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Homestead brings in 1,000s

PRINCETON — An estimated 18,000 people lined Princeton’s Main Street on Saturday for the 43rd annual Homestead Festival Parade.

On Monday, Steering Committee member Bill Nelson said it was a great weekend with something for everyone. The turnout was tremendous, especially for Friday and Saturday events. The rainy and cooler weather did hinder Sunday activities, though the car show did go on as scheduled, just with fewer cars, he said.

Looking back on the weekend, Nelson said the Friday evening events brought out a lot of families. “Those Funny Little People” and The Generics band were great entertainment. Among the other highlights adding to Friday’s entertainment were the Bureau County Community Choir, horse-drawn wagon rides and the pulled pork barbecue dinners and ice cream social.

Of course, Saturday’s highlight for many people was the parade, which lasted about 90 minutes, but there were also a lot of other Saturday events, Nelson said. Some of those other events included the skate park competition, children’s fun fair, Pork Producers pork sandwiches, the craft show and the Saturday evening’s Homestead Talent Showcase. This year’s talent for the showcase was tremendous and very well received, Nelson said.

As a steering committee member, Nelson said the highlight of the weekend was seeing so many people in town and having something fun for all of them to do.

Another highlight of the weekend was the annual 50/50 raffle hosted, which was won this year by a Princeton woman.

On Monday, 50/50 Committee Chairman Scott Wallis said $12,660 worth of 50/50 raffle tickets were sold, with Letizia Vangelisti of Princeton holding the winning ticket and receiving $6,330.

Also serving on the 2013 Homestead Festival steering committee with Nelson were his wife Dorothy, Mike and Deb Vrana and Rex and Ami Chamberlain. Managers for the annual event are Tracy Makransky and Rick Clary.

On Monday, Makransky said the weekend went well, even though the Sunday events battled some rain. There was still a good turnout for the Sunday activities which included not just the car show but also the barbecue rib cook-off, a children’s petting zoo and tractor pull.

Makransky said people would probably be surprised to know it costs about $30,000 to put on the festival. The annual lawn social and the 50/50 raffle are primary fundraisers for the festival, which will be held again next year, she said.

Looking ahead, Makransky said this year’s steering committee will get together in October to wrap-up this year’s event and then plans will begin for the 2014 Homestead Festival.

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