Liberty Park is the place to be Friday-Saturday, July 11-12, for the Batesville Fire & Rescue Summerfest.
It’s important for local folks to support the annual fundraiser because “all the proceeds go to buying new equipment,” notes fest chairman and Batesville Fire & Rescue Department Lt. Casey Schomber. Firefighters are saving up for air packs costing $250,000, according to first Assistant Chief Brian Hardebeck. Also needed are turnout gear boots, “two very, very big expenses,” Schomber points out.
To keep the fest exciting, organizers are turning to different vendors, who will provide laser tag and carnival snacks not offered before – funnel cakes and cooling shaved ice and pineapple whip ice cream.
Other attractions will be train rides offered by Batesville Kiwanians and bouncy houses for the kids and pull tabs, live music and a beer garden for adults.
To get the crowd swaying, favorite entertainers The Renegades, based in Sunman, return Friday night (please see box for schedule). “They sing classic rock from the ‘80s and ‘90s and country,” according to the chairman. That band recommended 90 Proof Twang, Oxford, Ohio, which will perform Saturday with financial support from the Batesville Memorial Public Library. “They get a very large turnout. They sing new country with also some rock.”
Another highlight is the annual midday parade. Participants do not have to preregister, but should begin lining up at noon on Columbus Avenue in front of Batesville Intermediate School, reports firefighter Trevor Fischmer. Drivers should enter from Huntersville Road to avoid traffic congestion. Questions can be answered by e-mailing email@example.com.
The parade route: south on Mulberry Street, east on West Pearl Street, south on Main Street, east on Catherine Street and south on Park Avenue to Liberty Park.
Food and drinks are big fest draws. Friday fish dinners (fried cod, baked beans, cole slaw, chips and drink) will be offered for $8 for both adult and kid meals. “You can purchase a sandwich for $6. With the purchase of a meal, you can get another piece of fish for $5,” Hardebeck explains.