Mint Festival Festivities Continue in North Judson

Mint Fest 216The 40th annual Mint Festival is in full swing in North Judson. In addition to food and vendor booths on Lane Street and at Norwayne Field, activities abound today. Highlights include the car show in the United Methodist Church parking lot, the FFA Tractor Show at the elementary school, waterball fights at the old fire station on Main Street and the pet parade at the town park. The Cooking with Mint contest will take place at the Girl Scout Cabin. Continue reading

Mint Festival Royal Court

Mint Pageant participants

After much deliberation, the Mint Festival Royal Court was selected over the weekend. Judges had their work cut out for them this year with a plethora of talented contestants but after weighing all their options they reached a decision and declared the 2015 Mint Pageant winners.

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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

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