The third weekend of September will mark the 48th year of the Francesville Fall Festival, a festival that, according to secretary Betty Krueger, grows each year. She said the event was originally a celebration for the town’s new firehouse, but it has since evolved into a much-loved event.
“It started out as a celebration for our new firehouse, and I guess they had so much fun, that we decided to have a celebration every year, and it just seems like it has grown and grown until this year. I think this year is one of our good years; we’re going to have lots of free entertainment. We like to have free family entertainment where you can bring your kids and spend the whole weekend and not spend a whole lot of money. The only thing you have to pay for is what you eat,” said Krueger.
The weekend features a variety of food fundraisers, including a fish and tenderloin supper Friday night, a chicken dinner Saturday night, and a pork chop dinner Sunday night. The local Boy Scout troop will also host a breakfast on Saturday morning.
This year also marks the first year for a few entertainers, according to Krueger.
“We have a couple entertainers that have never been here before. One of them is Ken the Cowboy, he’s coming from California and he’s going to show and tell what it is like to be a cowboy in the old days where you do the roping and hang out on the range, and I’m hoping that the kids are really gonna enjoy it,” she said.
This year’s festival will also feature the petting zoo, and other entertainers like J .T. and Tommy Oaks as well as the Heritage Quartet, a local gospel group. Friday night includes events like the Master Crackerjack and Candy Corn Contest, and on Saturday morning, the festival will feature a bake contest and auction and entertainment by Jungle John with his pet snakes.
But the number one feature for the event, according to Krueger, is the parade that takes place Saturday at 2 p.m.
“We always have a good parade. Usually it’s an hour or an hour and a half, and a lot of local things, and a lot of out-of-town things come to the parade and the streets are really full. After the parade, there’s everything going on, so you stay around. I’d say the parade is the highlight of our year,” she said.
The festival also features amusement rides for kids and an auto show Sunday morning at the park, along with a cornhole tournament.
For more information on the Francesville Fall Festival, taking place from Sept. 20 to Sept. 22, visit francesvillefallfestival.com.