ST. JOE — The St. Joe Pickle Festival returns this weekend for its 23rd year.
The fun begins Thursday. The St. Joe-Spencerville Lions Club will serve homemade ice cream, including their special pickle ice cream. Craft and food vendors, kids activities and the art and photo exhibit all open at 4 p.m.
At 6 p.m., children can begin decorating cucumbers for the annual Pickle Derby on the hill behind Riverdale Elementary School. The Pickle Derby is similar to the Boy Scouts’ pinewood derby where racers are lined up next to each other on a track and gravity takes over. Rusty Berry will perform gospel music from 7:30-9 p.m.
St. Mark Lutheran Church will host a bake sale, flea market and silent auction beginning at 10 a.m. Friday. Shuttle rides will be available from the midway to the church. The Concord Township Fire Department will serve a fish dinner from 5-7 p.m. Friday.
What’s in the box? You’ll have to find out for yourself. There will be rock painting and a mystery box in the craft tent beginning at 2 p.m. Friday. Children can also stop by the face painting booth.
Throughout the festival, Sechler’s Pickles will have a sampling station and jars of delicious pickles available for purchase. Tours of the pickle factory will take place from 9-11:45 a.m. Saturday.
Indiana Wild will present an animal show at noon Friday and again at 11 a.m. Saturday. The Fleetwoods will perform from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Friday. A blue light parade, featuring personal vehicles of volunteer firefighters — and probably a fire truck or two or three — begins at dusk.
The annual Pickle Pepper Poker People Walk, a sanctioned Volkswalk event, takes place Saturday morning. Participants can register from 6:30-10:30 a.m. and will complete the marked course by 1 p.m.
Concord firefighters will serve a pancake and sausage breakfast from 7-10 a.m. Saturday.
Children can decorate cucumbers for the annual pickle people contest at noon Saturday. Winners will be announced following the parade, which begins at 1 p.m.
There will be bingo for kids from 2-4 p.m., with the popular kids tractor pull at 3 p.m.
The 10th annual cruise-in car show is from 3-8 p.m. with free adult bingo from 4-6 p.m.
Terry Lee will perform from 8-10 p.m. American Fireworks will launch the fireworks show around 10 p.m.