Show sees record crowd
Picture perfect weather brought record crowds to the 108th Versailles
Pumpkin Show last week. According to Lion Jerry Gilpin, vice-president
of the event, Wednesday night ticket sales reflected a record
of 16,000 rides being taken that night alone.
Hank Nicholson of Versailles took the title of having the biggest
pumpkins in both the Open Class and Ripley County Class. The giant
pumpkins weighed in at 721 pounds in the open category and 693
in the Ripley County category.
Second place in the Open Class category went to Walter (Jr.) Renfro
for his 565 pound pumpkin and third went to Bill Hughes for his
508 pound pumpkin. In the Ripley County category, Adam Nordhoff
took second with a 539 pound pumpkin and Regina Nordhoff claimed
third place with her 480 pound pumpkin.
A television crew from RFD TV were on hand Saturday to capture
the flavor of the Pumpkin Show. They filmed a variety of festivities
including the parade. This will air next year about a month before
the Pumpkin Show, according to Gilpin. The exact times will be
published in the local newspapers.
On opening night the King and Queen and their court were chosen
to reign over the four day festival. The King was Andrew DeCilles,
representing Oldenburg Academy and the Queen was Emily Barrett
of South Dearborn High School. Their court included first runners
up, Tyler Kerker, Batesville High School and Audrey Furnish, Switzerland
County High School; second runners up, Dylan Griffith, Switzerland
County High School and Rebecca Swinney, South Ripley High School.
Thursday night more royalty was crowned as the Prince and Princess
and their court were chosen.
The event, sponsored by Ripley Publishing Company, saw a record
crowd as 14 first graders were interviewed by Wanda English Burnett,
editor of the Osgood Journal and The Versailles Republican.
Judges from outside the county chose Kylie Reuter, South Ripley
Elementary, as the Princess and Justin Swinney, Jac-Cen-Del Elementary,
as the Prince. Their court included: first runners up, Riley Clark,
Milan Elementary; Max (M.J.) Hartman, St. Nicholas Catholic School;
second runners up, Olivia Arnold, Sunman Elementary; and Cole
Booker, Sunman Elementary.
Following the crowning of royalty, winners of the 22nd Annual
Pumpkin Baking Contest, sponsored by Ripley Publishing Co., were
named. (See Thursdays paper for all the winners pictures
The Best of Show baking award went to Mike Stratton of Holton,
for his pumpkin pie. He was presented $200, a plaque and apron
by Linda Chandler, publisher of the Osgood Journal and
The Versailles Republican.
Other winners received cash prizes with first place winners
also receiving aprons designed by Natalie Gilpin of Versailles.
The annual Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest drew a large and noisy crowd
as students from area schools gathered to cheer on their candidates.
Jac-Cen-Del senior Megan Joseph took the top honor for the girl
eating the most pumpkin pie and South Ripleys Justin Gullion
was the winner hands down as he ate every bite, even a little
that was flung onto the table during the contest.
Sources say Gullion had been planning to be in the pie eating
contest since the fifth grade and even wrote pie eater 2010 on
his cleanly shaven head.
Friday night high winds blew in the afternoon causing a couple
of tents to be taken out. That didnt dampen the spirits
of those attending festivities that evening.
Saturday dawned cooler with lots of sunshine for the popular parade
day. The big pumpkins were weighed in first at 8 a.m. Parade entrants
began lining up early getting their place in line. The parade
kicked off at 10:30 with a prayer from Rev. Jim Byerly of the
Tyson United Methodist Church. He also sang the National Anthem
when the Versailles American Legion Color Guard were in place
at the stage area.
The parade had about 150 entries with the best float going to
Pattersons Nursery for their beautifully landscaped float
complete with fall flowers. The Youth Organization float entry
winning first place was the South Ripley/JCD FFA float with second
going to the Youth Followers.
Tri Kappa won first place in the Organization category with Aurora
Lions Club taking second. The Versailles Church of Christ won
first in the Religious Organizations category with Cedar Creek
Community Church taking second. Agri-Business float first place
went to Menchhofer Seed Service and second to Fraley Truck &
Implement Sales. The Business float entry taking first place was
the United Community Bank with Top Flight Athletics being chosen
as second place winner.
More festivities followed the parade with great stage entertainment,
a pedal tractor pull, pumpkin decorating and more.
The cheerleading contest was held Saturday afternoon with East
Central claiming the first place prize, South Ripley took second
and Switzerland County was third.
Stacy Lynn & the Wildcards finished out the stage entertainment
for the 108th annual event on the square in Versailles.
There were no festivities on Sunday, but members of the Versailles
Lions Club could be found on the square cleaning up, tearing down
and getting ready for next year.
While the exact event could not be revealed due to working out
the details, something is in the works to make next year even
better for those attending.
The Versailles Pumpkin Show is the Lions Clubs largest fundraiser
with all of the proceeds put directly back into the community
they serve. Lions Club President Richard Zinz noted that he was
pleased with how things turned out this year and plans are in
the making for the 109th event.
There are still Pumpkin Show T-shirts, pumpkins and gourds available
at Gilpins Monuments on US 421 South in Versailles for those
who werent able to get them during the show this year.
Pictured at left is Prince Justin Swinney
of Jac-Cen-Del, just after he was crowned on Thursday evening.
He is the son of Rodney and Jennifer Swinney. Princess Kylie
Reuter is also pictured. She represents South Ripley Elementary.
She is the daughter of John and Sue Reuter. The Prince and
Princess Contest is sponsored by Ripley Publishing Co.
pumpkins weighed in at over 1,400 lbs. That's a lot of pumpkin!
After the big pumpkins were weighed in (pictured
below) Hank Nicholson of Versailles is pictured above with
both of his pumpkins. They took top spot in both the Ripley
County category (693 pounds) and the Open category (721