160-year-young Holland focuses fest on families


HOLLAND — Holland plans to celebrate its 160th anniversary with a party beginning Friday and continuing into Sunday.

Orangizers of the annual Holland Community Festival — it takes place mostly in and around Holland Park, 904 N. Meridian St. — say the fest will definitely be family-friendly.

Holland resident, historian and Ferdinand Elementary teacher Lee Bilderback says Holland’s families are enjoying additions and upgrades to Holland Park, Holland Commons and Holland Elementary School and the fest itself will offer the public many family-oriented events.

“From the ice cream eating contest to a walk around the windmill and even the parade, there will be many events for guests of all ages,” Bilderback said. “The organizing committee thinks town founder Henry Kunz would be pleased with what is happening in ‘his’ town.”

Holland’s 160th anniversary celebrates the town’s platting by Kunz, who arranged his town in the center of a growing German community and named it Holland, honoring the nation where many of the early German settlers raised money to pay for their journey to the United States.

The Holland Community Festival kicks off with a 5 p.m. opening ceremony Friday at the park’s Henke Pavilion. Dubois County Councilman Jerry Hunefeld, a Holland High School graduate (and later faculty member) will start with comments on the town’s earliest history.

The opening will also include a traditional carton-of-milk toast, special recognitions and unveiling of the 2019 edition of the Holland Fest commemorative ornament.

It is tradition for Holland to create an annual Christmas ornament, produce just 100 of them and not let the public find out what they depict until the opening ceremony.

Bilderback says this year’s ornament is under wraps. His only hint: “The piece celebrates a once common sight not only in Holland, but throughout Dubois, Spencer and Pike counties.”

Most fest proceeds go back to the Holland Events Committee to be distributed within the community for worthwhile causes and to offset fest expenses.

Chaney Barrett, 17, the daughter of Scott and Carla Barrett, was selected Sunday to preside over fest events when she was crowned queen during the 2019 Miss Holland Community Festival Scholarship Pageant.

Lauren Popp, the 2009 Holland Community Festival queen (during the town’s 150th birthday year) and the director of this year’s queen pageant, says one exciting fest event she is looking forward to is the free Howl at the Moon concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday presented by German American Bank.

Popp said she is also anticipating a little/junior miss/mister pageant Friday evening “with a whopping 42 entries” and a parade scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday with more than 50 entries.

The parade grand marshals will be Clem Lange and Marian Caldemeyer.

Holland Events Committee President Andrea Peters said the committee chose Lange and Caldemeyer for the 160th anniversary parade because “these two have been a constant in the Holland community for years and have displayed a level of philanthropy that everyone in this community has benefited from.”

Peters said part of this weekend’s fest will recognize generosity and philanthropy in Holland.

“We take a lot of pride in being a free, family-friendly, weekend-long event, which would not be possible without all of our generous sponsors and amazing, hard working committee,” she said.

Fest Schedule


5 p.m. Opening ceremony, food, game and craft booths open

5:30 p.m. Bear Hollow wood carver show

6 to 9 p.m. Kids Fun Zone

6 to 8 p.m. Sparrow & Crandall live music

6 p.m. to midnight Beer garden open

6:30 p.m. Little Miss & Mister and Junior Miss & Mister contests, Alumni Barn Dance

7 p.m. Horseshoe tournament

7:30 p.m. Bear Hollow wood carver show

8 to 9 p.m. Cash prize bingo

8 p.m. to midnight Eighty Sixt performs


8 to 10 a.m. Farm-to-table breakfasts available

8 a.m. Tulip Trot 5K run, walk and Kids Fun Run

9 a.m. Food, game and craft booths open

9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Free kids’ games

10 a.m. Dog show sponsored by Happy Tails

11 a.m. 3 on 3 basketball tournament, kiddie tractor pull

11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Kids Fun Zone

Noon Ice cream eating contest

1 p.m. Bear Hollow wood carver show

2 p.m. 160th Parade, cornhole tournament registration

4 p.m. Bear Hollow wood carver show, keg toss registration

4:30 p.m. Keg toss

5 p.m. Horseshoe tournament

5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sparrow & Crandall live music

6 p.m. to midnight Beer garden open

7 p.m. Hot air balloon takeoff

7 p.m. Bear Hollow wood carver show

8:30 p.m. to midnight Howl at the Moon concert with fireworks at intermission


10 a.m. Community church service

11 a.m. Food booths open, dinners served by Holland American Legion

11:30 a.m. Raffle winners announced

Note: Events take place at Holland Park, 904 N. Meridian St., unless otherwise noted.

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