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Today's News

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum Offers Mint Festival Train Rides

Hoosier Valley Railroad MuseumThis weekend during the North Judson Mint Festival, patrons will have the opportunity to ride the rails at the Hoosier Valley Rail Road Museum. Passengers have their choice of riding in a vintage caboose, an open-air car or a vintage commuter coach. The train will leave the depot for the 10-mile round-trip excursions to English Lake/Kankakee River at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The longer, 20-mile round-trip excursion to LaCrosse, lasts approximately two hours and leaves the depot at 2 p.m. Continue reading

North Judson Mint Festival Committee Eager to Get Started

The North Judson Mint Festival committee is hard at work preparing for their 37th annual event with this year’s theme of, “Mint Is Supreme in 2014!” The committee held their first meeting this season for the festival, and they are excited to get the festival preparations underway.

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Karaoke Contest Planned as Part of Mint Festival Activities

Aspiring performers are urged to showcase their vocal talent during the North Judson Mint Festival Karaoke Contest. It’s scheduled Friday, June 14 at 6 p.m. at the St. Peter Lutheran School Gym in North Judson. C & D Entertainment is hosting and all ages are welcome to take part. Trophies will be presented for first, second and third place winners in the ages 1-12, 12-17 and 18 and up categories. Call Chuck or Donna at (574) 806-2501 to sign up by June 1.

Mint Festival Just a Month Away; Planning Underway

Mint Festival planning is in full swing as officials prepare for the upcoming event that’s just a month away. North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry said a regular meeting was held last night to make sure the planning for all the different festival events is on track, and as the event continues to draw near, Henry said the committee will be working tirelessly to get all the loose ends tied up to have a successful festival.

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Sign-up Dates Approaching for Mint Fest Pageant

 Application distribution dates are approaching for the Mint Festival pageant, and Festival Committee Member Teresa Trout said the committee has been working hard to get the event planning wrapped up. The committee is currently taking applications and have set aside five days this month to distribute applications at the North Judson Public Library and the Starke County Public Library.

Pageant sign-up sheets are available today at the Starke County Public Library from 2 to 4 p.m. The sign-up sheets will also be available at the library in Knox on May 10 from 3 to 5 p.m., and on May 11, sign-ups will take place at the North Judson Public Library from 10 a.m. to noon. On May 13, the North Judson Public Library will once again host sign-ups from 5 to 7 p.m.

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North Judson Mint Festival Features Betty, Allen Chesak As Grand Marshals

Betty and Allen Chesak

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.

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Paul Gougeon Was This Year’s Grandfather of the Year

Paul Gougeon and Kaeleigh Higgins

Yesterday was a special day for Paul Gougeon, who found himself in the North Judson Mint Festival Parade as the 2012 Grandfather of the Year.

Gougeon says he felt honored when he was nominated by his granddaughter, Kaeleigh Higgins.

“I’m not only honored to have been selected, but honored that my granddaughter wrote the winning entry,” Gougeon said.

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North Judson Mint Festival Kicks Off Today

The North Judson Mint Festival begins today!

The carnival opens at 5 p.m. and fair-goers can enjoy music from the band 30 South from 5 to 7 p.m. at Norwayne Field. The winner of the Father and Grandfather of the Year awards will be announced at 7 p.m. at Norwayne Field, and music from Half Track will follow that ceremony.

The Mint Idol Contest and the Guitar Hero contest have been canceled this year. Look for those features in next year’s festival.

Plenty of other activities are scheduled during the three-day festival. We’ll highlight more events in tomorrow’s news.

Mint Festival To Feature Star Wars Characters

May the Force be with you during the North Judson Mint Festival!

This Saturday and Sunday, Star Wars characters from the the Dark Side and the Rebel Alliance will be at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson, signing autographs and taking photos with fans.

Six trains will be operating this weekend with round-trip train rides available to English Lake and LaCrosse. These trains take you through the scenic countryside and allow you to relax on a short trip. Several pieces of equipment will also be on display, including the massive C&O No. 2789 locomotive, plus other pieces under restoration.

The Museum will also be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is free admission to the museum, but there is a fee for train rides. For more information, visit www.hoosiervalley.org.

North Judson Festival Celebrates Agricultural Aspect of Mint

There is one element of the Mint Festival that makes it completely unique: mint! The agricultural aspect of mint is celebrated during this time and many farmers in the North Judson area and in Starke County produce mint that is used in every day items such as toothpaste, gum and candies.

Mint Festival President, Terry Thompson, says the oil that is distilled from the mint plants will be available for purchase during the festival.

“We do have the mint oil that everybody loves,” said Thompson. “We have mint plants and hopefully we’ll have some mint candy.”

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Mint Festival To Take Place This Weekend

The 35th Annual Mint Festival begins Friday, June 15 and runs through Sunday, June 17. The event is held every year during the Father’s Day weekend and a Father and Grandfather of the Year are selected annually. Mint Festival President Terry Thompson has a few other items that will be featured during the event.

“We have a lot of vendors this year,” stated Thompson. “There are a lot of craft vendors and food vendors. We also have a lot of music. Mike McBride has a lot of live bands this year which include a lot of new bands for your entertainment.”

Don’t forget the parade on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., and Thompson will discuss another unique aspect of the Mint Festival tomorrow.

35th Annual Mint Festival Is This Weekend

The 35th Annual North Judson Mint Festival is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and Mint Festival President Terry Thompson says plenty of activities are planned.

“We have more carnival rides this year and some are new and we have karaoke, which is a big event this year for us,” said Thompson. “It will be in the middle of town on Saturday from 1 – 4 p.m. The Mint Idol Contest will be Friday night at 6 p.m., and there will be town-wide yard sales Saturday and Sunday.”

Those are just a few of the events scheduled, and Thompson will talk about more Mint Festival events through the week as the event nears.

Mint Festival To Begin June 15

The North Judson Mint Festival is slated to begin its three-day run on Friday, June 15. The court has been crowned for the event, and this year’s queen is Alyshia Wireman. Elexuss Miller is the Mint Festival Princess, Caden Peretti is the Prince, Peyton Frazier was crowned Little Miss Mint and Jayce Stoll is Little Mister Mint.

Allen and Betty Chesak will served as this year’s Mint Fest Parade Co-Grand Marshals. Betty was involved with the festival since its inception and stepped down from responsibilities two years ago. Both are graduates of North Judson-San Pierre High School.

Plenty of activities will be held during this year’s festival. One highlight is the Mint Idol Contest on Friday, June 15 at 6 p.m. The deadline to enter this contest is June 10. Call (574) 249-3072 for more information. Entries for Father and Grandfather of the Year and the Mint Festival Parade are now being accepted. Mail entries to P.O. Box 33 in North Judson.

Weekend Events Planned In Starke County

A new Mint Festival Queen will be crowned Sunday evening at 6 p.m. at the North Judson-San Pierre Cafetorium.

Kersting’s Cycle Center Train Adventure Ride will take place at noon today, with the group ride leaving the center followed by a one-hour scenic country motorcycle ride, followed by lunch and a 45-minute train ride. The cost is $15 per rider, and that includes the motorcycle ride, lunch, and the train ride.

There will also be a Relay for Life of Starke County Fishing Tournament from 6 a.m. until 12 p.m. CT at Bass Lake. There is an entry fee and prizes will be awarded. All proceeds will go to the Starke County Relay for Life on June 8 and 9.

North Judson Town Board Approves Grant Match for Railroad Grant Application

North Judson Town Board

North Judson Town Board: (L to R) Dan Anderson, Jane Ellen Felchuk, Wendy Hoppe, Connie Miller (Clerk-Treasurer)

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Secretary, Mark Knebel, attended the recent North Judson Town Board meeting where he  informed the Board that the 2011 grant applications have opened and they will be applying for a $235,000 grant. The
grant match is 41% which is $96,350. Co-Alliance and the Chesapeake and Indiana Railroad have agreed to pay half of the match if the town could pick up the other half which is $48,175. The Board agreed to pay that amount. The railroad staff hopes to complete  more upgrades if awarded this grant.

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