The Versailles Pumpkin Show is about pumpkins and so much more.
While Mother Nature sent Versailles Lions Club members, sponsors of the show, to their knees in the beginning of the event, every night was clear and the weekend was beautiful for the 110th annual show.
"Sunday was a great day for us," noted Lions Club member, and president of the 2012 Versailles Pumpkin Show, Jerry Gilpin. "We'll definitely continue with the extra day," he told the Osgood Journal Monday morning as the last of the event was being cleaned up.
Plans are to expand the last day and have stage entertainment and more, according to Gilpin. There were over 70 who participated in the first 5K Walk/Run on Sunday. See sports pages in The Versailles Republican for coverage on the race.
People were excited to have another chance to take advantage of one ticket rides and save some money on Sunday along with the Wednesday discount night.
Pumpkins were big this year and are the highlight of the end of the parade on Saturday as the mammoth gourds are rolled through showing their size and weight. They are weighed earlier in the morning at Gilpin's Monument building just south of town.
This year's first place winner went to Bill Hughes who had the biggest pumpkin in the Open Class Division at 670 pounds. Then in Ripley County Class, Darrell Franklin took first place for his pumpkin at 236 pounds. (More information about the pumpkins will be published in Thursday's paper).
Wednesday night the King and Queen contest kicked off the royalty events with Luke Hountz of Cavehill Christian Academy and Stacie Koger, South Ripley, representing the Southeastern Career Center, taking the king and queen honors. Their court included first runners up Cody Federmann, South Ripley and Maura Manor of South Dearborn. For the first time in the show's history, there were two second runners up named. They were Josh Faller, South Dearborn and Cody Havlin, Lawrenceburg and Jordan Margaret Lowery, Batesville and Allie Linkmeyer, South Ripley.
More royalty was crowned Thursday evening as the Prince and Princess Contest, sponsored by Ripley Publishing Co., got underway.
First graders from area schools participated and they were ready for the show! Out of town judges agreed they were one of the hardest groups to choose the winners from. They were all talkative and cute! The Prince went to Carson Fisk, South Ripley, son of Greg and Tracy Fisk and Lisa and Mark Taylor; Princess went to Allison Mosier, Jac-Cen-Del, daughter of Abraham and Gail Mosier.
The first runners up were Hunter Gates, Batesville Primary School, son of Jim and Becky Gates and Lindsey Houseworth, Sunman, daughter of Toni Houseworth. Second runners up went to Evan Weber, Sunman, son of Scott and Jennifer Weber and Emma Hauefle, St. Nicholas Catholic School, daughter of Elizabeth Haeufle and Jason Carpenter.
Thursday the Pumpkin Show events started way before 8:00 a.m. when the first goodies to be entered in the baking contest began coming into the newspaper office to be judged later that morning.
Four judges, Joyce Taylor, June Kieffer, Dana Vest and Dawna Mathews, took their jobs seriously and tasted every one of the 106 entries that were submitted. The overall Best of Show Award went to Liza Lloyd of Versailles with her Pumpkin Streusel entry.
The Best Decorated category went to Sandy Fields for her pumpkin cake. (See Thursday's paper for other winners and pictures.)
On Saturday the parade ironically had 110 entries for the 110th year! The best overall float title went to Patterson's Nursery for their colorful float decorated to the hilt with mums and more.
Winners in the Youth Organization Float category were South Ripley FFA first place, and JCD FFA second place. Tri-Kappa took the winning title for the Organization Float category with Aurora's Farmer's Fair coming in second.
The Versailles Church of Christ took first place in the Religious Organization entries with the Shelby Christian Church coming in second. Laughery Valley Ag. came in first in the Ag-Business Float category with Fraley Trucks coming in second. The best Business Float entry went to Versailles Cash Saver (new grocery store coming very soon) and second place went to Old School Café.
The Versailles Lions Club thanks everyone who participated in the parade in any way. The floats take a long time to construct and they are thankful for a community that comes together once a year to show their pride.
The Gold Star Chili Cheese Coney eating contest got underway directly after the parade, along with many other festivities including a cheerleading contest at 5:00 p.m. by the stage.
With Sunday's sun coming out, many people were able to take advantage of one more day of the 2012 Versailles Pumpkin Show.
Already plans are being made and notes compiled to make next year even better.
(Editor's Note) Look for more coverage of the Pumpkin Show inside today's paper and in this week's The Versailles Republican.