Otwell July 4 celebration is this weekend


OTWELL — The Otwell Fourth of July festival is back in full swing this year after last year’s celebration looked much different.

Although the festival, which has been celebrated every year for nearly 65 years, has slightly changed over the years, the tradition has remained. Last year’s celebration, however, was marked by drive-thru dinners and a canceled parade and fireworks show.

“Pike County has the lowest documented cases of Covid in Indiana,” a July 2020 announcement on the festival’s Facebook page read, “and we want to continue to do our part to keep our community healthy.”

This weekend’s celebration will return to tradition, featuring three tractor pulls and a children’s pedal pull, sports tournaments, musical entertainment, ice cream made from the Breidenbaugh family recipe and the Ruritan’s famous chicken and barbecue rib dinners. Activities will begin Thursday and finish Sunday night with a fireworks show once its dark out.

The festival is put on by the Ruritan Club, which hosted its first festival in 1957 right after it received its charter. Throughout the years, the festival has grown to be the group’s largest fundraiser, as the club serves the Otwell community in any way it can. With the help of funds from the festival, two $1,000 scholarships are annually awarded to Pike Central High School seniors and money is given to make improvements around town and help families in the community in need. In the past, the club has helped fund the library and community center as well as other school activities and community projects.

The midway and rides will be open from Thursday through Saturday, and the parade Saturday morning will be led by Grand Marshal River Harbin. Events will take place at the community center and surrounding grounds, 2301 N. Spring St. There will be a tractor pull on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as well as a children’s pedal pull on Saturday afternoon. Musical entertainment will start Sunday evening outside the community center gym as visitors set up their chairs and blankets in preparation for the annual fireworks display.

Otwell Fourth of July Celebration


5 p.m. Grounds, midway, rides open

7 p.m. Garden Tractor Pull


5 p.m. Grounds, midway, rides open

7 p.m. Firecracker Truck and Tractor Pulls


10 a.m. Parade

11 a.m. Grounds, midway, rides and ice cream stand open

11 a.m. BBQ chicken and rib dinners available for lunch only

1 p.m. Firecracker Baby contest at the Otwell Community Center gym

1 p.m. Firecracker volleyball tournament

2 p.m. Children’s pedal pull on the west side of the community center gym

2 p.m. Bingo in the community center dining room

6 p.m. 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the community center gym

7 p.m. Firecracker Truck and Tractor Pulls


3 p.m. Flag football tournament on the Ruritan grounds grass parking lot

5 p.m. Grounds, midway, rides and ice cream stand open

6 p.m. Musical entertainment

7 p.m. Cornhole tournament at the Ruritan Shelter house

Fireworks after dark

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