Tomorrow begins the 38th annual Crothersville Red, White & Blue Festival. Thirty-Eight years… that’s longer than many of you reading this have been on this earth. For perspective, when this year’s graduating class at CHS was being born, the festival was already in its 20th year of celebrating the flag.
The local festival began in 1976 as Crothersville’s response to the nation’s bicentennial. Rather than hold the celebration on July 4th and compete for the crowds in other communities, the original organizers opted for a Flag Day celebration over June 14. And unlike many of the other bicentennial celebrations, Crothersville’s has continued now in its 5th decade.
The local kick-off to the southern Indiana festival season doesn’t just happen. It takes a group of people and organizations (at least 14 this year by the ‘who to contact’ list) planning for some months in advance. All just so area families can have three days of fun.
Booking booths and vendors is nearly a year in the making as professional vendors look for places where there is a large pedestrian traffic count. They must be contacted and signed to a contract and that usually takes place when we are all still trying to keep warm by a fire in the winter.
There’s the hard sweaty work by unsung heroes of getting picnic tables, cleaning streets, installing electric service, the setting up the stage where the entertainment is held.
As time gets closer there’s the variety of local events and attractions that must be organized and managed. Events of a variety of interest-from Athletic to Babies to Culinary-(if only it were as simple as A-B-C) must be handled with details.
A carnival is a big draw from the community festival and attractions of that sort must be booked a year in advance. Carnivals like to stay busy in a new community each week of the warm weather seasons.
Local groups like the FFA, VFW, fire department, Lions Club school organizations all take this annual opportunity to make some money for their organizations and be a part of the greater community event.
The festival isn’t put on by a single person but an eclectic group all with a focus on their particular interest and sharing their pride and passion with all the community.
Whether it is fish sandwiches, pork burgers, lemon shake-ups, antique farm machinery, country, bluegrass or rock music, there are attractions and food to please most everyone.
Those folks who organize the annual patriotic salute work cheaply. An occasional “Thank You” from those of you who attend will pay the bill and you’ll probably get a smile in return.
So bring your lawn chair, visit with neighbors…some you know, some you don’t… enjoy the variety of entertainment and local food fare.
And don’t forget to wear your Red, White & Blue.