Vendor booths lined Marci Jane Lewis Park this weekend with everything from political or religious groups with pamphlets to platefuls of funnel cake.
The Monroe County Fall Festival had stage entertainment, food vendors and craft booths Sept. 15, 16 and 17. Each day had a specific schedule with stage entertainment at night and various programs throughout the day.
The festival’s theme this year: Celebrate history. Ignite the future.
The theme ties in with Indiana’s bicentennial celebration as the 19th state in the nation this year.
Throughout the festival, various booths and vendors advertised church organizations, local and big businesses and political organizations.
Judy Bolick, vice chairman for Indiana Democrats, and Jackie Yenna, precinct chairman, sat in one of the tents in the middle of the festival dedicated to businesses and organizations. They came to the festival with the Indiana Democrats as residents of Ellettsville, Indiana, working to get their community more involved.
Bolick said the festival is an event they see as an opportunity to make people educated and aware.
“I’ve helped out with the county fair to make sure people are educated on what’s going on in their area,” Bolick said. “We’re trying to get Democrats registered and organized.”
The two said they try to get people registered to vote at this festival specifically because it is their community and want the people around them to be educated on current issues. They also enjoy the community aspect of the festival.
The festival had booths including businesses and local vendors from around Indiana throughout the day. These booths are one major part of the festival.
One booth set up at the festival was dedicated to selling corn hole bags and other sewed items.
The Crafty Cousins, Shirley Knox and her cousin Darlene Young, have been selling tote bags, dish towels, aprons, cherry pit bags, cotton hand wash baked potato bags and other sewed items all around the area year-round, but this is their first year at the fall festival.
Shirley Knox, a resident of Brazil, Indiana, said they have been going to festivals around Indiana for five years to sell corn hole bags, something she got into when her friend convinced her to start selling the bags instead of just giving them away to her friends.
“It gathers people together, friends meet friends and look at each other’s goods,” Knox said. “We just love to see people and sew.”
All these different categories of booths and organizations are available throughout the whole weekend for people to enjoy.
Yenna said people come to the festival every year to gather together as a community.
Yenna, a Monroe County resident for the last twenty years, said the festival has changed over the years with various programs and entertainment, but the small town gathering feeling has never changed.
“We’re a rural community, pretty tight-knit,” Yenna said. “We take care of each other.”