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Community Fest to 'tractor' into Crawford


September 07, 2011
Do you like old tractors? How about old cars? And old motorcycles? And how about old folks (and young folks, too) who like to look at old tractors, old cars and old motorcycles? Well, if you've answered yes to any of the above questions, you'll want to be at the Crawford County 4-H Community Park on Sept. 15, 16, 17 and 18 for the first Crawford County Community Fest.

The festival, which was the brainchild of Jim Elliott, began on the drawing board as an old tractor show.

"Somehow, it just kept growing," Elliott said. "More and more people called. Vendors contacted us, and it just got bigger."

Elliott joined forces with others in the county, including Glenn Crecelius, Larry Archibald, Rick Grider, Stacy Webster, Terry Allen and Sharon Wilson of the Crawford County Tourism Office. A board was formed and, as each person added ideas and plans, the festival began to take shape.

The event will host up to 200 old tractors but will also include trucks, "odd-ball" tractors, "hit-and-miss" gas engines, a car show, a motorcycle show, live demonstrations and displays.

Some of the old tractors will be restored and in "like new" condition; some will be all original.

"And there will be some right out of the field," Elliott said. "Some are still in use."

And that's just the "stuff to look at." When it comes to "stuff to do," that opens up another can of worms.

"We'll have well over 100 vendors," Crecelius said. "About 60 of those will be inside the pavilion building, and we'll have over 50 vendors outside. There will be about 21 food vendors. There will be a six-gun shoot-out by Six Gun Entertainment on Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m., and one guy is bringing a whole wagon load of whistles. There will be inflatables for kids, wood carvers, a midget car race on Sunday at 2 p.m. and even a trapping demonstration. One little 9-year-old boy will be running a duck pond."

There will also be buggy rides, a pedal tractor pull (two divisions) and a storyteller who has a trailer set up with backdrops and a sound system. Also, the event will offer face painting for the kids, deep-fried treats like Snickers and Twinkies, a flea market and lots of arts and crafts. Amish baked goods will be available as will 4-H concessions.

"Some churches will have food to sell, as well," Crecelius said. "There will be live music from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. We will also have a dining tent and a food court set up. We will have camp sites available for anyone who wants to bring a camper. Some of our campsites have water and electricity. There are bathrooms and showers in the pavilion building, plus we will have some port-a-potties set up out on the grounds."

According to the sponsors, there will be security on-site 24 hours a day and plenty of parking.

"There will be a $3 per person fee at the gate," Elliott said. "That will help us pay for the insurance. But the whole event is nonprofit, and what profit is made will go back to the park and to other nonprofits in the county like food pantries. This all started as a tractor show and has grown to be a community event. And we hope it will indeed benefit the entire county. We have already reserved the 4-H park for the next five years, and we plan to make it an annual festival, a community get-together."

The vendor sites are free but, if more than one site is needed, there will be an $15 charge for the additional site.

"This is a learning year for us," Crecelius said. "And it's been a lot of work putting it all together. But we're looking for volunteers to help out during the event, and anyone willing to help should give us a call."

The Crawford County Community Fest will take place daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., except for Sunday, when it will open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.

For more information, call 739-2246 or toll-free at 1-888-755-2282 or send an e-mail to info@crawfordcountyindiana.com.

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