Crackaway Royalty

King Don and Queen Edith Grubb will reign over Crackaway Daze II at Salt Creek Township Park Sept. 21-22.

NEW POINT — For the 26th fall, Crackaway Daze II returns to New Point Sept. 21-22.

The village was first called Crackaway when it was settled in 1840. Chairman Jeff Elsner recalls, “Some say the name Crackaway Daze is in memory of a sound of the whip the horsemen and cattlemen used in the beginning days of New Point’s history.”

The original founders, the late Debbie Thomas and Mary Taylor, started the celebration 25 years ago at the New Point Volunteer Fire Department, then Paul and Sharon Walterman organized the fest for almost two decades at its current location, Salt Creek Township Park, which is just south of State Road 46.

One fresh attraction will be a meaningful quilt created by secretary Charlene Balser that will be raffled off Saturday night. The chairman reports, “We took all 26 years of T-shirts and she made a square out of each one. It’s a beautiful-looking quilt and will probably fit on a queen-sized bed.” Tickets are $5 and you don’t have to be present to win.

Organizers, who also include treasurer Gary Cornett and a committee of 14, started a tradition in 2018 for the 25th weekend that will continue. A wreath was displayed with ribbons containing the names of all deceased committee members. This year ribbons remembering Debbie Thomas and Harold “Sonny” Cupp will be added.

A parade including “anybody that wants to participate” kicks off Crackaway Daze II (please see box). “It’s open to the public and free. You line up down by the community building around 10:30 a.m.,” says Elsner.

The king and queen, Don and Edith Grubb, New Point, will be the grand marshals. The committee chose this couple. He explains, “We try to find some of the older people who have dedicated themselves to New Point. They’ve been great to the community.”

In a separate car will be 2018 royals Gerald and Shirley Dean. Firefighters and veterans will be other entries in the procession. The chairman says, “I really like the parade. I like to see all the smiling faces.”

Most of the food is prepared by the committee. Each morning kicks off with an early biscuits and gravy breakfast, according to Balser.

Saturday’s pulled pork dinner with baked beans and cole slaw costs $7. Sunday’s famous fried chicken dinner served by the New Point Kiwanis Club includes mashed potatoes and gravy, choice of green beans or corn, applesauce, drink and dessert for $9.50.

Sloppy joes, coney dogs, walking tacos, kettle-cooked soup beans, homemade ice cream and snow cones are more tasty options.

Competitive bakers must bring their pies to the shelterhouse by noon Saturday for the pie contest. “We randomly pick three judges,” the chairman says. The winner gets an apron made by The Stitch in Time, Batesville. All pies are donated to the festival and pieces will be served with meals.

In addition to free bingo, Crackaway Daze II attendees can participate in a raffle. Tickets are $1 a donation or six for $5.

The winner of the 2:30 p.m. big drawing gets $300 cash provided by the committee. “You don’t have to be present to win,” according to Elsner. “There are lots of other raffle prizes – hats, shirts. Area businesses give cash. Throughout the afternoon, they just keep drawing prize winners. Last year I think there were over 100 prizes.”

Kids will be amused by a bouncy house and some special guests. He says, “We have two clowns who come every year. He blows up the balloons (and shapes them into figures) and squeaks his little horn and she does the face painting.”

With just four still available, there could be as many as 44 flea market booths. People will find “a little bit of everything,” from apples grown in Oldenburg to woodworking items and knickknacks.

More volunteers are needed to help for a few hours. “You don’t have to have any experience” to be a cashier, serve food, clean up tables or pick up trash. Willing workers should call Jeff Elsner, 812-593-1401; or Charlene Balser, 812-593-7884.

Festgoers with questions should watch for committee members wearing orange shirts. The chairman says, “If it wasn’t for all the committee members and volunteers, this festival wouldn’t survive. I’d like to thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart.”

He admits the weekend is “just a lot of work. It takes a lot of my time that I do not have. I work a full-time job and I have a 40-acre farm where I raise cattle.” Yet the resident of over 30 years helps keep it going. “What’s rewarding is to know you’re helping your community out.”

Elsner notes, “I’m especially thankful to the Decatur County Visitors and Recreation Commission,” one of three sponsors. Decatur County Parks and Recreation and Salt Creek Township Park are the others.

This year proceeds will help upgrade and maintain the community building and fire department.

One long-term goal is to save up enough money to install a water line along the Salt Creek Township Park fence to two shelters.

Area folks should attend Crackaway Daze because proceeds are used to improve New Point nonprofits. “And people have fun.”

Crackaway Daze II schedule

Saturday, Sept. 21

6:30 a.m. – biscuits and gravy

8 a.m. – flea market opens

11 a.m. – parade, pulled pork dinners serving begins

noon – opening ceremony, Eureka Band

1 p.m. – Tri-County Harmonizers

2 p.m. – Heartland Cloggers, pie contest

2:30 p.m. – $300 prize drawing

3 p.m. – God’s Armor, free bingo

4-6 p.m. – Monarch Band

5:30 p.m. – quilt raffle drawing

6:30-8:30 p.m. – DJ David Lee

Sunday, Sept. 22

6:30 a.m. – biscuits and gravy

8 a.m. – flea market opens

11:30 a.m. – fried chicken dinners serving begins

1 p.m. – Juanita Linkel

2 p.m. – The Praise Band

4 p.m. – celebration ends

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