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Yearly festival takes on new name: SummerFest

The Cockadoodle Days festival, which has been held the past eight years, has a new name but is continuing with the new dates set last year.
‘We can still crow, but, the committee decided since we had moved the festival last year from September to the Fourth of July weekend, it was time to have a fresh start and change the name,’ Donn Blank, festival chairman said. ‘We also wanted a name that conveyed the time of year the festival would take place.’
That new name is SummerFest, and this year’s dates are July 1 and 2.
‘We have heard a lot of positive comments about the name change,’ Blank said. ‘And, we are very happy with the dates, although we know there will be some conflicts.’
SummerFest will include a variety of activities ‘ some free, some paid and some are fundraisers ‘ that festival goers can pick and choose from to watch. There are even some they can participate in, such as the karaoke contest on Friday and cornhole tournament (for those 21 and older) on Saturday. And there will be a petting zoo.
The festival, with the exception of a new event, will remain at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Corydon.
The Pint & Slice 5K Fun Run will take place Saturday at the Lanesville Heritage Grounds. Registration will take place from 7:15 to 8 a.m. followed by the run at 8:30 and walk at 9. Event chairman Nathan Blank said the entry fee is $30 race day, $25 if registered by June 22 (children 10 and younger are free if registered with an adult). The registration fee also includes vouchers for craft beer or soft drinks and pizza.
There also will be a costume contest, with cash prizes for first, second and third places, and the craft beer garden will be open from noon to 9 p.m., featuring products from local breweries.
Proceeds from the Pint & Slice will benefit Shelby Richert, a 2011 graduate of Lanesville Junior-Senior High School who was seriously injured in a vehicle crash in February.
SummerFest officially will begin July 1 at 5 p.m. when arts, crafts and food booths open (booths will close at 9 p.m. and re-open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Bidding on silent auction items will start at 6 and close at 11 then resume Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Hog’s K & H Beer Garden will be available to those 21 and older on Friday from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. and Saturday from noon to 3 a.m.
Blank said the entertainment scheduled for this year’s festival is phenomenal.
‘All the music acts are inside the beer garden but those who don’t want to enter the beer garden can still enjoy listening to the performers,’ he said.
Topping the list of entertainers will be Tim Dugger, who performed at last year’s festival. Dugger recently signed a contract with Curb Records.
‘Getting this record deal is like getting to play for the Braves or Yankees,’ Dugger said from his home in Roanoke, Ala. ‘Hopefully, I’m going to be starting on a new level.’
Dugger said he’s been busy since he was here last July, playing at the Daytona 500, Talladega and performing at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. (Dugger said he isn’t political but performed as a member of the National Youth Leadership Committee.)
‘I hope people will come out and support (the festival),’ he said. ‘I thought it was a good time’ last year.
Dugger will give two shows: Friday at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m.
Other entertainers will include Josh and Holly from 6 to 7 on Friday evening and the Big Phatty Band beginning at 10 on Saturday night.
SummerFest also will include events that are loud and create smoke ‘for people who like tractor and truck pulls,’ Donn Blank said.
That includes the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Midwest Region Old Capitol Power Pull, which will begin at 7 both nights.
In front of the grandstand on Saturday will be the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association event at 11 a.m. Confirmed racers include 2010-11 Driver of the Year Richard Webb, five-time national champion Jayson Mikula, East Tennessee Lawn Mower Racing Association president Rodney Peeler, Ohio Lawn Mower Racing Association president Matt Strine and Indiana’s Mow Wheelin’ Racing League vice president Aaron Turner.
From noon to 1 p.m., during the Meet the Drivers session, will be the ‘Out Run a Sheriff’ event, another fundraiser for Richert.
At 6 p.m., there will be a Zero-Turn Drag Race followed by the Celebrity for a Charity Lawn Mower Race at 6:15, with mowers provided by Southern Indiana Equipment and Deer Country Equipment. Confirmed ‘celebrity’ racers are Forrest Lucas, founder and president of Lucas Oil; Hector Arana, NHRA Pro-Stock Motorcycle National Champion 2009; Frank Kimmel, nine-time ARCA Champion, IROC Series Driver 2006; Frank Kimmel II, Salem Speedway Lucas Oil Super Stock Champion 2009-10; Tim Dugger, Curb Records country music songwriter and performer; Harrison County Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye; Chief Jim Kendall, Corydon Police Department; Shane Collins, afternoon air personality on New Country Q103.1; Dave Jennings, The Afternoon Underdogs Sports Radio 790 AM and 101.7 FM; Dr. Dawn Durbin, Corydon dentist; Sgt. Morgan Nye, Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Department; and Dan Cristiani, founder and president of Dan Cristiani Excavating Co. Inc.
‘I’m excited to have this diverse group of individuals in this event,’ Kevin Durbin, event chairman, said.
Mower Racing is free for local folks, and all racers must sign a waiver and receive pre-race instructions. Race mower classes include Junior Prepared (8 mph), IMOW (20 mph), Prepared (50 mph) and Factory Experimental (60 mph).
For more information or to register to participate, call 1-847-272-2120 or visit online at
Also new is a bike show on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (judging starts at 2). The entry fee is $15 ($10 if registered before event day). Prizes will be awarded for Best Paint, Best Custom, Best of Show and People’s Choice. Proceeds from the event will go to the Richert family.
One of the purposes of the festival is to give nonprofit organizations a chance to raise money.
Applications are still being accepted for booth space, which is free to nonprofits and churches. Contact Jim Holland by e-mail at [email protected] to reserve a booth.
Parking for SummerFest is free at the Harrison County Fairgrounds, and there is no admission fee. Shuttle service also will be available in downtown Corydon by Southern Indiana Transit System on Friday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for those who also want to check out other events or shops in downtown Corydon.
‘Unlike the festival two years ago (when it was mostly canceled due to flooding), we’re going to count on good weather,’ Blank said.
For more information about the festival, its many events and a list of contacts, visit the festival’s website,