Big pumkins expected at the Versailles Pumpkin Show

Wanda English Burnett

The 108th Versailles Pumpkin Show will take place next Wednesday through Saturday, September 22-25 with lots of pumpkins to be seen.

Members of the Versailles Lions Club, sponsors of the show, have been working all year to make sure everything is pumpkin perfect for the big event.

Lion Walter (Junior) Renfro of Holton, has been doing some pumpkin growing of his own. He said he’s never tried to grow big pumpkins before this year and despite the dry weather, he’s done fairly well. “We’ll have to wait and see what they weigh,” he grinned, when asked how big he thought they were.

He’s also been involved with helping to raise a field of various sizes of pumpkins and fall gourds to display at the Pumpkin Show. They will be sold after the parade on Saturday. The Lions Club will again have their food booth next to the stage area where pulled pork and pumpkin rolls will be featured along with other choices.

Not only are Lions Club members working on growing pumpkins, they have been getting stage entertainment ready and making sure everything is in place.

Opening night, Wednesday, September 22 is a big night. It includes the official opening ceremony, followed by great stage entertainment with Kristen Hobbs, Young Confederates, the popular King and Queen Contest, with the band Over the Edge rounding out the evening.

Wednesday is also a popular night for the children. This is the discount ride night where all rides only take one ticket. Ticket prices have not gone up and remain just $12.00 for 16 tickets. Tickets can be used throughout the entire event. They are available in advance from all three area schools, Ripley Publishing Company, Versailles Super Market, Friendship State Bank and MainSource Bank in Versailles. Whitewater Motor Company in Milan will also have the tickets for sale.

Thursday night entertainment begins with opening ceremonies at 5 p.m. followed by a Christian group, Firequest. Then the Prince and Princess Contest, sponsored by Ripley Publishing Company, will take place at 7 p.m. This is followed by a Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, also sponsored by the Ripley Publishing Company.

Thursday is a big day for local bakers as they fire up their ovens for the coveted prize of the Best of Show Award for 2010. The baking contest, sponsored by Ripley Publishing Company, will again have bakers bringing their goodies to the newspaper office on 115 S. Washington Street from 8-10 a.m. on September 23. Then the entries are judged, and winners announced on stage Thursday evening. The Best of Show Award winner will receive $200, and a plaque. (See details inside today’s paper)

Thursday evening will close with the Hoosier Hills Bluegrass band entertaining the crowd.

Friday evening will open again at 5 p.m. with a talent show followed by great stage performances by JetSet from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and The Knightsmen from 8-10 p.m.

Saturday morning the festivities will get underway early with weighing the giant pumpkins to determine who the 2010 winners are. The weigh-in will take place at Gilpin Monuments one block south of the stoplight in Versailles on US 421. The pumpkins will then all be put at the end of the parade with the winners announced after the parade from the stage.

On Saturday the rides will open at 9 a.m.

The parade, an event that draws people from far away, will begin at 10:30 a.m. Anyone wanting to enter into the parade just needs to get registered the morning of the event by the Tyson United Methodist Church and get in line. For more information about the parade you can call 689-6524. (See section inside today’s paper)

After the parade at 12:30, the Kids Pumpkin Painting will take place by the stage area. The winners and awards for the giant pumpkins will be announced at 1:00 p.m. with the Kids Tractor Pull to begin at 1:30 north of the stage area.

The Secrets will perform on stage from 2:30 to 4:30. A Cheerleader Contest will be held at 5:00 p.m. with Stacy Lynn and the Wildcards finishing out the 2010 festivities from 6-8 p.m.

Everyone is invited to take part in this four-day event that raises money for the Versailles Lions Club that is in turn put back into the community.

Editor’s Note: See section inside today’s paper for all the details about the Pumpkin Show.

Below: Standing with their "field of pumpkins" are Walter (Junior) Renfro and wife, Linda, at their farm west of Holton. Above, a close-up shot shows the size of the gigantic pumpkins they are hoping will be winners at this year's Pumpkin Show.