October is Getting Off to a Great Start

     As fall begins, festival season is in full swing. There seemed to be no shortage of things to do in the area.  During the last few weekends the county played host to Bluegrass in the Valley in Friendship,  Ertels Cellars Wine Festival, and the Junkin’ Trail Extravaganza.  The Fear Factory in Batesville at RomWeber Marketplace and the Jacob Vogel Scare Haunted Woods in Olean/Versailles offer a chance to get spooked for the Halloween season.  

I found ample opportunities to pick out that perfect pumpkin.

     I found ample opportunities to select pumpkins, gourds, mums, and Indian corn this week throughout the county. Vogt Pumpkin Festival and Huffman’s Fall Farm Market have activities throughout the weekends in October including petting zoos, kid’s trackless train rides, wagon rides to pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and fire pits for roasting s’mores.

     I experienced the Main Street Versailles Farmers Market as a vendor. I enjoyed the experience and would encourage you to visit one of the farmer’s markets close to you. October 14th was the final day for the Main Street Versailles Farmers Market and October 21st will be the last day for the Batesville Farmers Market for 2017. Be sure and 

Main Street Versailles Pumpkin Show parade float.

check out the local farmers markets whenever you get the chance.  You know you are getting the fresh food and are helping out the local farm economy.  It can be a fun outing for the whole family and as a bonus — it gets you out and about for fresh air and to meet the people in your community! In cities where a backyard garden isn’t practical, going to the farmers market is a weekly must do first, and then they make a trip to the grocery store to supplement what they couldn’t get at the farmers market.  How lucky are we to live in an area where we can grow our own veggies and  have several local farmers markets?

    Quilting has long been a way for people to work toward a common goal. Similar to the quilting bees of yesteryear, the Hoosier Hills Comfort Quilts group gathers together for Quilts for Kids Sew Day at The Quilter’s Nook in Versailles. Completed quilts are given to patients at Riley Children’s Hospital.

     I had the chance to stop by The Quilter’s Nook and found out they will be marking their third anniversary this month with a special celebration October 20-22 with make and take projects, games food, and prizes. It’s a lovely neighborhood fabric store with all types of fabrics, patterns, threads, and tools for most sewing projects.  Owner Chris Combs offers classes as well as individual instruction in quilting and all types of sewing. The Quilting Nook offers “Sit N Sew” several times a month when you can bring your own machine in and work on your projects. It’s nice to have a local business with supplies for all your quilting needs. This weekend they are collecting food for the South Ripley Food Bank – bring in a donation and get in a drawing for a special prize.

     Well, that’s it for now. More later…




New Director Getting to Know the County

Hello everyone, my name is Terri Trowbridge and I am the new Executive Director for Ripley County Tourism. Katherine Taul previously held the position until she retired after 16 years of service on September 1st, 2017. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a month!

It’s funny how you can live somewhere for 34 years and not know about some of the things that make your county special. When you have a full time job and family to keep you busy, it can happen pretty easily.  I drove much the same way to and from work for the last 21 years in my previous job as Director of Publications for the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association in Friendship. When you drive the backroads straight to work each day you can miss a lot. But… things have changed in my life, and now I have a whole county I need to get reacquainted with. 

It’s hard to live in Ripley County and not know about the Pumpkin Show.  I’ve been attending the Pumpkin Show and the parade on Saturday morning for years. I’ve rode the rides, pulled ducks from the duck pond, admired the artwork of local artists on display inside the courthouse, bought countless raffle tickets supporting local clubs, eaten cotton candy and of course, elephant ears, and admired the big pumpkins at the end of the parade. However, this is the first year that I’ve actually witnessed the pumpkin weigh-in.

As the hoist lifted the straps, the rope closed in under the pumpkin and allowed it to be raised in the air.

     It takes place at the main stage at the end of the parade. Everything moved along rather quickly considering that some of the pumpkins weighed over 500 pounds! A crane hoist on a truck was placed in front of the stage and the pumpkins were brought on a trailer or truck bed to the hoist.

A series of straps were placed around the pumpkin with a rope looped at the bottom

     A series of straps were placed around the pumpkin with a rope looped at the bottom. As the hoist lifted the straps, the rope closed in under the pumpkin and allowed it to be raised in the air. The pumpkin was quickly and expertly inspected to assure it was solid, and the class and weight were announced. Then it was on to the next pumpkin until each had been weighed. This year’s winning open cla

This year’s winning open class pumpkin was grown by Darrell Franklin of Holton, IN and weighed in at 692 pounds!

ss pumpkin was grown by Darrell Franklin of Holton, IN and weighed in at 692 pounds!  It didn’t break the record, but Linus would have been proud of this great pumpkin!

     I’m going to do my best to get to know the county better over the course of the next year and I’d love it if you want to come along. Look for a new post from me each week telling you about what I’ve discovered.

More later…