This small town serves up one big summer festival.
One of the main attractions at the 44th Annual Middlebury Summer Festival is the parade, which officials boast is one of the largest small town parades anywhere.
This year there are more than 150 entries signed up to head down Main Street at 1 p.m.
Longtime residents Bob and Nancy Hawkins were named grand marshals of the parade.
The couple moved to Middlebury in 1956 and opened Hawkins Soft Water in 1967. In 1987, they incorporated and changed the name to Hawkins Water Tech Inc. Both have held various church offices at Middlebury Church of the Brethren where they have been members since 1959.
Bob served on the Water Quality Associations Board of Directors. He is on the Greencroft of Middlebury board and was past chair of the former Family Services of Elkhart County. He was also past president of Elkhart County Home Builder’s Association. He has been a member of the Elkhart County Exchange Club since 1964.
Nancy is on the United Cancer Board of Elkhart County. She is a 48-year member of Homemakers of Today Home Club, where she served as an officer and was named Homemaker of the Year. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the local 4-H club. She won “The President’s Choice” award at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair five years, four times for pies and once for apple dumplings. The couple has four children and 11 grandchildren.
“The summer festival is such a big thing in this community,” said festival chairman Michael Ridenour. “It’s really the social event of the year for the town. I’m very excited about the entertainment this year.”
Ridenour said he is looking forward to seeing Mark Tripp’s Family Magic Show and Velvet Water, a bluegrass/Americana band from Kentucky. Both are new to the festival’s lineup.
“We also have several returning local favorites,” Ridenour said. “Total Recall plays music from the ‘60s and ‘70s and DANG! features a band founded by Northridge teachers Bryce Cone and Travis Miner.”
The festival opens at 11 a.m. Friday with vendors stationed throughout two town parks on either side of Ind. 13. Events begin at 6 p.m. with the Mark Tripp Family Magic Show.
A garden tractor pull starts at 6:30 p.m. along Railroad Street. Waypoint Community Church is hosting a variety of games for children beside the Fire Station on Bristol Street from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.
At 8 p.m., Total Recall will play at the Entertainment Tent. A teen dance begins at 8:30 at the East Park Pavilion.
On Saturday, the festival kicks off with an all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast held at the East Park Pavilion. The breakfast is sponsored by Middlebury Church of the Brethren.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. for the 5th Annual Fishing Tournament held at the pond near the covered bridge on the Essenhaus grounds. Competitors fish from 9:30 to 11 a.m., with open fishing until noon.
Vendors open at 11 a.m.
Hey Kids, It’s Jammin, a seven-piece rock band comprised of Northridge High School students, performs from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Entertainment Tent. Band members include Caleb Scott, Brian Jones, Mitch Hicox, Tony Maas, Aaron Yoder, Jon Frank and Alex “Larry” Laurence.
The award-winning Northridge High School Northern Lights and Starlights Show Choirs will perform at the East Park Basketball court beginning at 11 a.m.
Immediately following the 1 p.m. parade is a Tae Kwon Do Demonstration at East Park, a performance by the Music and Dance Academy at the Entertainment Tent, a show by the Distinguished Young Women of Middlebury, also at the Entertainment Tent, and the presentation of parade awards.
Velvet Water performs at 5:30 p.m. at the Entertainment Tent.
That performance is followed by DANG! This band features an accessible, yet eclectic blend of music from such artists as Muse, The Cars, Rascal Flats and The Spice Girls. Cone said the band will perform an acoustic set midway thought he show, including an emotional tribute to bacon.
“Picture a concert featuring Justin Bieber and Ke$ha, Now, imagine the exact opposite. That is a DANG! show,” Cone said.
A Community Worship is offered in the Entertainment Tent on Sunday at 5 p.m. This program is sponsored by the Middlebury Ministerium.
For more information, visit www.MiddleburyFestivals.com.
This small town serves up one big summer festival.
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