COMMERCIAL-NEWS | ROBERT TOMLINSON - White Pigeon’s Citizens of the Year, Elmer and Doris Rudloff, wave to the crowd during the annual street parade at White Pigeon Days Friday. An estimated 3,500 people lined the streets of White Pigeon for the parade, which organizers say was higher than in previous years.Photo provided by Elijah Carr - A participant attempts to pull a garden tractor during the Elkhart County Garden Tractor Pulls event Saturday at White Pigeon Days.Photo provided by Elijah Carr - Jaylee McBride shows off her winning cake from the baking competition at White Pigeon Days Saturday.

2022 White Pigeon Days deemed successful

WHITE PIGEON — Last weekend’s White Pigeon Days festival drew people of all ages to downtown White Pigeon for food, fun and community, with organizers deeming the event very successful.

Bekah Carr, president of the White Pigeon Community Association, who organized the event, said she “couldn’t have asked for it to be better.”

“It was a very successful weekend, and I’m overjoyed with the amount of success not only for us, but for the other areas, like the car show, the concessions, the vendors,” Carr said. “The other events we had over the weekend were well-attended. Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.”

One of the big highlights to begin the festival was the annual street parade, which had an estimated 3,500 people lining the streets to see different trucks, trailers and floats pass by from the community. Carr said it was a larger turnout for the 50-minute parade than in previous years.

“It was phenomenal. I got a lot of compliments from how many entries we had, how well it was run, the type of entries in it,” Carr said. “The roads were packed with attendees, so I couldn’t have asked for a better parade.”

Carr added that some people thought the weather wasn’t going to cooperate for the parade, due to a rain event in the Three Rivers area, but said it “only sprinkled for 10 seconds, and then it was beautiful.”

The car show on Saturday was well-attended with over 130 entries, Carr said, and the fireworks show also drew a big crowd.

Some of the other big highlights of the weekend were the new events added to the schedule, the Elkhart County Garden Tractor Pulls and the baking contest. Carr said the tractor pulls had plenty of positive feedback.

“There was a good crowd down there from the time they started to the time they ended,” Carr said. “A lot of people said they missed having the garden tractor pulls, and they’re happy to see them back.”

As for the baking competition, which had 24 entries, Carr said there were plenty of compliments for that event as well. The winners of the baking competition were as follows:

  • 11-and-under division: Emersyn Wilkinson, cake; Addilyn Wilkinson, cookies; Lyla Underwood, other
  • 14-21 division: Jaylee McBride
  • 22-and-up division: Amber Zebell, pastry; Veda Jancasz, cake; Lon Thomas, cookies; Karley Bailey, other.

In addition, the winners of the meat raffle were Carol Anderson, who won a $100 gift card, Derrick Fenner, who won a $50 gift card, and Jeff Cast, who won a $50 gift card.

Looking ahead to future events, Carr said she hopes to have more volunteers for the festival, as well as figuring out better parking for some of the downtown events.

“There’s two of us doing it, planning the whole thing, so really, we need people stepping up wanting to help and take over some of the areas that we need. We did have some people that did step up and help run our booth, help pick up trash, and that meant the world to me,” Carr said.

“I think next year we can fix the detours for the parade and parking for attending events downtown. We have to figure that out.”

Carr added that some people enjoyed the new layout of the midway, which took advantage of a parking lot at the corner of Kalamazoo Street and Murray Avenue.

Overall, Carr said this year’s event wouldn’t have been successful without the community.

“It was a very successful weekend for us, and it’s all because of the community coming out and supporting us,” Carr said.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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