"Everything we make from the festival goes back into the department to support both the city and the firemen here who protect our city," reports Batesville Fire & Rescue Chief Todd Schutte, looking forward with anticipation to this year's Summerfest.
The annual event put on by the city's first responders, with the help of some volunteers, is scheduled for Saturday, July 13, at Liberty Park following a downtown parade. As usual, there will be plenty of diversions and goings-on to entertain folks of all ages.
"This all goes to a good cause," adds Schutte, "to support the fire and rescue departments, allowing us to continue doing what we do for everyone."
The kick-off parade will again be the main attraction, rolling out at 2 p.m. from Columbus Avenue next to Batesville Intermediate School. Organizations, businesses and individuals interested in participating can obtain entry forms by Facebooking Batesville Fire & Rescue or calling 812-363-3645. According to the chief, latecomers will not need to register that day and may simply begin lining up at 1 p.m. or even earlier.
From Columbus, paraders will head south on Mulberry Street, east on West Pearl Street, south on Main Street, east on Catherine Street and finally onto South Park Avenue to Liberty Park. Schutte reminds residents that – as entries are asked to enter Columbus from Huntersville Road – the former will be closed to through traffic, along with Mulberry Street and Mitchell Avenue.
In the park, festival-goers will be greeted by the wafting scent of three-piece fried chicken and smoked pork chop dinners. The $10 meals hit the trays beginning at 4 p.m. and conclude at 8 p.m., coinciding with the sounds of Classic Rock Band (CRB).
The dinner entrees are served with a choice of corn or green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, applesauce and an assortment of cupcakes, cakes and pies on the dessert menu. Drink options are lemonade and iced tea. For those interested in lighter fare, a concession stand will feature hot dogs, brats and burgers to go with soft drinks, bottled water and Gatorade.
While their children are busy frolicking in one of the bouncy houses – or keeping cool with iced treats from Sunman's B&G Dairy Bar and Kona Ice – parents can find refreshment at the fest's beer garden, where familiar favorites like Miller Lite, Bud Light, Coors Light and Michelob Ultra await.
Classic Rock Band boasts a pair of Batesville's own – Tim Volz and Scott Ronnebaum. Covered sources listed on the band's website (batesvillecrb.com) are as varied as KISS, the Beastie Boys, the Doors, Billy Joel, Billy Idol, Kid Rock and Brooks & Dunn.
At 8 p.m., Batesville's Derek Foster and Milan's Jessie Strassell will share the vocals as part of Automation. The band's sets lasting up until midnight will take listeners on a journey through 1980s album-oriented rock and the alternative wave of the 1990s.
Main raffle tickets can be purchased for $10 apiece and the top prize will be making a lucky someone $5,000 wealthier. Second prize is worth $2,000 and third place nets $1,000.
"We want people to come enjoy all the fun and hopefully win the big jackpot," adds Schutte. He goes on to say the raffle entry forms were sent to local mailboxes this week; money may be turned in at the firehouse, the Memorial Building front lobby or at the fest.
Extra volunteers for the daylong event are always welcome, adds the chief. If interested, call the station at 812-934-2230.
Last year's proceeds went toward a new storage building next to the fire station. With that now completed, the crew is looking for this year's profits to help offset the cost of equipment, additions to the storage building, and various firehouse facility upgrades.
"We hope for a decent day ... not too hot, not too cool, and definitely no rain," wishes Schutte. Forecasts for July 13 locally call for a high of 81 degrees with a 40 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms.
Will Fehlinger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 112.
Batesville Fire & Rescue Summerfest
Saturday, July 13
2 p.m. – parade (downtown)
4-8 p.m. – fried chicken and smoked pork chop dinners, music by CRB
8 p.m.-midnight – music by Automation