Mount Pulaski Fall Festival rich with memories

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[September 18, 2017]   MOUNT PULASKI - The 2017 Mount Pulaski Fall Festival is one that folks are not likely to soon forget. Every year the festival is filled with terrific food, fun and entertainment for all ages, and this year's mild summerish weather added to the outdoor experience, but the festival was made most special in its timing and some significant recognitions and remembrances.


This year’s festival had a Disney Style theme to it and brought out children of all ages enjoying a carnival, games on the courthouse lawn, a kiddie tractor pull and the children’s pageants. The 2017 version of the movie “Beauty and the Beast” was also shown on Saturday night in the parking lot of the Mount Pulaski Christian Church, giving Disney fans plenty to smile about.

The weekend also included a very entertaining Lip Sync Battle on Friday evening, which featured local young farmer Chris Martin dressed as Whitney Houston while belting out “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Martin was a winner in the solo category, well-deserved as he had all the right moves down pat. The winners in the duet category were cousins Drew Dyer and Daniel Siebert. The two young men sang and danced in costume to the song “Love Is an Open Door” from the Disney movie, Frozen. A perfect fit for the reigning champions in this category.

Saturday night saw a friendly game of Family Feud on the main stage, won by the combined families of the Meagher’s and the Winebrinner’s.

Fitness and food contests

The lovely weekend also featured a dunk tank, a Kids Fun Run/Top of the Hill 5K and an appearance by town favorite Abraham Lincoln.

While in town, Abe may have slipped over to the historic court house to join in the 1860's children's games led by Marla Blair.

A Bake-Off and Chili Cook-Off were highlights on Saturday morning, as was a Zumba Class by True Form Fitness and a spinning demonstration by local resident, Helen Fine.


Delicious dinners were also served up in the main food tent sponsored by INB both Friday and Saturday nights.

Friday night the Mount Pulaski Rural Fire Protection District served over 500 ribeye steak sandwich dinners with the proceeds going to the family of Micah Wakeman. Wakeman, a Decatur Firefighter died on June 13, 2017 after a farming accident.

Saturday night the Fraternal Order of the Police served up a Pulled Pork Dinner with all the trimmings. No one walked away hungry.


Sandwiched in between all this food and fun was a marvelous parade on Saturday afternoon. With perfect weather conditions to draw a big crowd, the parade traveled uptown on the square with the courthouse as a perfect backdrop as emcee Rob Siebert informed the crowd of each entry. This year’s parade Grand Marshall was to be Charles “Chick” Holmes.  Holmes passed away on August 2, 2017; so he was represented in the parade by son, Scott, and grandsons, Mitchell and Matthew. Holmes was a World War II veteran, having served 30 months in the South Pacific. Holmes also established the Mount Pulaski Athletic Association, an organization that has benefited thousands of youth throughout the years.

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Other parade entries were dedicated to the memory of the two young people Mount Pulaski recently lost. Evan Connor and Caleb Coogan were honored with friends driving tractors. Caleb’s dad, J.C., also drove his 1965 GTO with Caleb’s classmates Rohan Allspach, Alec Martin and Kenneth Cooper riding along. Caleb’s 6th grade class rode on a float behind the classic car.

Employees of Vonderlieth Living Center also walked in the parade to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the local nursing home that has been such a valuable asset to the Mount Pulaski community.

Despite the heavy hearts among so many family and friends at this year’s fall festival, the weekend was celebrated with a feeling of love and kindness among the community ~ feeling that will live on in the hearts of the community for years and years to come.

2017 parade winners:

1st place - Caleb Coogan’s 6th grade class (School and local organizations category)
2nd place - S & S Performance Horse (Elsa & Olaf - Business organization category)
3rd place - Gene Letterly Tractor and Float (Automobile/Tractors category)

2017 Mount Pulaski Fall Festival Royalty

Little Miss: Ella Martin
Little Prince: Jase Jones
Junior Miss: Claire Bobell
Miss: Jayda Allspach

Other pageant mentions:

Jayda Allspach - Miss Congeniality
Josie Wakeman - 1st runner-up Miss
Elise Dawson - Junior Miss 1st runner-up
Eli Mercer - Little Prince 1st runner-up
Madison Olsen - Little Miss 1st runner-up

All of the pageant participants did an outstanding job. The directors did an equally amazing job with the young people. It was a top-notch, professionally run event that was enjoyed by all. Following the announcement of Jayda Allspach as the new Miss Mount Pulaski, the young ladies involved in the competition formed a circle, hugging one another and joining in prayer, near the back of the stage. What an awesome feeling for those in attendance to witness the young people and their faith in each other. The support of the youth has guided Mount Pulaski in recent months and will continue to do so for future fall festivals.

Community Pride Award

The 2017 Community Pride Award went to David Meister. Meister, who runs the Old Brickyard Pub and Grill in Mount Pulaski, was recognized for his passion and dedication to the community.

[Teena Lowery]

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