Malari Russell hopes that this year’s Huntertown Heritage Days festival and fireworks go off with a big bang.
Heritage Days, slated for Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 12-14, resumes for its 21st year following the cancellation of the 2020 event due to COVID-19. Russell, the festival chairperson, is still seeking sponsors for the Aug. 13 fireworks and other festival events. “We want this year’s Heritage Days to come back bigger and better than ever,” Russell said. “We’re hoping to find a fireworks sponsor soon to help us get back to normal.”
With the theme of “From Farm to Table,” this year’s Heritage Days will feature a mix of some old festival favorites, along with some new twists to appeal to people of all ages. The festival will take place at various venues around Huntertown, with the outdoor market and carnival set up at Huntertown Family Park.
“We attended a carnival convention in Indianapolis, and came back with some great new ideas,” Russell said. “We’ll have a new carnival ride provider and set-up, which will feature traditional kiddie rides and games for little ones. But we’ll also have some new activities that will appeal to both middle school and high school students.”
There will be a large inflatable obstacle course, bungee jumping, and other activities. Carroll High School student Keeleigh Clark assisted the committee to provide input on what activities would appeal to older students.
There will also be a new twist for festival foods. “We’ll be bringing in local food trucks to the park to provide some great food options,” Russell said. “We’ll have a little bit of everything.”
The Heritage Days Beer Tent will continue at its Myers Service Station location at 15277 Lima Road, operating on Friday and Saturday nights. “We’ll have live music provided by country cover artist Colton Chapman from Indianapolis on Friday night, and area band Helicon’s Peak on Saturday night,” Russell said. For the first time, food will also be available at the beer tent, provided by Timmy’s BBQ and Pizza of Huntertown. “We’re keeping the adult activities separate from the family-friendly activities in the park,” said Russell.
Also returning for the 2021 event is the Pie Contest, coordinated by longtime Heritage Days volunteer Jenny McComb. The contest will again be judged by Huntertown firefighters.
A new event will be a tour of Huntertown coordinated by volunteer Keeleigh Clark. The tour will take families to various business locations and sites in the community, where they will accumulate proof of a visit for a chance to win prizes from participating businesses.
The Heritage Days Parade will take place Saturday morning, Aug. 14, at 11 a.m. The parade will begin at Cedar Canyons Road, and run south through Huntertown on Lima Road, concluding at Woods Road. Entry forms for the parade are available on the Heritage Days website.
“With the rapid growth taking place in our community, we hope to have a lot of families coming out to learn more about Huntertown and all the exciting things we have going on here,” Russell said. “Heritage Days is a great way to get involved in Huntertown.”
Russell started volunteering for the festival four years ago, and she agreed to take on the chair position in 2020. “Obviously, the festival didn’t happen last year, so this is my first full year of overseeing the event,” she said. The Heritage Days committee also includes Mike Aker, vice chairperson; Angie Keck, secretary; and Kayla Conrad, treasurer.
In addition to needing a fireworks sponsor, the Heritage Days committee is also in need of additional volunteers and is also still seeking entries for the parade. “We have our meetings on the second Tuesday of every month,” said Russell. “We’re always looking for more volunteers.”
The official Heritage Days schedule will be posted on the event’s website in mid-June. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities or volunteering, contact Malari Russell on Facebook at Huntertown Heritage Days, via the website at huntertownheritagedays.com, or by calling 260-479-7270.