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SummerFest a ‘success’

SummerFest a ‘success’
SummerFest a ‘success’
Contestants use riding lawn mowers during Saturday evening’s Celebrity for a Charity Race in front of the grandstands at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Corydon. The event, won by Dan Cristiani, was one of many that took place during SummerFest on Friday and Saturday. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor (click for larger version)

Racing of several kinds in front of the grandstand at the Harrison County Fairgrounds were popular hits at SummerFest, the two-day event formerly known as Cockadoodle Days.
Donn Blank, event chairman, said he thought attendance for the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Midwest Region Old Capitol Power Pull, held Friday and Saturday evenings, was up some from last year.
‘It’s still not the crowds that I’d eventually like to see,’ Blank said, adding that the festival committee was ‘pleased’ with attendance. ‘I’d consider it a success.’
The festival, which was started eight years ago by Leadership Harrison County as an opportunity for nonprofits to raise money, previously was held in September. Last year, the festival committee decided to move it to the Fourth of July weekend. The name was changed this year to more accurately reflect the festival.
Some events were billed as fundraisers for Shelby Richert, a 2011 graduate of Lanesville Junior-Senior High School who was seriously injured in a vehicle crash in February.
‘We raised more than $4,000 for Shelby,’ Blank said.
The inaugural Pint and Slice 5K Run/Walk had more than 70 participants.
‘For the first year, everybody was really pleased with participation,’ Blank said.
John Smith, who helped with the race, said it was a ‘tough’ course.
The top three female winners were Alicia Heyne, first; Adrienne Poole, second; and Shannon Mann, third.
Finishing at the head of the pack for the men were Adam Monroe, first; Gabe Sronce, second; and Max Murray, third.
Some participants dressed in costume. The winners in that contest were Shannon Mann, first; Maria Vanlaningham, second; and Joel Alvarenga, third.
Smith expressed gratitude to the Lanesville Heritage Committee, Town of Lanesville, the Lanesville Police and Lanesville Volunteer Fire departments and ‘countless other volunteers’ who assisted with the event.
Official race results and times for the other categories and race participants will be posted on the website, www.harrisoncountysummerfest.com, by the end of this week, he said.
Also new this year was a Bike Show. Jon Shipley of Bloomfield won the People’s Choice Award and Best of Show and Best Custom. Terry Gurtz of Lanesville won the Best Paint award.
Another new event was the Celebrity for a Charity lawn mower race, which was won by businessman Dan Cristiani, who was driving a John Deere. His winnings went to Richert.
The event, held Saturday evening, featured Forrest Lucas, ARCA driver Frank Kimmel, NHRA Pro-Stock Motorcycle 2009 National Champion Hector Arana, Harrison County Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye, Corydon Police Chief Jim Kendall and others.
Prior to that, there was a Zero-Turn Drag Race contest, which was won by Cory Hammer driving a Husqvarna.
‘We are very optimistic about these first-year events,’ Blank said. ‘I know the committee will want to pursue them for next year.’
Also released were the winners of the cornhole tournament: Buck Skaggs and Eric Z of Louisville, first; the Dennis-Sanders team, address not provided, second; and Scott Deaton and Dale Monroe of Scottsburg, third.
One complaint Blank said he heard from several people was that there wasn’t anything for children to do.
‘It’s a valid complaint,’ he said. ‘It’s a dilemma. We can’t get enough people to come to support (vendors who would provide something for children), and people won’t come if there’s nothing for kids to do.
‘In the past, we have offered free activities for children,’ Blank added. ‘We have a full year to work on it.’
While support from local businesses was good at this year’s festival, Blank said he would like to see more people come out and support the festival.
‘We just need people to come,’ he said.
Blank said the committee is open to suggestions for future festivals, and he said that anyone who wants to serve on the committee is welcome. For more information or to offer a suggestion, send Blank an e-mail at [email protected]
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