By Amie Sites
---- — FRANCESVILLE — The recently-crowned Miss Indiana State Fair, Alyssa Garnett, will be coming back to Pulaski County just in time for the Francesville Fall Festival and a football game.
Garnett will be attending Winamac High School’s homecoming football game and presenting the game ball Friday night.
Bailey Hoover, Pulaski County pageant director, said it is Garnett’s first official appearance as Miss Indiana State Fair and the community is very excited to welcome her home. On Saturday, Garnett will got to the Francesville Fall Festival and ride in the parade with her Pulaski County queen court.
The 48th annual Francesville Fall Festival will be kicking off Friday after careful planning by a small committee.
Weekend events will include an auto show, petting zoo, food, fireworks and free entertainment. The activities will take place in downtown Francesville.
Betty Kruger, committee secretary, has been helping out with the fall festival for 30 years. She continues to plan the event because she enjoys working with people, she said.
“I enjoy promoting the town and making sure we stay alive,” Kruger said. “We say it’s a small town with a big heart.”
On Saturday of the annual event, Kruger said between 3,000 and 4,000 people attend. After each festival is over, the committee begins planning for the next year.
All activities at the festival are free except food and items from arts and crafts vendors, Kruger said. Business donations have been a major part of the fall festival.
“We depend on community support,” Kruger said. “It has been a joy to have the community helping us.”
Another local festival taking place this weekend is the Burlington Fall Festival. Although the event technically kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday, there will be a queen contest at 7 p.m. today and a prince/princess contest at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Friday will include a youth baseball tournament, bingo from 4 p.m. to close, a chili dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. and entertainment from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event will take place at East Fifth Street, said Darren Redding, president of the Burlington Community Club.
The Burlington Community Club hosts the festival, which is nearing the 30-year mark, Redding estimated.
On Saturday, there will be a pancake breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m., parade at 1:15 p.m., an all-you-can-eat fish fry from 4 to 8 p.m., karaoke and an antique tractor drive-in. Activities, excluding food vendors, the chili dinner and fish fry, are free.
"I really enjoy the camaraderie the festival brings," Redding said. "It's a great time for people who have left the community to come back for a weekend. It's a feel good event."
All those who help out with the event are volunteers who have lived in the community for most of their life, Redding said.
"It's an opportunity to give back," he said.
Redding said the biggest challenge this year has been the need for additional volunteers. If anyone is interested in helping out, they can show up to the festival or call Redding at 765-432-2571.
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go: WHAT: 48th annual Francesville fall festival WHEN: Friday to Sunday WHERE: Downtown Francesville INFO: Call 219-869-1229 or visit www.francesvillefallfestival.com If you go: WHAT: Burlington Fall Festival WHERE: East Fifth Street, Burlington WHEN: 4 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Sunday INFO: To find out more or volunteer, visit http://www.burlingtonindiana.org/89-fall-festival.html or call Darren Redding at 765-432-2571