Streetfest a party to build community


CELESTINE — This year’s Celestine Streetfest will be a one-day event Saturday, and the day is jampacked.

“This year’s fest is built on four F’s,” said event co-organizer Tony Buechler. “It’s about fun. There’s a lot of food. There’s fundraising going on. And there are plenty of free events.”

The fest is bringing the essence of Indiana native John Cougar Mellencamp to the area. Chicago-based tribute band MellenCougar will perform for three and a half hours, starting at 7 p.m. Two of those hours will be of songs made famous by the Indiana rocker; the other hour and a half will be 1970s and 80s rock music.

Two former members of Mellencamp’s band, Toby Myers and Moe Z MD, will play with MellenCougar at the fest. Toby Myers joined Mellencamp’s band upon the release of Mellencamp’s 1982 Album “American Fool” and stayed until 1998. Moe Z MD was with the band from 1996 through 2002, when he left to join The Wallflowers.

“They miss it,” Buechler said. “They wanted to be a part of performing because they miss being with the band and doing the music. We are lucky to have them joining MellenCougar for this performance.”

Also, Mellencamp’s first cousin, Bobby Clark of Boonville, will also perform with MellenCougar. He will sing “Grandview,” the song he wrote that Mellencamp recorded with country music artist Martina McBride and made the song the lead single for his 2017 album, “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies.”

“These three guests will add more authenticity to the show,” Buechler said.

Buechler said last year’s multi-day celebration of Celestine’s 175h anniversary was massive. “We were blessed with how many people came out and we had an incredible amount of volunteers,” he said. “We raised a lot of money that was given out to service organizations in the community.”

But it was a lot of work for the community, he said.

“This time, we want to make sure we have opportunities for the Celestine people to have a lot of fun this year,” Buechler said. “Last year, while everyone enjoyed themselves, they worked.”

The Good Time Games event, from 5 to 7 p.m., and the community scavenger hunt, at 1 p.m. were created specifically for family and friends who meet at the fest.

“The Celestine Streetfest really is a reunion for the community of Celestine,” Buechler said. “A lot of people who grew up here or went to school here, come back for the Streetfest. It’s an opportunity to see relatives and friends and neighbors and classmates.”

At the Good Time Games, groups of five people will participate in TV game-show-like events. “It will be things that a 6-year-old can do and an 86-year-old can do,” Buechler said. Local radio personality Ty Hunter will host the games.

The community scavenger hunt will have four to six people working together to get photo documentation at the fest, using their cellphones, of the items on a list that will be given to them.

Both events are free to participate in, and prizes will be given out.

Two other features that are new for the fest this year are a bungee trampoline jumper and mechanical bull. There are weight restrictions, but the activities are open to anyone for a $5 fee per turn.

“These are fun activities, and very memorable,” Buechler said. “You’ll remember all year that you did that. It’s all-ages fun, and aimed at kids.”

Festival organizers will also publicly recognize Donnie Sander, who started getting people together 10 years ago to create a festival that would ultimately build to celebrate the community’s 175th anniversary.

“The Streetfest, until this year, was all about building to the 175th. It was about the community coming together to build a party,” Buechler said. “Now, the Streetfest is going to flip. Now, it’s going to be party we put on every year to build the community.”

The proceeds of the fest will be given in the fall to the six main organizations in the community, Buechler said. Those are the Celestine Community Club, the Celestine Park, the Celestine Volunteer Fire Department, the Knights of Columbus, the Celestine Parent-Teacher Organization and St. Isidore Parish.

Streetfest schedule

8 a.m. Car Show at Celestine Park (registration until noon; awards at 2:30 p.m.); tractor Show; “Super” 5K Run/Walk to start in front of elementary school

9 a.m. Free Kids Fun Run to start at St. Celestine Carport

10 a.m. Hamburger stand, bungee trampoline jumper (until 2 p.m.), kids booths, kids zone and kids inflatables open

10:30 a.m. Kids races start under the big tent (signups at 10 a.m.)

11 a.m. Dubois County Country Cloggers on the main stage

Noon Sheephead tourney at the west tent (signups at 11:30 a.m.); German beer garden opens

1 p.m. Community scavenger hunt

3 p.m. Cornhole tourney (signups at 2 p.m.)

4 p.m. Meal stand opens; mass at St. Celestine Catholic Church

5 p.m. Good Time games in front of the main stage; 240-Wheel & 1⁄2 Pot; bungee trampoline jumper (until 9 p.m.)

6 p.m. mechanical bull (until 11 p.m.)

7 p.m. MellenCougar performs until 10:30 p.m.

10:30 p.m. Party with DJ music by Boogie Tunes

*Unless noted, activities are on the grounds of St. Celestine Catholic Church.

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