25 Apr Heritage Days celebration June 14 to 18, Gerdau official sponsor
The Huntington County Chamber of Commerce along with area organizations and businesses will celebrate Huntington Heritage Days Wednesday, June 14 through Sunday, June 18. The corporate sponsor of this year’s event is Gerdau Huntington Facility, 25 Commercial Road. Gerdau is one of the largest suppliers of special steel in the world and the leading producer of long steel in the Americas.
Gerdau’s special steel North American division specializes in producing special bar quality (SBQ) steel for the automotive, commercial vehicle, agricultural and energy markets. The business offers its customers a wide array of heat treated and value-added processed products. Mike Cash is the plant general manager of Gerdau’s Huntington Facility and Kendall Mickley is division controller.
The Heritage Days theme, The 40s: Liberty, Democracy, Dignity,” will give those participating in Heritage Days an opportunity to show patriotism for the country and in the local community. The theme is part of the ongoing effort to “explore our heritage.” Heritage Days begins on Flag Day 2017, June 14 with a variety of activities. The official Heritage Days colors are red, white and blue. Parade entries and other Heritage Days activities are encouraged to incorporate the theme/colors in the entry or event.
The official Heritage Days 2017 buttons, depicting the theme logo, are available for $2 at the Chamber office, 305 Warren Street. The button depicts a United States Air Force plane used in the 1940s. The plane is Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star, which was a jet trainer aircraft, and one of the planes on display at Memorial Park as part of the park’s veterans’ memorial. Buttons can also be used to receive discounts at several Huntington businesses.
The ABWA sponsored Brat Tent will take place the week prior to Heritage Days for 2017. The Brat Tent will open at the Huntington County Fairgrounds, 631 E. Taylor Street, on Friday, June 9 at 11 a.m. and continue until 12:30 p.m. Live music by Backwater will be featured from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. There is a $2 cover charge for ages 10 and over after 7 p.m. Camel rides will be available for a fee. On Saturday, June 10, the Brat Tent will open at 5 p.m. and continue until 12:30 a.m. Plan B will play live music from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. There is a $2 cover charge for ages 10 and over after 7 p.m. on Saturday also.
The Chamber is pleased to announce that Poor Jack Amusements Company is once again the midway provider for Heritage Days. It is a clean, spectacular and family owned attraction that will be located on Cherry and the adjacent streets from June 14 through June 18. The carnival will be open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14 and Thursday, June 15; Friday, June 16, 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, June 18, Noon to 11 p.m. with the final day being Sunday, June 18 from 12 Noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $1.25 each or 20 for $20. For those purchasing a wristband for Friday and Saturday, the cost is $19 (all day), and for Sunday, June 18, from 12 Noon to 5 p.m., the cost is $15 (buy one – get one free with a coupon Sunday only). Coupons are available on the Heritage Days brochure at the Chamber, the Visitor and Convention Bureau and local gas stations.
The Little Miss Heritage Days and Junior Miss Heritage Days Pageant will take place on the evening of Wednesday, June 14 at Crestview Middle School. Girls, ages five to 12 will compete for the titles beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for $4 from contestants or at the door.
Thursday, June 15 brings the 49th Annual Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe Breakfast at 8 a.m. It is located at the Historic Forks of the Wabash, 3011 West Park Drive, and is sponsored by the Chamber. This yearly activity names the new Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe. Reservations for the $18 per person event are required by June 9 with the Chamber of Commerce.
The Huntington Rotary Club Strawberry Feed will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at Heritage Hall at Hier’s Park also on Thursday. Strawberries and ice cream will be served and tickets are available at local banks, from Rotary members or at the door. The “all you can eat” price is $5, with kids five and under eating for free.
The Heritage Days Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show in downtown Huntington will begin at 5 p.m. and continue until 9 p.m. also on Friday, June 16. The host is MetroNet. Fun activities will take place, food will be available and DJ “Fast Eddie” Ed Ferguson will play 50’s and 60’s music during the evening. The Salvation Army will sell drinks and donuts, a specialty of the Salvation Army since World War I. Helen Purviance, a Huntington native and Salvation Army worker overseas during the war, began making donuts for servicemen in very primitive conditions. The Salvation Army has continued the tradition of serving donuts ever since. Rainbow Lanes will sell popcorn and local restaurants will be open.
The show is open to all makes and models, registration takes place at the intersection of Cherry and Washington Streets from 3 to 6:30 p.m. and the vehicle entry fee is $10. Dash plaques and goody bags will be given to the first 75 vehicles registered. Awards will take place at 8:30 p.m. to the top 25; best of show; best car, truck, motorcycle; best paint, best engine, best interior. The event is a fundraiser for the Downtown Business Association. For information contact Chris or Erin Covey at (260) 358-2293.
A USO will be held in the LaFontaine Center Ballroom from 7 to 9 p.m. Those attending are encouraged to visit the downtown car show and move on over to the USO. The USO will be open to those 21 years of age and older for a cost of $10. Participants are invited to dress in 1940s garb and enjoy big band music provided by the Jazz Band group of the Erie Band. Dancing and a patriotic salute for WWII veterans will take place during the event, and Kim’s Katered Affair will provide hors d’oeuvres. The VFW will open a limited cash bar. Proceeds from the event will go to Veteran’s Day celebration in Huntington. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce.
A Hot Air Balloon Festival will once again be part of Heritage Days with launches at various times (weather permitting) from Friday evening, June 16 through Sunday, June 18. Launches will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Huntington North High School and continue through the weekend.
Saturday brings an early breakfast opportunity with the Women of the Moose Lodge serving up biscuits, sausage gravy and potatoes at 390 Frontage Road, 7 to 10 a.m. Coffee is included in the breakfast price, milk and juice are extra.
The Heritage Days 5K Run is sponsored by the Men in Black Running Club at 9:50 a.m. on Saturday. It is followed at 10 a.m. by the 54th Annual Heritage Days Parade sponsored by the Chamber. The parade begins at the corner of North Jefferson and MacGahan Streets, following down Jefferson Street to Park Drive where it will turn left and follow onto Warren Street. It continues on down Warren Street and turns in front of the Courthouse and follows across the railroad tracks at Jefferson Street with its completion at the corner of South Jefferson and Etna Avenue. The judges’ stand will be located at Rotary Park for 2017, a change from previous years.
Downtown will be the place for the Fun Zone for children’s activities on Saturday from Noon to 3 p.m. Free pony rides, alternating with camel rides, and a petting zoo will be a part of the afternoon and sponsored by McDonald’s of Huntington. A bounce house sponsored by The Parkview Boys and Girls Club will also be available to entertain children, and Pathfinder Kids Kampus will provide children’s games. Free Schwann’s Ice Cream will be provided by Lee’s KFC, free hot dogs by the Indiana Dream Center and popcorn and sno-cones will be provided by MetroNet.
The fun also includes the Beacon Credit Union Pulling for Riley Kiddie Tractor Pull opening at 1p.m. for registration with racing at 1:30 p.m. This event will take place at the corner of Cherry and Washington Streets. There are four weight classes for children up to 100 pounds with three winning places per class. Prizes will be awarded.
The Heritage Days Strength Challenge 7 is open to anyone, and will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the City Annex parking lot downtown. Various activities will involve physical fitness. Registration information is available on Facebook: Heritage Days Strength Challenge 7. There is a $30 fee. It is sponsored by Champs Academy, 900 E. State Street.
The Sheets Wildlife Museum will be open with a $1 reduced admission fee from 12:30 to 4 p.m. The museum is located at 200 Safari Trail and promotes animal conservation and wildlife education.
The Huntington County Disaster Team Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show will take place at Huntington North High School from 3 to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Registration will be from 3 to 6 p.m. with a $10 fee. The show will take place on the west side of the high school with entry from MacGahan Street. Dash plaques will be given to the first 100 vehicles registered, door prizes will be given out at registration. Ten awards will be given for pre-1970 vehicles, with five special awards and five motorcycle awards to be presented at 8 p.m. Participants must be present to win awards. DJ Dick Smart of Smart Productions will provide music during the show. For more information contact Max Kaylor (260) 224-3535.
The Hot Air Balloon Festival continues on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. also at Huntington North High School. DJ Dick Smart of Smart Productions will provide musical selections and announce the events. The Heritage Days Bed Race will begin after the Hot Air Balloons lift off. The sponsors of the bed race are Jack and Samantha Barlow, Johnson Petroleum and Kline’s CPA Group. The Parkview Huntington Hospital Samaritan Helicopter and other emergency vehicles will also be at the festival.
The Balloon Glow will take place Saturday evening at 9:30 p.m. Spectators are encouraged to bring their children and cameras for a spectacular show of eleven giant glowing aerostats. Food will be available for purchase from Boy Scout Troup 135 selling hot dogs, chips and pop; St. Peter & Paul Catholics in Action youth group selling sno-cones; Schwann’s Ice Cream by Huntington County Emergency Management; Jr. Bowlers from Rainbow Lanes with popcorn; New Hope Church with nachos, pretzels, cookies and drinks and St. Peter’s Community Church selling hamburgers, brats and drinks. Joy Pleaser Clowns will make balloon designs.
Vaudeville at the Forks will take place at 4 and 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Historic Forks of the Wabash Park, 3011 W. Park Drive. It is a variety show with many different acts. There is an admission charge.
Chief LaFontaine Saddle Club, 792 N 200 W, will be the place for the Chief LaFontaine Horse Show on Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. Admission is free and horses from the surrounding area will participate in the 20th annual show. It is an open pleasure show, all breeds-classes.
The Historic Forks of the Wabash Park will be offering tours for a fee on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Buildings will be open to the public.
HARTA will hold the third annual Bicycle Poker Ride beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Schenkel Station. All riders will follow the marked route of six to seven miles. It is a slow paced ride on completed sections of trail and low traveled city streets with stops at city parks. This event is free and family friendly.
JeFFFest completes Heritage Days from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in downtown Huntington. Music, food and fine art will be sponsored by the LaFontaine Arts Council. Eric Clancy Jazz will entertain the crowd for two hours. Tickets will be sold that evening in $1 increments and be used to purchase the food items. A silent auction of fine art begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m.
Brochures with complete details about Heritage Days and its activities can be found at the Chamber office, 305 Warren Street; the Huntington County Visitor and Convention Bureau, 407 N. Jefferson Street, and at various locations throughout Huntington. Forms and information for various events are also located on the Chamber’s Heritage Days website at www.huntingtonheritagedays.com. For more information about Heritage Days contact the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce at (260) 356-5300 or visit www.huntingtoncountychamber.com or www.huntingtonheritagedays.com.