Old Jasper Day highlights strawberries, family fun


JASPER — Two things are quite common when it comes to summertime in Dubois County: sweltering heat and hometown festivals. The heat is already here, and this Sunday, one of the festivals will be here too.

Though summer doesn’t technically start until Wednesday, June 21, the Jasper Chamber of Commerce and Lions Club are getting a kick-start by hosting the Old Jasper Day and Strawberry Festival Sunday at the Jasper Riverwalk. Various activities and food will be offered from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Some old favorites will be returning this year, including the Patoka 2000 Duck Race, horse-drawn wagon rides and train rides. Pony rides will be newly offered at Schaeffer Barn, where there will also be demonstrations on stone carving, blacksmithing and hand-hewing of logs. The Jasper City Mill will be open and grinding cornmeal every 30 minutes.

Jasper Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nancy Eckerle said she hopes people will come out and enjoy a family-friendly day at the Riverwalk.

Smithville Fiber will also be sponsoring a live concert from 3-5 p.m., featuring artist Jed Guillaume. Guillaume is a singer and guitarist from Leopold whose repertoire includes original songs and covers of classics.

Concessions will be sold by the Jasper Lions Club and will include grilled sandwiches, strawberries, ice cream and shortcakes. Funds from these sales will go to various causes supported by the Lions Club, including Riverview Park, the first fully handicap-accessible park in Jasper. Lions Club President Patty Wollenmann hopes the Strawberry Festival will allow people to see the park and entice them to join the club.

“A lot of people don’t understand what we do,” Wollenmann said. “A lot of people don’t realize either that we added a lot of equipment to the park.”

The new equipment includes an arm press, a parallel bar, a cycling machine and more. Useful for both exercise and leisure, the new design of the Riverview Park is something Wollenmann hopes is noticed.

The overall goal of the festival is to supply locals with fun activities to enjoy with their families. Weather permitting, the Old Jasper Day and Strawberry Festival should provide hours of entertainment for children and adults alike.

“We just want people to get out and enjoy the fresh strawberries and the fun of everything at the Riverwalk,” Wollenmann said.

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