NEW PALESTINE — It’s all about getting neighbors together to enjoy the fall weather and festivities, said organizers of the 70th Annual New Palestine Fall Festival, which takes place this weekend.
Mark Kennedy, from the New Palestine Lions Club, said officials putting together this year’s event really went all out hoping to make the gathering memorable.
“We’ve got a lot of irons in the fire,” Kennedy said. “I hope people have time to enjoy it all.”
The three-day event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday evening and is scheduled to run late into Saturday night. The annual event takes place on the grounds of the New Palestine Lions Club, 5242 W. U.S. 52.
Officials from the Lions Club are working with the Broken Arrow Outreach Group, who have joined the Lions Club to help pull off the event.
Probably the biggest difference patrons will notice this year is organizers have changed their food menu and will no longer be offering the fish fry meal, something they’ve done for decades.
Organizers have instead opted to go with a barbecue menu including brisket, pulled pork, chicken, macaroni and cheese, slaw, fries and apple sauce.
“This is going to be so much better, giving people more choices to eat,” Kennedy said.
Purse Bingo is the highlight of Thursday’s activities and starts at 6 p.m. They’ll also have the kids area open, and several vendors will be up and running. A special “Kids Night” is set for Friday. They’re setting up bounce houses, $5 per night, and games for all ages. Friday night is also the outdoor night. Organizers plan on showing the recent Disney movie “Dumbo.” Plus, the first 200 children who participate in the kids zone get a backpack. The Hearts Ablaze Cloggers are set to perform around 7 p.m. Friday night.
Saturday’s festivities start with the annual parade down Main Street, set to roll around 11 a.m. They’ll start staging around 9:30 a.m. Kimberly Ann Lowe Music starts at the festival site at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. A euchre tournament will start around 1:30 p.m. The New Palestine High School choir will preform at 3 p.m. A hot dog eating contest is scheduled at 4 p.m. That will be followed by a cake walk event at 4:30 p.m.
The New Palestine High School All-Class Reunion is set to kick off around 5 p.m. Organizers plan to have a DJ as well as live music for that event. The gathering is expected to run until midnight.
Organizers will also hold a raffle throughout the event with a grand prize being offered.
The NPHS choir parent boosters will run the kids zone; 50 percent of the proceeds will go toward the school’s choir.
Any other proceeds from the festival will go back into the Lions Club, Kennedy said. He hopes people show up to not only have a good time, but to also see the renovations they’ve done to their main building on the grounds. They’ve added a new ceiling, paint and flooring and remodeled the bathrooms.
“It looks really nice,” Kennedy said.
The event is free to the public. Food and the beer and wine garden and other beverages, as well as the kids zone, do have fees.
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70th Annual New Palestine Fall Festival
When: Thursday Sept. 5, through Saturday, Sept. 7
Where: The New Palestine Lions Club, 5242 U.S. 52.
Time: Thursday, 5:30 p.m. Friday, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, noon to midnight.