Discount ride night is Wednesday, September 26
Stage is set for 105th Pumpkin Show

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

The 105th Versailles Pumpkin Show will be center stage next week in Ripley County as everything pumpkin will be celebrated.

From the opening night, September 26 when the Queen and King are crowned to the breeze felt from the last ride on Saturday, September 29, people can enjoy the many festivities the Pumpkin Show brings, thanks to the Versailles Lions Club, sponsor of the event.

Wednesday night the opening ceremony will kick off at 5:00 p.m. on the stage, located on the north side of the square in Versailles. This is also a popular night for ride enthusiasts, as it will only take one ticket per ride. Advance tickets can be purchased at the elementary schools (Milan, JCD and South Ripley), in Versailles at the Super Valu, Spencer Tyson Pharmacy, Versailles Shell, and MainSource Bank; in Friendship, at The Friendship State Bank, and in Milan at the Whitewater Motor Co. Advance tickets are $12.00 for 16. The cut off for purchasing advance tickets is 5:00 p.m. Thursday, September 27.

The Queen and King of the 2007 Versailles Pumpkin Show will also be crowned on Wednesday night with the contest getting underway at 7:30 p.m. Contestants are: Carissa Simon, daughter of Gary and Marla Simon, and Aaron Harmeyer, son of Gerry and Mindy Harmeyer, representing Jac-Cen-Del; Jennifer Wullenweber, daughter of Terry Wullenweber and Nancy Steinmetz, and Tanner Roark, son of Denise and Anthony Roark, representing Milan High School; Kelley Wagner, daughter of Mark and Jean Wagner, and Heath Weston, son of Ken and Tami Weston, representing the Southeastern Career Center; Sally Adams, daughter of Barney and Beth Adams, and Erik Demaree, son of Craig and Michele Demaree, representing South Ripley High School; Emilee Waldron, daughter of Greg and Dorie Peelman and Tony Waldron, and Brandon Otter, son of Donnie and Rhonda Otter, will represent Switzerland County High School; Abby Felser, daughter of Glenn and Tawnya Felser, and Jacob Hess, son of Charles and Treva Hess, will represent South Dearborn High School.

Thursday evening the Prince and Princess contest will be held on stage beginning at 7:00 p.m. The event is sponsored by Ripley Publishing Co. with contestants from area elementary schools. Prince and Princess hopefuls are: Adam Bedel, son of David and Angela Bedel and Ciera Rhoads, daughter of Casey and Jamie Rhoads, representing Batesville Primary School; Jordan Stenger, son of Jeffrey and Rhonda Stenger and Emily Koch, daughter of Jeffrey and Jill Koch, representing St. Louis Catholic School; Isaac Rosenbarger, son of Lance and Jennifer Rosenbarger, and Alijah Anne Craig, daughter of Daniel and Jamie Craig, representing Milan Elementary; Brody Turner, son of Ms Jody Gabbard and Emma Cutter, daughter of Eric and Kathy Cutter, representing South Ripley Elementary; Alex Stephens, son of Brian and Christina Stephens, and Elyse Hunger, daughter of Rob and Linda Hunger, representing Jac-Cen-Del Elementary; and Thomas Bushelman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Bushelman, and Savannah Sargent, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Sargent, representing St. Nicholas.

Thursday morning the day will kick off with a baking contest, sponsored by Ripley Publishing Co. Bakers can bring their goodies (which all must contain pumpkin) to the newspaper office at 115 S. Washington Street, Versailles, beginning at 8:00 a.m. to be judged. The cut off for entries is 10:00 a.m. Then the judging begins! First, second, and third place cash prizes will be given in four categories: pumpkin pies, pumpkin cakes and cake rolls, pumpkin bread and rolls, and miscellaneous pumpkin goodies. There is also a baking contest just for kids, ages 8-17. Again, cash prizes will be given for first, second, and third place. The “Best Baker Award” will be given, which is $200 cash and a commemorative plaque. Winners of the baking contest will be recognized on stage Thursday evening and have their pictures taken for the newspaper.

Following the announcement of the baking contest, area schools gather at the stage area to cheer on contestants for the pumpkin pie eating contest. Seniors from area schools who will be seeing who can eat the most pie in one minute include: Paige Thomas and Nicholas Sechrest, Jac-Cen-Del students who attend the Southeastern Career Center; Deborah Fryer and Chris Franklin, representing Milan High School; Kaylin Ploeger and Coty Horn, representing Jac-Cen-Del High School; and Miranda Cole and Trent Tucker, from South Ripley High School. The winners will receive cash.

Each night popular bands will provide stage entertainment. Wednesday night, Over the Edge Unplugged, a mixed rock group will perform. On Thursday, Centerline Band, a country/rock group, will take the stage at 8:15 p.m. Friday night, Lucy Angel, a country act from Nashville, TN, will perform beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night The Promise Reason, a rock group will finish out the stage entertainment beginning at 6:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon Sweet Delema and 650north will also perform from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.

There will be a variety of vendors, booths, rides, and more to enjoy. The Lions Vision Van will be on hand Friday evening so children can have their eyes checked for free. Saturday morning one of the largest parades will get underway at 10:30 a.m. Several bands have already committed, along with a variety of other entries. Following the parade at 1:00 p.m. the giant pumpkins will be weighed on stage. Then the pedal tractor pull will begin.

Whether you come for the stage entertainment, to take a spin on the rides, or just to see old friends, the Pumpkin Show offers hometown entertainment. The festival is the Versailles Lions Club’s top fundraiser each year. They in turn, put the profits made back in to the community helping children and adults alike with a variety of needs.