This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Final thoughts on Little Cousin Jasper Festival

The Little Cousin Jasper Festival had a good run this year. The attendance was excellent and the event ran well, which indicates that the people who planned it did an excellent job. There were plenty of booths selling lots of useless crap, but that is part of what small town festivals are all about.
Almost all the booths east of the court house were food booths. Some were run by local groups that were raising money (VFW, Rotary, Lions, Brushwood Methodist, and Occupation Venture Crew #2152). (I had to ask what the Occupational Venture Crew was and found that it was an extension of the boy scouts. It is co-ed and tries to help young people discover what careers they would do well in.) Other booths are run by local eateries, such as Martins. (I asked why they did not use their booth that they use for the fair and they told me it took too long to set up for a three day event.) And finally, there are people who travel from event to event. Some are from the immediate area, and others are from further away. One of my former students has one of these booths, and I asked him where he will be this weekend. I think he said he would be in Attica. Food is huge business at the festival, as the support trucks parked on Harrison Street indicate.
Some of the food vendors need running water, and it is provided by tapping into the fire hydrant on the corner of Harrison and Cullen. Some also need electricity, and temporary wiring has to be put in place before the festival begins. There are many steps and little details that have to be attended to for the festival to run smoothly.
Kids seemed to enjoy the inflatable slide. Behind it you can see that City Office and Pub had set up an eating area on the bricks of Van Rensselaer. Also, you can see a bit of the farmers' market, which relocated for the day from Harrison Street.
On Sunday the attendance was much lower than on Saturday. Some of the booths tore down late on Saturday and skipped Sunday. One that did that was a booth for the Caboose Campground in Remington. On Saturday I asked the lady who runs or owns the campground why people would want to camp next to the Interstate, She said it was because she had a very nice campgroud. She has an open house on October 10 from 2-5 EDT. And you do not even need a camper to go there. She rents campers, so you can and stay in a rented camper. Or you can rent the caboose for $95 a night.

"Two of a Kind" sang to only a handful of listeners. They did gospel music in a country and western style.
The community band was very good but also had a smaller audience than they would have had on Saturday.
The Indiana Academy for Mixed Martial Arts gave a demonstration, but by this time I was busy helping a couple people take down their tents so I did not see it.
Most are easy to take down if you know how they work.
The Lion's Club packed up about the same time.
One of the handouts from the Jasper County Historical Society's booth was a walking tour of downtown Rensselaer. It does not mention the small building on the right, but says this about the City Office and Pub and the theater:
This part of the Worden building was built in 1928 and it shows the Parapet/Craftsman style. This had been a restaurant and a pharmacy.

The Kessler Building/Palace Theater is in the Art Modern style of 1928. This hardedge angular designed theater had its name changed to the Ritz, which was another theater in town. The new owner has returned the theater to its former style.
An hour or two after the official close, there was little left except the electrical boxes.

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