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West Lafayette festival features hometown fun

| July 22, 2013

WEST LAFAYETTE – There will be games, food, contests, entertainment and more at the 66th annual West Lafayette Homecoming Festival, which is held Thursday through Saturday, July 25–27.

One of the highlights of the festival is the baking contest sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

“We encourage people to try,” said Janette Schrock, who is coordinating the contest. “A lot of people say they can’t cook or aren’t good enough, but you never know unless you try.”

The contest has two divisions: Children up to age 17 and adults age 18 and up. The adults can enter two crust fruit pies, cookies (drop or bar) and cakes or cupcakes and the children’s division features cakes and cupcakes, cookies (drop or bar) and brownies.

“You also have to provide the recipe to prove that it was made from scratch,” Schrock said.

The goodies can be dropped off from 1-2 p.m. Friday at the eat stand. Judges will evaluate them based on appearance, texture and flavor.

“The judges are not there until after the food has arrived and everyone is gone,” Schrock said. “They have no clue whose baked goods they are getting. It’s all very anonymous.”

Cash prizes are typically awarded to the first and second place winners, which are also auctioned off to raise money for the chamber.

To get more information on the contest, call Schrock at 502-0147

“I love baking and to see the kids and adults excited,” she said. “It just gives you a good hometown feeling.”

The winners will be announced at 8 p.m., right after the parade.

The 7 p.m. parade will focus on the festival’s theme, School Days – Then and Now.

Entries wanting to be judged must be in line by 6:30 p.m. and those not being judged should be in line by 6:40 p.m. according to organizer Ed Chapdelaine.

“It’s like a military operation,” he said. “You do all this planning and layout and then on parade day after the last vehicle has gone by you see that people enjoyed it and that makes me feel good.”

The parade moves up Russell Avenue, but Chapdelaine said the side streets are utilized to get it organized.

“We try to organize it so that you have continuing change,” he said. “You don’t want all the vehicles, fire trucks, horses and queens together. You want a mixture so it has variation and doesn’t feel like a boring parade.”

In the past, the parade has had as many as 150 entries and Chapdelaine said he will let people in even right before start time.

“Nobody is refused entry,” he said. “If you come to me at 6:45 p.m., I’ll put you at the end of the line as long as your entry is legal and moral. We always have a wide variety of units with generally lots of hometown kids. It’s colorful and a number of groups pass out candy. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s the place to come.”

To learn more about entering the parade, call Chapdelaine at 545-6353.

Saturday there also will be a three on three basketball tournament and car show.

“It’s something for kids to do and gets people involved,” said Ardie Varian, an organizer of the event.

The contest is in the administration building parking lot and has divisions for 11 and under, 12-15 and 16 and over. Winners in the 16 and over division will receive a monetary prize.

Sign up is at 8:30 a.m. and the tournament starts at 9 a.m. For more information, contact Varian at 545-9748.

The top 10 vehicles at the car show will receive plaques and there will be a 50/50 drawing and prizes. Any make and model is welcome and there is a $10 registration fee.

Sign-in and lineup is at 12:30 p.m. at Burt Park. For information, contact Toby Manning at 545-9663 or 740-552-1813.

“I enjoy the camaraderie, meeting new people and getting different ideas at car shows,” he said.

During the festival, new West Lafayette royalty also will be named, there will be nightly entertainment and delicious food cooked by hometown groups.

“I enjoy seeing everyone come out for the festival and that it has a lot of community involvement,” Varian said.

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Category: Arts & Entertainment, People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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