White Pigeon Days to bring fun, excitement to 2022 edition

WHITE PIGEON — A few new events and returning favorites will highlight this year’s White Pigeon Days festival, taking place this weekend.

The 39th annual celebration of all things White Pigeon will take place from Friday, July 8 to Sunday, July 10, with events taking place all around the downtown area.

“We are ecstatic,” White Pigeon Community Association (WPCA) President Bekah Carr said. “We really love our small-town festival and all that it brings, whether that be community, celebration, and good times.”

One of the big highlights of this year’s festival will be the parade, which steps off at 7 p.m. Friday night. Lineup begins at 5:30 p.m. at White Pigeon High School. The parade route will go west on Prairie Street, then south on Kalamazoo Street, then east on U.S. 12 and then north on Laird Street.

The annual White Pigeon Days Car Show will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, with door prizes, trophies, and a dash plaque and breakfast for the first 100 drivers that show up. Cars will line up along U.S. 12 starting on St. Joseph Street and extending a quarter of a mile east to Lincoln Street.

New events for this year include the Elkhart County Garden Tractor Pulls from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and a baking contest Saturday at noon. Carr said the baking contest will have three age groups – 13 and under, 14-21, and 22 and up – and will have four categories: cookies, cupcakes, cake and “other.” The baked goods will be judged, with winners announced at 7 p.m. that day.

“They can bring their items that they made and let the judges decide,” Carr said, noting that if an entry is for cookies, there needs to be a half dozen made.

Coming back for its second year is a Pie-in-the-face fundraiser put on by the WPCA. A number of people, including Carr, White Pigeon coaches, principals and village officials, will be volunteering to have pies thrown in their face as a fundraiser for the association’s fireworks fund for next year. People will be able to buy pies for a couple of dollars to throw.

Merchants, booths and a Kid Zone will be available on the midway on Kalamazoo Street beginning at 3 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday. Fireworks will be Saturday night at dusk at the high school.

One of the biggest things tangentially impacting this year’s event is the Tasty Nut Shop building on the corner of U.S. 12 and Kalamazoo Street, which has been blocked off to pedestrian traffic since November due to the state of the building. Carr said because of the building and its status, some of the logistics had to change for events, including moving the beginning of the midway down past the village offices on Kalamazoo Street and extending it east onto Murray Avenue, not allowing people to stand or sit in front of the building for the parade, and not allowing cars to park there for the car show on Saturday.

“We’re just trying to do what we can, trying to work with the village, to make this festival possible while also keeping everyone safe,” Carr said. “We’re trying to be flexible and understanding, but people do want this festival to happen, so it’s just been a bit of a pickle.”

Other events going on for the festival include the citizen of the year ceremony at 4:45 p.m. at the community tent, a pie, cake and ice cream station at the White Pigeon United Methodist Church on Friday beginning at 5 p.m., the firefighters’ pancake breakfast from 6:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday at 113 S. Kalamazoo St., a three-on-three basketball tournament at the White Pigeon High School outdoor courts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Home Depot Kids Crafts from 10-11 a.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the community tent, a cutest pet contest with voting from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, a White Pigeon Police and K9 demo at 2 p.m. Saturday at Wade Park, kids pedal pulls at 4 p.m. at Kalamazoo Street and Murray Avenue, and raffles throughout the day Saturday. The event ends Sunday morning with worship and song services at Wade Park Sunday at 11 a.m.

Overall, Carr said she’s looking forward to the event for a number of reasons, one of the biggest being seeing the community come together to celebrate and have fun.

“I love that people come back for it. People who grew up in White Pigeon and then moved away, they come back for White Pigeon Days, and it just speaks for itself that we may be a small community, but we really do support one another,” Carr said. “It’s something people always look forward to. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again; it’s nice to see everyone out and about and people just having a good time.”

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

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