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Giddy up partner!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

- Get your gear, Old West Fest is coming to Bridgeton this weekend

Whether you enjoy delicious pancakes, art fairs, wine tasting or cowboys and Indians; Bridgeton is the place to be this weekend as the sleepy town steps back into the 1870s to raise money for rebuilding the town's 137-year old covered bridge lost to arson in April 2005.

"There's absolutely no admission charge. That's really important for people to know," said Blanche Case, an event organizer. "It's going to be a lot of fun for the whole family."

You're invited to bring your lawn chairs as the town of Bridgeton steps into the past while hosting a pancake breakfast, the 4th annual Art Fair and Wine Tasting in the 1878 Barn and the 2nd annual two-day "Old West Fest."

Saturday starts with the 3rd annual pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. located next to the Bridgeton Grist Mill. The mill will provide the fresh-ground pancake mix for the event.

A bake sale, with goodies from area kitchens, will be open all day at Parke Place for those looking for a special culinary treat to eat at the festival or to take home.

Case said the cowboy groups at the festival have "volunteered to help out during the pancake breakfast, so things will really begin to pop around 10 a.m. on Saturday."

At 10 a.m., the Art Fair with various artists' displays of their fine arts available for public viewing. At noon, people will be able to sample locally made wine during the Wine Tasting event. Both events are in the 1878 Barn.

At 10 am., the Single Action Shooting Society demonstrations marks the beginning of "Old West Fest."

Visitors will be able to enjoy bullwhip acts, leather-working demonstrations, spinners and weavers demonstrations, gold panning, hay rides, wagon displays, staged shoot-outs, music and other activities throughout the day.

Native American educational activities will be presented by Dobb's Parke Native American Center while the Miami Nation of Indians of the State of Indiana, the Single Action Shooting Society, the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association, the Illiana Rangers and the Indiana Mustangs and Burro Club provide demonstrations and activities throughout the day.

At 6 p.m., the "Singing Cowboy" returns for another Campfire Around the Chuck Wagon with music and storytelling.

Sunday starts off with Cowboy Church at 9:30 a.m. Organizers say this is a great way to experience how cowboys, without the help of hymnals, attended church.

Mustang demonstrations begin at 12:30 p.m.

Word has it that the bank might be in jeopardy during a staged shoot-out on main street around 1:45 p.m., which will be followed by an all equine parade at 2 p.m. on Main Street. Immediately following the parade, children are invited to get all "duded up" for a costume contest for children ages 12 and under.

The Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association will have another round of demonstrations before the winner of the raffle drawing will be announced at the end of the festival.

Proceeds raised during the many events will help in the community's rebuilding effort. Residents hope to have the historically accurate replica of the covered bridge completed before the 2006 Parke County Covered Bridge Festival.

For more information about event scheduling, call 765-548-2136 or 812-877-9550.



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