North Judson Mint Festival

North Judson Town Marshall Kelly Fisher handed out popsicles to help beat the sweltering heat during last year's parade.

NORTH JUDSON – This weekend is the 43rd North Judson Mint Festival. The theme for the festival is “Celebrating our Hometown Champions!” The Mint Festival Grand Marshals are the 2018 Class 2A State Champions NJSP Lady Jays. The fun starts on Friday at 5 p.m. with opening ceremonies at the Norwayne Field Pavilion. After that the Father and Grandfather of the Year will be announced. Following that will be Brant Vogel and Porter County Line Band and the band Aftermath. Taste of North Judson and Twist and Smile Balloons will be all night.

The events continue early Saturday morning with the Dr. Ufkes 5K Run/2 mile walk. Registration for that is at 6:30 a.m. with the run beginning a half hour later. Over at the Masonic Lodge there will be a pancake breakfast that runs from 7 a.m. till 11 a.m. Cost for the breakfast is $6 and $4 for children 11 and under.

The Mint Festival Car Show is located at a new location this year. It will be across from Liberty Elementary. It will run from 8 a.m. till 3 p.m. Judging is at 1 p.m. with awards at 2:30 p.m. Pre-Registration is $10 and day of the show will be $15. Dash plaques for the first 50 entries. Free admission for spectators. Trophies that will be awarded include: Top 20 for 1989 and older, Top 10 for 1990 to Present, Best of Show, People’s Choice, Queen’s Choice, Miller’s Choice, and Most Unique.

Also happening on Saturday is Kersting’s Annual Mint Fest Ride. The cost is $15 per rider, $20 per couple to be given to the Starke County Community Foundation. Ride leaves at 4 p.m. EST with sign up at Kersting’s at 3 p.m. EST. The ride is approximately 60 miles ending at the Mint Festival.

One of the tastier events that is occurring on Saturday is the 2019 Cooking with Mint Contest. Any recipe using mint or mint flavoring in the preparation may be submitted for judging. This is open to the public. Prepared product and the recipe with the maker’s name and address are to be brought to St. Peter Lutheran Church for judging at 11 a.m. CST. Categories include: Desserts, Main Dishes, Appetizers/Side Dishes, Youth-up and including 12th grade, Men Only. Cash prizes are awarded to first, second, and third place winners in each category. Registration is from 9 a.m. till 10:45 a.m. CST and the judging is at 11 a.m. CST. Winners are to be announced immediately following the judging. Items will be judged on overall appearance, texture, flavor, ingredients available, easily used in a meal and stability.

Other events that are taking place on Saturday include Water Ball Fight, Pedal Tractor Pull, Pet Parade, Puppet Show, Book Sale, Magic Show, Train Rides, Silly Safari Animal Show, Frog Jumping Contest, and many other events and activities.

The final day of the festival begins at 7 a.m. with a Pancake Breakfast/Bake Sale at the Catholic Church’s basement until noon. Knights of Columbus Famous Pancake and Sausage Breakfast. At 9 a.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church there will be outdoor worship. At 1 p.m. there is to be a flag burning ceremony at the American Legion. The parade starts at 3 p.m. and will run from NJSP High School to Hwy 10 east to Main Street then to Keller Avenue. Again there are many activities and events planned including train rides, magic shows, and musical entertainment.

Speaking of musical entertainment, the Mint Music Stage will keep audiences and festival goers entertained with six bands this year. On Friday, Brant Vogel and Porter County Line Band will take the stage from 5:30 p.m. till 7:30 p.m. Then Aftermath will play from 8 p.m. till 11 p.m. On Saturday, Shotgun Ruby takes the stage from 5 p.m. till 7:30 p.m. with ZZtop Eliminator Band following from 8 p.m. till 11 p.m. On Sunday, Blue Holler Band goes on stage from 1:30 p.m. till 3 p.m. with Jr. and the Ignitors finishing up from 4:30 p.m. till 7 p.m.

Of course, this wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the men and women that spend their time and energy to bring this festival together. The 43rd Annual Mint Festivals Officers are:

  • President Donna Henry
  • Vice-President Paige Barnett
  • Secretary Matthew Hamilton
  • Treasurer Sharen Barnett

The 2019 Mint Festival Board of Directors are:

  • Phil Rodriguez
  • Carol Meister, Cooking with Mint Chairman
  • Cheryl Tellman, Cooking with Mint
  • Andrea Wireman, Pageant and Mint Darlings
  • Katie Minix, Pageant and Mint Darlings
  • Jeff and Lori Abrams, Car Show
  • Bob Barnett, Vendors and Parade
  • Ronny Minix
  • Deb and Terry Young, Music

The 2019 Junior Committee Members are:

  • Candyce Pettet
  • Summer Galbreath and Libby Czerniak

Admission and parking is free. For more information about this weekend’s events check out the Mint Pages as well as the festival’s Facebook page:

Leader Editor

The Leader is a weekly newspaper that covers all areas of Starke County, Indiana.

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