perfect for 105th Versailles Pumpkin Show
Wanda English Burnett, Editor
Weather for the 105th Versailles Pumpkin Show was made to
order and according to event chairman Jerry Gilpin, it
was a successful show.
Even though it rained throughout the day on Wednesday, opening day
for the Pumpkin Show, the skies cleared and by the evening it was
business as usual on the square in Versailles. Royalty was crowned
with South Ripley seniors taking both the King and Queen titles.
Erik Demaree and Sally Adams smiled and accepted their crowns, gifts
and flowers amidst the cheers from the crowd. First runners-up were
Brandon Otter from Switzerland County and Kelley Wagner, representing
the Southeastern Career Center. Second runners-up went to Jacob
Hess of South Dearborn and Emily Waldron of Switzerland County.
Royalty continued to be named on Thursday evening as the Prince
and Princess Pageant, sponsored by Ripley Publishing Co. took center
stage at 7:00 p.m. First graders from area schools participated
in a short parade led by the Versailles Police Department and South
Ripley Jr. High Band.
Judges had their work cut out for them as they named Elyse Hunger,
from Jac-Cen-Del the princess and Noah Arnold from Sunman Elementary,
the prince. Their court was: first runners-up, Ava Billman, Sunman
Elementary, and Isaac Rosenbarger, Milan Elementary; second runners-up:
Emma Cutter from South Ripley and Alex Stephens from Jac-Cen-Del.
All the contestants received trophies and ride tickets and were
invited to ride in the parade on Saturday.
Despite a downpour of rain Thursday morning, baking enthusiasts
began bringing their baked goodies into the newspapers office
at 8:00 a.m. A total of 109 entries were judged by Louann Menchhofer,
June Kieffer, Donna Lafary and Kelly Garcia. Criteria for the contest
was that every entry had to contain pumpkin.
Winners of the 2007 Pumpkin Baking Contest were named on stage Thursday
evening. They were:
Kids category: Adam and Noah Clark of Columbus took first
place for their chocolate chip cake; Jacob Snelling of Versailles
took second place for his cake, and Olivia Gilpin, Versailles, placed
third for her fudge entry.
Cakes and Cake Rolls category: Owen Menchhofer, Holton, first;
Rachael Kohlmeier, Holton, second, and Marsha Jones, Benham, third.
Miscellaneous category: Vickie Wilson, Holton, placed first
for her pumpkin pastry; Carla LaFollette, Delaware, placed second
for her bread pudding entry; and Cary Snyder of Dillsboro, took
third for pumpkin custard.
Pie category: Lori Eggleston, Versailles, first; Angie Horan,
Osgood, second; and Naomi Peaslee, Versailles, third.
Bread and Rolls category: Dephane Smith, Milan, first; Theresa
Elza, Versailles, second, and Rita Kocher, Shelbyville, third.
Judy Bruns of Milan was given the Best Decorated award for her two-layer
cake and Jackie Murray, Versailles, was given the Best Baker Award
for her pumpkin chili dip. She received $200 and was presented a
plaque from Publisher Linda Chandler. Each of the other winners
received cash awards.
The baked goods were sold in record time at a free will donation
bake sale following the judging of the entries at noon at the newspaper
office. The proceeds from the sale will go to the Harry Thompson
Memorial Scholarship to benefit a local student going into the field
of print journalism.
A pie eating contest with seniors from area schools drew an enthusiastic
crowd Thursday night. Eight contestants each tried to eat the most
pumpkin pie with their hands tied behind their backs to claim the
title for their school. Deborah Fryer, Milan, and Trent Tucker,
South Ripley were the winners. They each received $50 cash. The
contest was sponsored by Ripley Publishing Co.
The work of many was rewarded when the St. Paul Lutheran Church
float from Olean was named the best overall float in the parade
for 2007. The float boasted hundreds of marigolds placed in various
shades to spell out the churchs theme for their 150th celebration,
Faithful to our Lord through changing times. The original
pulpit from their church was on the float, along with a sign that
was in German. The oldest members of the congregation, Lawrence
Green and Alta Diem rode on the float. Four generations of the Diem
family participated in the float with the congregations youngest
baptized member, cradled in the arms of family. A replica of the
stained glass window above the entrance of the church was made out
of fabric and displayed on the back of the float.
Other winners in Saturdays parade were:
Best Youth Organization float - Jac-Cen-Del FFA, first place
and South Ripleys FFA, second place.
Best Organization float - Family Connections, first place
and Relay for Life, second place.
Best Religions Organization float - Hopewell Baptist, first
place, and Delaware Methodist, second place.
Best Agriculture Business float - Pattersons Nursery,
first place and Franklin Feed Sales, second place.
Best Business float - Welch Cabinets, first place and Friendship
State Bank, second place.
Oldest Antique car was a 1916 Model T by Brian Carpenter
and the Best Horse Drawn entry was by Clarence Hunt.
There were 140 entries this year, according to Gilpin.
Following the parade, the giant pumpkins were weighed. William (Bill)
Hughes of Versailles took the top prize this year in both the Open
Class and County categories. In Open Class, his pumpkin weighed
in at 802 pounds. Second place went to Wes Boyd of Westport, with
a 791 pound pumpkin and Wilma Hughes took third place with her 741
In the Ripley County class, Bill Hughes again took top place with
his 613.5 pound pumpkin, Chrissy Anderson, Holton, placed second
for her 515 pound pumpkin and Cory Welch, Versailles, took third
place with a pumpkin weighing 462.5 pounds.
While this wasnt a record setting year for the large vegetables,
each pumpkin was nothing to sneeze at. They were heavy, just ask
the Lions club members who helped to hoist the giants onto the scales.
The streets that were full of screaming children, music and laughter
are back to normal, with the promise of next year bringing the same
traditions people from Ripley County have been accustomed to - another
Pumpkin Show already set for September 24-27, 2008.
GARY FRANKLIN PHOTO
Noah Arnold, son of Steve and Rebecca Stutz and Robert
Arnold, Jr. representing Sunman Elementary School and Elyse
Hunger, daughter of Rob and Linda Hunger, representing Jac-Cen-Del
Elementary School, were named 2007 Prince and Princess on
Thursday night of the Versailles Pumpkin Show.