Duo retiring from Heimatfest leadership

Rachel Mummey/The Herald
Angi Seffernick, left, and Sue Fink, both of Ferdinand, went through festival banners in the shelterhouse at 18th Street Park in Ferdinand on Monday in preparation for this weekend’s Heimatfest. Fink has co-chaired the Heimatfest for 12 years, and Seffernick has been a co-chairwoman for the last six. The two will retire from chairing the fest after this year.

By ALEXANDRA SONDEEN
Herald Staff Writer

FERDINAND — Summertime in Ferdinand means it’s time for the community to head to 18th Street Park for the annual Heimatfest. For Co-Chairwomen Sue Fink and Angi Seffernick, Heimatfest means the culmination of a year’s hard work serving the town they love.

The two are retiring as lead organizers of the festival, which runs for its 18th year Friday and Saturday. Fink, 53, has been involved with the fest for 14 years, 12 of them as a chairwoman.
Seffernick, 38, has spent six years as a chairwoman and has been involved for 11 years overall.

Fink is a member of the NASCAR Club of Southern Indiana that runs the beer garden at the festival each year, which is how she got involved with Heimatfest. She said she had no idea when she started that she would be involved for so long, let alone help lead it for a dozen years.

“I’m just one of those people that’s always willing to help,” she said. “I know how hard it is to find somebody to help sometimes.”

Seffernick was the coordinator for a softball league in town that used to run a dunking booth at the festival. Her position there gave her a spot on the Heimatfest Committee. She stepped up when a former co-chairperson stepped down.

“I love Heimatfest, so I thought, ”˜Why not?’” Seffernick said.

The women had been ready to relinquish their roles after last year’s event, but decided to stick around for one more before the Ferdinand 175th Anniversary Committee takes over to organize the 2014 and 2015 festivals.

“It’s really going to happen this year, though,” Seffernick joked. “We’re tired.”

The town’s 175th anniversary is in 2015 and will be celebrated during that year’s Heimatfest.

The Heimatfest Committee begins planning the next year’s festival almost immediately after the current year’s events end.

“We review things in July and make notes for the next year and then we meet every month except December,” Seffernick said. “It’s really all year-round, although it’s always busier closer to Heimatfest.”

Heimatfest, which means “hometown festival” in German, lives up to its name, the women said.

“Most of the people that show up are connected to Ferdinand in one way or another,” Fink said. “They take a lot of pride in the town and try to support the groups that are out there with booths.”

Fink said the festival has doubled its footprint since it moved to 18th Street Park in 2009 from the parking lot of the Ferdinand Community Center. Moving to a bigger space allowed numerous booths, activities and entertainment acts to be added through the years.

“The park was just a better fit,” Fink said. “It has a lot more shade and the playgrounds are there for the kids. Moving there made a big difference.”

More people began attending and many stayed longer than they might have previously, helping local organizations and businesses raise funds, Fink said. The committee sells about 2,000 fest buttons each year.

“That’s definitely increased,” Seffernick said. “We’ve really tried to get out into the community and get more people involved. We do have a lot of organizations and people that help us.”

The $3 buttons are required to enter some areas of the park, including the beer garden and the main stage area. Buttons can be purchased at Town Hall, at participating town merchants and at the gate during the festival and are valid throughout the event.

Proceeds from button sales are combined with a portion of vendors’ gross profits to donate to area organizations. Nearly $30,000 has been given away since the donations began in 2008, with a record $8,210 going back to the community in 2012.

“We’re both very proud of that,” Seffernick said.

Fink will still be involved with Heimatfest through the NASCAR Club’s beer garden and through the 175th anniversary committee that she is also a member of.

“I just won’t have to take care of all the little details for everything,” she said. “That will be nice.”

Seffernick also is on the anniversary committee, but will take a very limited role in the Heimatfest.

“It’s going to be wonderful to attend and not be so exhausted, to go there and enjoy it and go home,” she said. “I’m not sure what I’ll do next, but I’ll always be involved in civic or community organizations. It’ll be nice to get involved in something else now.”

Heimatfest Schedule

The 18th annual Ferdinand Heimatfest will take place Friday and Saturday. Most events take place at 18th Street Park unless otherwise noted. Festgoers will need to purchase a $3 button to enter some areas of the park, including the beer garden and the main stage area.

FRIDAY

All day Voting for baby photo contest

4-6:30 p.m. Drop off flower judging and bake-off contest entries in Möbel Room at Ferdinand Community Center

5 p.m. Booths open

5-10 p.m. Coy Campbell Entertainment

5 p.m.-1 a.m. German beer garden open

6 p.m. Cornhole contest registration at softball field

6:30 p.m. Waterball contest registration in community center parking lot

7 p.m. Opening ceremony on main stage, cornhole and waterball contests begin

7:30 p.m. Lip sync contest on the main stage, flower judging

7:30-9 p.m. Flower and bake-off entries available for viewing at community center

8:00 p.m. Magician Don Baggett

9 p.m. Flower and bake-off winners presented on main stage, entries can be picked up

9:00 p.m.-midnight Troy Miller performs


SATURDAY

6:45 a.m. Registration for 5K run/walk and fun run at high school

8 a.m. 5K run/walk and fun run begin

9 a.m. 3-on-3 basketball contest

9 a.m.-noon Car show registration

10 a.m. Coed volleyball tournament begins

11 a.m. Booths open

Noon Slam dunk contest, free samples of barbecue for those with fest buttons

Noon-10 p.m. Coy Campbell Entertainment

Noon-12:45 p.m. Horseshoe tournament registration

Noon-1 a.m. German beer garden open

1 p.m. Car show judging, horseshoe tournament begins

3:30-4 p.m. Car show awards

4 p.m. Barbecue contest judging, awards given at 7:30 p.m.

5 p.m. Kiddie pedal pull registration, Beau Troesch performs

6 p.m. Kiddie pedal pull

7 p.m. Little Miss Heimatfest and Little Mister Heimatfest contestants perform

9 p.m.-1 a.m. The Hiding band performs

Contact Alexandra Sondeen at asondeen@dcherald.com.




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