The North Judson Mint Festival Parade was held under clear skies and hot and humid weather conditions yesterday afternoon. The parade, one of the highlights of the three-day event, featured Betty and Allen Chesak as the Grand Marshals.
Betty Chesak had been featured in an article in 1976, the Bicentennial Year, and the beginning of what is now the Mint Festival.
“Seems like just yesterday doesn’t it? When you’re having fun time flies,” Chesak said.
Chesak confirmed that the Bicentennial Celebration was the impetus for what is now the Mint Festival.
“Yes, and then the boys in the coffee shop decided they were having so much fun they proposed that we have something the next year. We thought about it and one of the boys suggested we capitalize on mint growing since that’s what North Judson is known for – and the Mint Festival was born!” she said.
Allen Chesak grew mint beginning in the ’40s, and he remembered that things were a lot cheaper back then.
“I remember we got a grand total of $7 a pound on the 20 acres of muck ground where it was grown. But labor wasn’t bad, we only paid 45-50 cents an hour for weeding,” he said.