Goshen News, Goshen, IN

September 15, 2013

Greased pumpkin race a highlight at Bonneyville celebration

By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS

BRISTOL —  It took 10-year-old Krista Parsons just 26 seconds to clear the obstacles on a course at Bonneyville Mill County Park.

But Parsons was handicapped because she had to hold on to two greased pumpkins while climbing over a bale of hay, bending under a string between two trees and walking a straight line on a 6-foot board before crossing the finish line.

“It was hard. They were very slimy. I had one pumpkin heavier than the other one,” said Krista.

The Elkhart youngster was one of 28 participants in the greased pumpkin obstacle course contest during the Bonneyville Mill Heritage Day at the park east of Bristol.

“I practiced with a water cooler bag, but they were slimy,” Krista said. “Every year we come. I always eat the kettle corn. I like the one-room schoolhouse with the water pump and the old fashioned toys. I like to play with them.”

The obstacle course was just one of many activities and demonstrations for all ages during the event. Visitors watched a barnyard pony pull, saw farm tool demonstrations, wandered through the farmer’s market, watched the Bonneyville Mill in operation, and ate food from a variety of food concessions.

Some of the wandering musicians throughout the day included members of the Waterford Mennonite Church Ensemble, who sang hymns, a capella style, for the crowd.

“They were good,” said Laura Getter, a representative of Elkhart Olive Garden. “This is my first time here and I like it.”

Fred Rogers and his wife, Diane Williams, of Niles, Mich., drove over to look at the gasoline and steam engines on display.

“I love the old equipment. I love to listen to it run and I love to watch it run,” Rogers said. “I’m interested in the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution and this equipment. This 1914 gasoline motor engine was made by John Deere.”

Attending the Heritage Day event was a walk down memory lane for Tiffani Hill of Wakarusa.

“I came when I was younger but this is my first time with my kids, 4-year-old Claire and 3-year-old Colten,” Hill said.

She was helping her two children make a candle using a string dipped into hot, melted wax. The family stood in a line along with other children, holding about a 12-inch string. There was a kettle with wax at each end of the line and they walked around and around, each time dipping their string in the melted wax.

Colton told his mom that his candle wasn’t very big.

“It will take a lot of times to dip and make it bigger,” Hill said.

Then, she looked around the park and smiled.

“I remember it being bigger, but maybe it seemed bigger because I was a child,” Hill said. “I remember the rope course and lots of people. I remember it being a fun time.”