Pumpkin weigh-in changed to 8 a.m. at Gilpin's Monuments
Miss America to be Grand Marshal of the 107th Pumpkin Show Parade

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

Where can you find Miss America 2009, gigantic pumpkins, royalty galore - king, queen, prince, princess - a pumpkin decorating contest, great stage entertainment, and a pumpkin baking contest? The answer is easy - at the 107th Versailles Pumpkin Show September 24-27!

Excitement is mounting as members of the Versailles Lions Club are putting the finishing touches on the four-day event that promises more twists and turns than one of the great amusement rides set up by Luehr Rides!

This year the highlight of the parade on Saturday that already draws thousands, will be the Grand Marshal, Miss America 2009, Katie Stam.

Hailing from Seymour the reigning Miss America will be delighting the crowd with not only her beauty, but her musical talent as she sings the National Anthem on stage.

After the parade, Miss America - the first to be chosen from Indiana in the pageant’s 88-year history - will be on stage at 1:15 to talk about her experience. She will share her personal platform - Community Service and Involvement. “We’re very excited about bringing Miss Stam to the Pumpkin Show this year,” noted Jerry Gilpin, Versailles Lions Club Chairman of the Pumpkin Show.
Attention Pumpkin

One of the changes for this year’s Pumpkin Show includes the weighing of the giant pumpkins.
The weigh-in will take place at Gilpin’s Monuments on Saturday, September 26 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Gilpin’s Monuments is located one block South of the stoplight in Versailles on US 421.
This is the first year the pumpkins have not been weighed after the parade. To qualify, the pumpkins must be weighed before the parade only. All pumpkins will then be an entry in the parade with the winners announced after the parade on stage.

New This Year:
Calling all children in grades one through four!
The Versailles Lions Club will be offering a free pumpkin decorating opportunity on Saturday beginning at 12:30 on the Versailles Courthouse lawn. The Tyson Library teen group will be assisting the children. Pumpkins will be provided with each decorated pumpkin taken home by the participant.

Changes This Year:
Advance ticket outlets have opened up to include not only the schools in the area, Jac-Cen-Del, Milan, and South Ripley, but will also be available at the Versailles Super Valu, Friendship State Bank and MainSource Bank and Ripley Publishing Co. in Versailles. They can also be purchased at the Whitewater Motor Co. in Milan.

The tickets in advance will sell 16 for $12 with Wednesday night being discount ride night. That night each ride will only require one ticket. No advance tickets will be sold after 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 24.

The annual Pumpkin Show Dance will be held at the Versailles Legion Park Saturday at 9 p.m. The dress code will be casual. This is a change from the usual place at the Tyson Gym, which is under renovation.

Opening up the opportunity for schools to send a King and Queen candidate without the stipulation of bringing a band to the parade has resulted in nearly doubling the contestants.

Wednesday night, 12 schools will participate, with a total of 24 contestants for the King and Queen titles. The contest will begin at 7:30 p.m. on stage with the following contestants:

• Chelsea McGuire, daughter of David and Melissa McGuire; and Bryan Buchanan, son of Ron Buchanan and Kimberly Johnson, will represent Cavehill Christian Academy, Versailles.

• Danielle Schaefer, daughter of Dan and Ruth Schaefer, and Taylor Meyers, son of Tim and Penny Hartman and Chris Meyers, will represent Milan High School.

• Representing Jac-Cen-Del High School will be Renee Meister, daughter of David and Jodi Meister and Ethan Harmeyer, son of Ken and Terry Harmeyer.

• South Ripley High School’s candidates will be Kyla Sexton, daughter of Tim and Lora Sexton and Jacob Waldron, son of Scott and Dede Fields, and Tony Waldron.

• Olivia Quiroz, daughter of Pable and Diane Quiroz, and Trevor Stacy, son of Tony and Jean Stacy, will represent Oldenburg Academy.

• Switzerland County High School’s representatives will be Angela Swanson, daughter of Dana Swanson and Belinda Swanson and Caleb McClellan, son of Larry McClellan and Mary McClellan.

• The Southeastern Career Center will be represented by Abby Ertel, daughter of Ron and Robin Ertel and Easton Asher, son of Susan and Rod Asher.

• Sara Sandford, daughter of Jeanne and Butch Sandford, and Travis Hawkins, son of Sherri Hawkins, will represent Lawrenceburg High School.

• Sara Niles, daughter of Andy and Noreen Niles, and Alex Pulskamp, son of Jim and Lisa Pulskamp will be representing North Decatur High School.

• East Central will be represented by Colleen Hornbach, daughter of Ron and Connie Hornbach, and Jonathon Hensley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hensley.

• Shawe Memorial High School, Madison, will be represented by Mariah Keith, daughter of Gary and Diana Keith, and John Gilpin, son of Jerry and Natalie Gilpin.

• Abbey Gilb, daughter of Rick and Kristie Gilb, and Harry Dean, son of Harry and Peggy Dean, will represent South Dearborn High School.

On with the show:

Thursday the day will start early with bakers bringing their entries to Ripley Publishing Co. office at 8 a.m. The basic requirement for the variety of categories available is that each entry contain pumpkin. (See inside insert for more details).

This contest has grown and several lucky winners will take home cash, hand crafted aprons made by Natalie Gilpin, with the overall best baker taking home a plaque and $200 cash!

All of the winners will be announced on stage Thursday night, September 24 immediately following the Prince and Princess Contest, also sponsored by the Ripley Publishing Co

The Prince and Princess candidates are all first graders selected by their respective school and are as follows:

• Paris Raab, daughter of Ray and Mariann Raab, and Jackson Forbeck, son of Jacob and Kathy Forbeck, representing St. Louis Catholic School.

• Jasmine Lutz, daughter of Jacob and Mindy McFarland, and Joshua Clark, son of Tony and Kris Clark, representing Milan Elementary.

• Representing St. Nicholas Catholic School are Jessica Rees, daughter of Patrick Rees and Bryan Rohrig, son of Fred Rohrig.

• Jac-Cen-Del Elementary will be represented by Kiara Owens, daughter of Amber Gonzalez, and Ethan Walterman, son of Shawn and Cassie Walterman.

• Batesville Primary School will have the following contestants, Laci Utterback, daughter of Robert Utterback, and Landon Gutzwiller, son of Jeff and Gretchen Gutzwiller.

• Sarah Taylor, daughter of Steve and Vicki Taylor and Colby Bush, son of Hugh and Patricia Bush will represent South Ripley Elementary.

• Skylar Engle, daughter of Greg and Jennifer Engle and J.J. Stenger, son of Jerry and Sandra Stenger, will represent Sunman Elementary.

Following the Prince and Princess Contest, stage entertainment provided by Ripley Publishing Co. will continue with the baking contest winners being named and then the famous Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest.

Pie eaters representing each of the four area schools will see how much pie - pumpkin of course - they can eat in one minute, to claim the title for their school.

Participants from each school are encouraged to bring their friends to cheer them on. Students typically make signs and a lot of noise for the candidate of their choice. The winners will be declared by Sports Editor Gary Franklin and will take home cash. All the contestants will be given coupons, compliments of the Versailles Dairy Queen.

Pie eating contestants are: Laura Kaufhold and Ben Jackson, Milan; Samantha White and Ryan Schuler, Jac-Cen-Del; Sara Leonard and Vincent Goble, Southeastern Career Center, and Ciera Clark and Scott McNeelan, South Ripley.

Also on Thursday, this year those bringing entries of Home Arts, Flowers, and Baked and Canned Goods to the Pumpkin Show Contest, can take them to the Historical Society building (old bank building on the square in Versailles), from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. These exhibits will be judged Thursday evening.

Friday night will showcase local talent with a Talent Show from 5:05 to 7:45 p.m. and great stage entertainment.

Every evening a great line up of live music will be presented on stage. The squeals of delight as children enjoy the rides, coupled with the smells of festival food will be prevalent each day as the festival fires up the fun factor.

The Versailles Lions Club sponsors the four-day event with all the profits staying in the community - in keeping with Miss America’s platform.

“It will be great to not only have such a big celebrity (Miss America), but one who promotes community service and involvement is a bonus - that’s what the Lion’s Club is all about,” concluded Jerry Gilpin.

This year’s Pumpkin Show promises to be one-of-a-kind - one you won’t want to miss.