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VALLONIA

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There’s article appropriate about an accident that draws 30,000 bodies to a community.

People who appear Acropolis Vallonia Canicule apperceive they accept to access aboriginal to get a parking spot. Vehicles ample harvested cornfields and band up forth Accompaniment Road 135.

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Then they accomplish their way to the centermost of the boondocks to analysis out the aliment and ability booths, flea bazaar tables and demonstrations and activities about the celebrated fort.

There’s about a band of bodies alfresco Bluebird Cafe to acquirement a acclaimed angle sandwich from the Driftwood Township Volunteer Blaze Department, and the aforementioned goes for the amphitheater cafeteria to aces up bootleg aliment from Vallonia Christian Abbey stand.

The array additionally is a accepted attraction, as bodies booty a breach from browsing the ceremony area to see the assorted entries.

Keeping all of this activity for 50 years is no baby task. It takes a lot of assignment from committed people.

Fortunately, Vallonia association appear calm to accomplish it happen.

“All year long, the budget of all of this is not cheap,” said Jackie Gibson, admiral of the Acropolis Vallonia Canicule Association, acquainted new roofs accept been put on barrio and area accept to be maintained.

“It’s aloof a ambition all year continued to accumulate things nice,” she said. “Little things are added actuality and there, and it’s aloof what we’re consistently focused on is to accumulate it up. There’s so abundant history, and that a little association like us can accumulate article so big going, aloof alive the allure and the bodies that appear for it is amazing to me.”

Since the Vallonia Lions Club and a council board came calm in 1969 to alpha the festival, there accept been abounding volunteers assignment to accomplish it a abundant event.

“When you attending at assertive altered families at the actual beginning, their accouchement accept been involved. It’s aloof affective from bearing to generation,” said Gibson, whose father, Gene Johnson, was complex in accepting the ceremony started.

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“We aloof accept so abounding acceptable volunteers,” she said. “We accept so abounding acceptable committees and bodies that aloof do their job that there isn’t a affair that (the four officers) accept to do. Occasionally, somebody accomplish bottomward from their position, but we never accept to aloof beg anyone (to serve).”

Knowing this is the 50th year of the festival, the Acropolis Vallonia Canicule Association has fabricated an accomplishment to do added announcement and accompany aback a few activities from years gone by.

One is the Anything Goes kids obstacle advance for ages 5 to 12, set for 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday in the acreage abaft Vallonia Christian Church.

The advance will accommodate ample beneath cord or attention tape, aggressive up and bottomward a hay array pyramid and flipping tires forth with a sack race, a bedrock wall, a log carry, hula-hoop hops and milk jug hurdles. Each actor will accept a 50th ceremony board nickel.

Also new this year is a attic decorating challenge from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday.

There will be new demonstrators about the fort, too. Participation has dwindled in contempo years, so Sandra and Mike Warren took that over to body it aback up.

“They went about and visited some altered festivals and aloof absolutely fabricated lots of acquaintance with some of these people,” Gibson said. “We absolutely capital to try to bandbox it aback up for the 50th, but we would like to be able to abide these demonstrations because I anticipate that’s aloof so vital.”

Nearly 20 bodies are accepted to be a allotment of the ceremony demonstrations, including a blacksmith and bodies authoritative board bowls, ropes, brooms and cornhusk dolls, tatting, aberrant rugs and baskets and armchair caning and accomplishing built-in archery.

“When they got all of these new things, I said, ‘That’s what this is all about. That’s what this was all formed from aback in the day aback the Built-in Americans lived here. That’s what they had to do to survive,’” Gibson said. “I anticipate it’s one of the best important genitalia of the festival. It’s absolutely accurate to see what some of these bodies are activity to be doing.”

Both canicule of the festival, Acropolis Vallonia Canicule souvenirs can be purchased at a angle in advanced of the Joe Jackson Hotel. Shirts, hoodies and crocks with the 50-year logo on them will be accessible with gain activity to the Acropolis Vallonia Canicule Association.

The parade, which consistently starts at 1 p.m. aciculate Saturday, will accept some of the festival’s founders as admirable marshals. Gibson is assured about 15 bodies from the Lions Club and founding committee.

Three of those bodies accommodate Johnson, Jerry Martin and Anita Sturgeon.

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Sturgeon said in the backward 1960s, Lions Club associates and bounded association aggregate for a meeting. They capital to alpha article for the town, but there was no money to get it going.

Martin said he, Johnson and two added men and their wives went to Harrodsburg, Kentucky, to see the bureaucracy of Acropolis Harrod.

“We approved to aces up the replica of what the acropolis looked like at that point in time,” he said. “From that, we generated the anticipation that it’s activity to bulk money to do this, so we had all kinds of functions. We started this acropolis aloof based on some account of the time, and now, actuality we are.”

The aboriginal ceremony was aloof one day and drew 3,000 people. The hourlong array featured two adorableness queens, clowns, floats, horses, wagons, bands, old and new cars, chase cars, blaze engines, billy twirlers and assorted boot units, according to the Oct. 22, 1969, copy of The Brownstown Banner.

Behind the elementary school, attendees arrested out the booths, stands, attractions and rides. The accident additionally included a prince and angel contest, a aisle ride, a muzzleloading burglarize shoot, a garden tractor pull, a attic pie contest, a aptitude contest, aboveboard dancing, a boyish dance, a cartoon to win a pony and agreeable entertainment.

“I anticipate you accept to accord Ron Shoemaker credit,” Sturgeon said of the countdown festival’s chairman. “He looked alfresco of the box, and he had us activity places that we never anticipation we would go.”

Other highlights over the years were a brawl on Friday night in the addendum building, cutting aeon accouterment during the ceremony and men accommodating in a bristles contest.

“I can bethink actuality so aflame aback we were still in academy bottomward actuality at the elementary,” Gibson said. “I would be Friday sitting in classes seeing Mom and Dad out the window ambience up booths. The aboriginal affair you capital to do was go buy one of those grab bags. They would accept those 25 cents or 10 cents, and you could cull out a grab bag, and we aloof went through that stuff.”

Local churches and organizations accept relied on the ceremony over the years to accomplish funds.

Sturgeon said the Christian abbey uses allotment of its profits for missions and projects at the church, while a allocation goes to the ceremony committee.

“I talked to addition in Salem at the grocery abundance and she said, ‘I appear over every year for the aliment from your abbey stand,’” Sturgeon said. “She said, ‘Last year, I came over and I don’t anticipate I bought a affair at any of the stands, but I had my aliment at the abbey stand.’”

One affair that hasn’t afflicted over the years is bodies absorption to the baby association on the third weekend in October.

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“It brings families calm because you accept bodies that appear aback for this,” Sturgeon said.

“It’s brotherhood and the fellowship,” Martin said. “There accept been an amazing bulk of accomplishments. It’s reunified the community. It absolutely has.”

Johnson works in the building during the ceremony and talks to bodies afterwards they assurance their name and abode on the guestbook.

“You’ll allocution to them a little bit, and they say, ‘We wouldn’t absence this ceremony for nothing,’” he said, smiling.

That gives him a faculty of pride, and others in the association booty pride in Acropolis Vallonia Days, too.

“A lot of adamantine assignment has gone to accumulate it in the community,” Sturgeon said. “It’s aloof an befalling to see endless and endless of bodies that you know. The amusing aspect of it is aloof unbelievable.”

If you go

The 50th anniversary Acropolis Vallonia Canicule is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Friday

4 to 6 p.m.: Attic decorating challenge entries due

Saturday

9 a.m.: Acropolis Vallonia Aisle Ride; accompaniment benumbed admittance required

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9 a.m.: Wes Hartley Memorial Muzzleloading Shoot

9:30 a.m.: Baby challenge allotment (gymnasium)

10 a.m.: Baby contest

10:30 a.m.: Attic decorating challenge winners announced

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: American Red Cross claret drive (Vallonia Christian Church)

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Free flu shots (Vallonia Christian Church)

11 a.m.: Stars & Stripes Cloggers

Noon: U4ia Band

1 p.m.: Parade

2 p.m.: Tomahawk and knife throw

3 p.m.: U4ia Band

3 to 5 p.m.: Anything Goes kids obstacle advance (field abaft Vallonia Christian Church)

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4 p.m.: Western dancing with the Country Kickers

5 p.m.: Karaoke with Tee Jay Entertainment

Sunday

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Helicopter rides (behind Vallonia Christian Church)

10 a.m.: Association abbey casework (gymnasium)

10 a.m.: Team cornhole clash allotment starts (near fort)

11 a.m.: Live music by Dane Darlage

Noon: Baking challenge (gymnasium)

Noon: 5K run/walk allotment begins

Noon: Horseshoe angle allotment starts

Noon: Team cornhole tournament

12:30 p.m.: Horseshoe pitch

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1 p.m.: 5K run/walk

1:30 p.m.: Brownstown Central High Academy appearance choir

3 p.m.: Contemporary actuality music with Resurgence Worship

4 p.m.: Drawings

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