges, 812-569-0407; Doris Kovener, 812-793-2573

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