Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

June 4, 2013

Westport Covered Bridge Festival to be a full day of family fun

Amanda Browning
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Westport has been holding the Covered Bridge Festival with great success since 2002 and this year looks to be no different with a wide variety of fun events planned for adults and children alike.

The 2013 Westport Covered Bridge Festival will take place Saturday, June 8 and will feature a full day of entertainment for the whole family. The day will start with Breakfast on the Bridge from 8 to 10 a.m. Those interested can enjoy a delicious variety of breakfast foods prepared by the Westport Kiwanis Club while dining on the covered bridge. Biscuits and gravy have been a favorite for many years, but other foods will be offered as well. There is no cost, but a free-will-offering will be in place and donations are encouraged, as they fund future community events.

The Covered Bridge Festival parade will begin at 10 a.m. and will start at the Westport Community building on Main Street. The parade will head down Main Street and through town toward the Westport dam park area, which is in view of the covered bridge. The parade route is roughly two and a half miles and there will be prime viewing spots along the whole way.

At the conclusion of the parade, there are planned to be several antique tractors and cars on display, with owners available to answers any questions.

Next on the agenda will be the Duckling Derby, which is slated to begin around 11 a.m., but may start later if the parade takes longer than expected. The Duckling Derby is a fun event where participants purchase tickets that match a number drawn on the bottom of rubber ducks, which are dumped into the creek. The ducks “race” down the creek to the dam park, where the first three to cross the finish line are awarded cash prizes. First place will net $100 in cash, with $50 for second place and $25 for third place. Tickets cost $1 each or six for $5 and can be purchased at Bailey’s Flowers, Dave’s Service, the Decatur County Auditor’s Office, Midway Package, Pizzalicious, and Stults Outdoor Products before the festival, or at the festival itself, prior to 10 a.m.

Beginning at 11 a.m. and lasting until 5 p.m., there will be a number of fun events for both children and adults including but not limited to free games for kids, a bounce house, live music from two different groups, a wide variety of snacks, and an assortment of vendor tables with their own entertainment and products to offer. Among the vendor tables, visitors can expect to see the tiki hut, a clown booth, a working helicopter, and Nipro with their 25th anniversary booth detailing their history in Decatur County, as well as others.

There will be ample space for lawn chairs and blankets and visitors to the festival are encouraged to get comfortable and enjoy the festivities. Free sign ups for a variety of door prizes will take place during the morning and early afternoon. Prizes will be given out all day, with the grand prize, a set of four Cincinnati Reds tickets, set to be given out at 5 p.m. Winners must be present to claim prizes. If no winner comes forward within 10 minutes, a new winner will be chosen.

In addition, from 1 to 4 p.m. will be Bingo on the Bridge. Playing is free and all prizes are donated from local sponsors. Last year, pizzas from Pizzalicious and ice cream cakes from Dairy Queen were among the prizes for bingo.

From 2 to 4 p.m. will be the annual Westport dog show. Westport has hosted the dog show for many years, allowing proud pet owners to show off their canine friends and win some prizes for themselves.

The dog show will be returning for another run this year, taking place at the Westport park area near the dam. Participants must register beforehand and pay the $20 entry fee. The registration form can be found online at Owners are encouraged to contact Sandra Billieu with any questions or concerns, as well as to pay the non-refundable registration free prior to the show.

There will be six categories for dogs to compete in: junior (under one year), adult (over one year), toy breed (under 10 pounds), medium breed (10-40 pounds), large breed (40-80 pounds), and jumbo breed (over 80 pounds). Animals will be judged by three people; an animal control officer, who will be scrutinizing obedience and demeanor, a veterinarian office employee who will look at canine structure, teeth, etc., and a professional pet groomer, who will be watching how the dogs deal with people and other animals.  

There will be a number of prizes available to the owner of the winning canines. The best of show award comes with four tickets to an Indianapolis Indians game. Other prizes include a free rental at Whitewater Canoe Rental, two free 18-hole games of golf with a cart, a four man dome tent, camping chair, rechargeable lantern, American flag, Colts cap, framed Colts team photo, a Colts backpack with Colts items inside, and other exciting prizes.

From 5 to 7 p.m., a pork chop dinner on the bridge will be available at the low cost of $8 per plate. In addition to delicious, tender smoked pork chops, the dinner will include green beans, a potato, bread, dessert, and a drink. During the meal, the Westport Orchestra will play dinner music from 5 to 6 p.m.

Bringing the festival to a close at 6:30 p.m., a cake walk will take place, with lots of tasty treats as prizes. For those who are not familiar with what a cake walk is, a large circle is drawn on the ground with around 20 numbered spaces that correspond to prizes. It is similar to the set up of musical chairs in that players move while music is being played and when it stops, they try to get to the winning number in the circle to claim the prize for that round. Participation in the cake walk costs $1 and seems to be a favorite event for children.

The festival looks to be a good time for all involved and a wonderful way to meet people in the community while supporting local commerce and preserving history. All of the money raised at the Covered Bridge Festival will be put back into the community through future events like the Santa house in the winter, donations to the area schools, the health fair, and much more. Anyone interested in helping out with future events or becoming more involved in the community is invited to contact Sandra Billieu at 812-871-8686 for more information.


Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004