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home : news : news February 5, 2016

10/17/2013 3:00:00 PM
Happy Birthday Vevay! Town, county celebrate 200 years

It was a birthday so big, it took 10 days to celebrate, but as the final weekend of the Vevay Switzerland County Bicentennial came to a close, majestic weather and big crowds turned out for the wide variety of events.

The final weekend kicked off with a 'Family Fun Night' at the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park; and on Saturday morning there was a Scavenger Hunt around the county; while Saturday night saw an inclusive class reunion with graduates of Patriot High School, Vevay High School, and Switzerland County High School all gathering at the river for a hog roast, live music, and plenty of visiting.

Both Saturday and Sunday featured the Rural Heritage Tour at the Thiebaud Farmstead, Musee de Venoge, and the Garland Dairy Farm.

Sunday morning began with a community church service in the amphitheater of the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park led by the congregation of Truth Apostolic Church; and following that everyone enjoyed a free lunch courtesy of Belterra Casino Resort.

The inflatable play area was open for kids all through the day; and The Rivers Institute from Hanover College had a photo booth where everyone could dress up in period clothing.

Those who did dress up also had the option of going to the souvenir booth, where they got an extra ticket for the door prize drawings later in the day.

After some wonderful live music on the amphitheater stage, the Little Swiss Polka Dancers sang and danced for everyone; and they were followed by a performance by the Edelweiss Singers.

A very special program was held following those performances, with a plaque honoring Revolutionary War soldiers with ties to the Switzerland County area being unveiled. The large plaque, made here in the county by Jim Welch using natural wood native to the county donated by Judy Kappes, is shaped like the county and contains the names of more than 100 soldiers.

The plaque will now be on permanent display at the Switzerland County Courthouse.

The large crowd really enjoyed the performance by the Area Bicentennial Band, which included many Switzerland County residents; and everyone also enjoyed the wide array of cakes that were prepared by county cooks and brought to the celebration to be part of a large cake display tower.

The Switzerland County Homemakers group organized a cake decorating contest in conjunction with the display; giving awards and prizes to the winners.

In the "Family Favorite Cake" category, Debbie Allen won first place; Cheryl Janes won second place; and Shirley Tingle won third place.

In the "Traditional Cake" category, Julia Hazeldean's cakes won both first and second place; while Leona Adams' cake took home first place in the "Bicentennial Cake" category.

During the official ceremonies, State Representative Randy Frye presented the community an American Flag that had flown over the Statehouse; letters of congratulations were read from U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly and Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann; and an official state proclamation from Indiana Governor Mike Pence congratulating the community was also read.

The beards grown by the "Brothers of the Brush" were judged; and local elected officials were also introduced. At the close of the ceremonies, six-year old Mckira Scudder was introduced.

Her great-grandfather, Joe Ricketts, was the chairman of the Sesquicentennial in 1963; and her grandmother, Jeni Scudder, was the chairperson of the Bicentennial this year.

As a nod to the future, Mckira was introduced at the chairperson of the Sestercentennial, which will happen in 2063 and will celebrate Vevay's 250th birthday.

The day wrapped up with plenty of door prizes; then many folks moved to the west end of the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park, where the Vevay White Stockings baseball team took on the Belle River team from Rising Sun in an old fashioned baseball game (no gloves, just bare hands; among other rules).

"Overall we were very pleased with everything," Bicentennial chairperson Jeni Scudder said. "We had a lot of different events that we felt would appeal to a lot of different people here in the county, and they were all well attended. We hope everyone enjoyed the Bicentennial."

Jeni Scudder said that she was particularly impressed with the work that the fourth graders from both elementary schools did in learning about local history; and all of the members of the committee have been working hard for quite awhile to pull everything together.

"I deserve very little credit," the humble chairperson said. "The real credit goes to all of our chairpersons and all of the volunteers who have been working for two years to get ready for this. Everyone got along and worked so well together. It was a lot of fun. I'm very proud of what we accomplished."

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