Beer garden a newcomer to 4th of July event

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

OTWELL — For the first time, a beer garden will be held in conjunction with the Otwell Fourth of July Celebration this weekend.

The Jefferson Township Volunteer Fire Department will host the beer garden on the water tower grounds beginning at 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday evening as a fundraiser for their organization.

“We’re kind of anxious to see how that will turn out,” said Ryan Schmitt, secretary of the Jefferson Township Ruritan, the organization that throws the Fourth of July celebration.

For those not interested in or too young to partake in the beer garden, the Ruritan is keeping their traditions alive in their 61st Fourth of July Celebration at the Jefferson Township Community Center, 2301 N. Spring St. The event will kick off at 10 a.m. Wednesday with the annual parade and will continue through Saturday.

Schmitt expects the annual truck and tractor pulls to be a big draw, especially since the Indiana Truck Pullers Association recently increased the purse for the stock pull on Wednesday. The $3,000 purse will be spread among the top 10 spots, according to a Facebook post on the Otwell 4th of July Celebration Facebook page.

“We’ve normally got quite a few guys showing up for (the pulls),” Schmitt said.

The famous barbecue chicken and rib dinners will be on sale, as well as homemade vanilla ice cream. The ice cream will be available Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The Ruritan made 320 gallons of the creamy dessert, but Schmitt is sure they’ll run out about halfway through the last day. He said they always do.

The second annual Firecracker Volleyball Tournament will also be held Saturday morning. So far, Schmitt said, 10 teams have signed up.

“I know last year we had quite a few teams,” he said.

The celebration is the year’s main fundraiser for the Ruritan, which formed in 1957 and held the first Fourth of July celebration — then a one-day event — that year. All of the money raised goes back into the community.

The Ruritan Club supports the Otwell community however it can — reaching out to families who have suffered a tragedy, awarding two $1,000 scholarships per year to Pike Central High School seniors or helping set up community buildings. The Ruritan helped get the library and the community center up and running.

Right now, they’re involved with the Friends of Otwell and the charter school in town, efforts that are funded, at least in part, by the Fourth of July event.

 

Otwell Fourth of July Celebration

All events are at the Otwell Community Center, 2301 N. Spring St., unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday

10 a.m. Fourth of July parade.

11 a.m. Grounds, midway and rides open.

11 a.m. Barbecue chicken or rib dinners are available for lunch only.

1 p.m. Firecracker Baby Contest.

2 p.m. Children’s pedal pull.

4 p.m. Gate opens for Firecracker Truck and Tractor Pull.

7 p.m. Firecracker Truck and Tractor Pull.

Dark Fireworks.

Thursday

4 p.m. Grounds and rides open.

7 p.m. Garden tractor pulls.

Friday

4 p.m. Grounds, midway and rides open.

4 p.m. Jefferson Township Volunteer Fire Department beer garden on the property next to the water tower.

7 p.m. Firecracker Tractor and Truck Pull.

Saturday

10 a.m. Firecracker Volleyball Tournament.

4 p.m. Grounds, midway and rides open.

4 p.m. Jefferson Township Volunteer Fire Department beer garden on the property next to the water tower.

7 p.m. Firecracker Truck and Tractor Pull.




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