Sep. 7—Event organizers were busy Tuesday morning preparing for the 53rd annual Tipton Pork Festival.
Christy Crawford, this year's festival president, explained thousands of hours had been invested into the festival. Planning for this year's festival started at the beginning of the year and will be put to work starting Thursday.
"It's a nonstop thing, but we do it because we love it," Crawford said.
The free three-day festival, which will be at 101 E. Jefferson St., is bringing back some attractions from past years and trying some new things on the festival lawn this year, Crawford noted.
For example, the art market is making a comeback after a two-year hiatus. However, instead of being inside a tent, this year's art show will be inside the Tipton County Public Library, at 127 E. Madison St.
On Saturday morning, starting at 9 a.m., children will be able to make piggy banks on the festival lawn. There will also be a farmers market and the Humane Society of Tipton County will serve $3 doughnut breakfasts.
There will be nearly 200 vendors at the festival, Crawford said, with 150 in the festival's vendor area and 45 in the arts and crafts market.
Other than the businesses and commercial tents, visitors will be able to choose from a wide variety of food. There's much more than pork being offered, Crawford noted.
All sorts of desserts, including elephant ears and ice cream, will be sold alongside various cheeses, street tacos and Asian cuisine.
"It's a great variety," Crawford said, adding one of the wine vendors will be selling wine slushies.
The food tent will open at 11 a.m. every day.
The festivities are scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. Thursday as the carnival and beer tents open. The kick-off parade begins at 5:30 and, according to the Pork Festival's website, it will feature pigs, clowns, local bands, youth groups, patriotic units and the festival's first appearance of pageant contestants.
The festival's grand parade will start at 2 p.m. Saturday.
There will be three pageants on the stage Thursday evening, starting with the princess pageant at 6:30, followed by a junior queen pageant, and ending with the queen pageant scheduled to begin at 8:30.
The baby pageant will have to wait until 11 a.m. Saturday morning.
Bands have been scheduled to entertain festival attendees Friday and Saturday afternoons.
Bel and The Bad Wolves will be the first group to take the stage. Crawford said the rock band is a local favorite and is scheduled to go on at 7 p.m. Friday.
Still Standing, an Elton John tribute band, is headlining Friday night entertainment and is scheduled to take the stage at 8:30.
Little Joe, an Indianapolis-based rock cover band, is kicking off the musical entertainment Saturday. The band is scheduled to start playing at 7 p.m. and will be followed by Crush, a Bon Jovi tribute band, at 8:30.
There will also be a carnival every day at the festival.
"It brings the people of Tipton together. It's important to have it," Crawford said of the Pork Festival. "You can go anywhere in the state of Indiana and say 'I'm from Tipton' and people will say, 'Oh that's where the Pork Festival is.'"
James Bennett III can be reached at 765-454-8580 or email@example.com.