Back to the Fifties Festival dishes up more of everything

Sep. 19—Saturday's Back to the Fifties Festival had more of everything.

There were more entries in the classic car show and swap meet, about 250, compared to last year's 225.

More people came. And more of them danced.

"They didn't dance as much early, but the Elvis show came around, they really got to rockin', and then for Terry Lee everybody was rockin', festival Chairwoman Carmen Ottinger said.

The crowd at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds bought the food vendors out of some menu items, but there was still plenty to eat. For profit vendors each donate $100 to a local charity of their choice, while not-for-profit vendors donate to their own charities, Ottinger said, adding, "That puts money right back into Boone County."

Other vendors included a booth that sold 1950s style clothing and pinup style photos. "It was so cute," Ottinger said. "You could see the girls coming from the fitting room in there where they were getting their hair and makeup done."

A 12-year-old entrepreneur sold keychains, jewelry, and Christmas ornaments made from Legos. He's been in business since he was 10, Ottinger said. She met him at a Zionsville fair and asked him to the Back to the Fifties Festival. Ottinger curates the vendors carefully, looking for products she know local visitors will enjoy.

And vendors told her sales were brisk on Saturday. One woman and her daughter sold more here on Saturday than in their last two shows combined, Ottinger said. They make potholders, kitchen towels, and other practical goods. "Things you're going to use very day," Ottinger said. But they come in all sorts of themed fabrics for pet owners, seasons and holidays, sports and tractor enthusiasts, and more.

This was the first year the Colts In Motion interactive trailer came for visitors to explore Indianapolis Colts exhibits, history and memorabilia. And the crew who came with it already told Ottinger she should apply to have them come next year.

Lebanon beat a Purdue University home game to get the trailer this year, to Ottinger's amazement, and she'll request it again next year. But the trailer can't come on a weekend with a home game, and the schedule won't be released until spring.

There were about 25 entries in the in the annual Hoosier Antique and Classic Bicycle Club Show.

* Pratts Storage sponsored the 1880s Reproduction Highwheel category won by Tammy Haley.

* Dean Stant won Committee's Choice award for his Monark.

* And Wayne Miller won People's Choice with his red 1946 Whizzer H.

The Talent Factory dance studio and others helped run the children's area and bounce houses for a cut of the ticket sales. And Boy Scout Troop 359 collected trash and helped with setup and tear down for a donation, Ottinger said.

The festival committee is dedicated to giving back to the community.

Proceeds also benefit local visual and performing arts and artists.

New volunteers are always welcome. For more information, visit