WESTPORT — Slightly overcast skies in the mornings gave way each day to perfect Indiana late summer afternoons this past weekend during the 73rd annual Kiwanis Barbecue and 20th annual Car Show in Westport.
Event organizer Chris Bierhaus seemed moderately stress free as he watched one of the main events of the weekend, the Pedal Tractor Pull at the Westport Community Building shelter house.
“We had 194 cars this year for the car show. That’s amazing, since we only had about 29 last year due to the rain,” Bierhaus said. “So, we’re pretty happy with it!”
The event, a combination of a gear head’s fantasy, a grill-fest for the masses and a plethora of all-things-hometown-Indiana, got to cookin’ at noon Saturday. The Kiwanians served pulled pork sandwiches and grilled pork chops accompanied by beaked beans, slaw, and a selection of homemade pies — a great meal that was a bargain at any price!
Aside from a host of local residents taking the opportunity to off-load some of their unwanted household items in garage and yard sales, both days of the event created a good deal of traffic in the quiet streets of Westport.
Saturday, a quilt show of local artisan quilts was staged at the Westport Christian Church Outreach Center, with a Pedal Tractor Pull for the children (and lots of doting local parents cheering them on) finishing off the day’s officlal events.
Sunday started with more food, a “Super Hero” parade (kudo’s to Pizzalicious for “Best Float”), concerts by the South Decatur High School Band and choirs, and special awards presented to noteworthy personalities in the community followed by a community worship service.
Brian Gatewood won the Community Service Award.
“We’ve got at least 25 or 26 Kiwanis volunteers here working, and there are even more local people from the community helping us. We couldn’t do this without all the help from the community,” said Bierhaus.
And then, of course, were the cars.
Almost 200 automobiles lined the streets of downtown Westport, trunk lids raised with upholstery and chrome polished to brilliance. Vintage Chevies, Fords, Volkswagens, and souped up street buggies (almost too many to shake a gearshift knob at) were on display.
“There are always bumps in the road when you organize an event like this, but things have actually been going pretty smoothly,” Bierhaus said. “This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and we use it to help other groups in the community: the students and the senior citizens. It’s been going on long enough that it’s just an event everyone in town looks forward to!”