65th Grandview Fall Fest kicks off today

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Pageant, cruise-in, parade among activities

GRANDVIEW – The 65th annual Grandview Fall Festival gets under way tonight at 6 p.m. with a queen pageant for girls ages 3-18 and boys ages 3-12. The theme for the pageant is “A Day in the Park.”
For more pageant information, contact Rachel Frederick at  686-3078 or send e-mail to luce621@hotmail.com.

Festivities will continue Friday and will begin at 6 p.m. with train rides, vendor booths, crafts, a flea market and inflatables. George and the Country Boys will play from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. New this year is a teen dance from 8 to 10 p.m. with Extreme Studios as the DJ.  

The night will end with a prize auction at 10 p.m.

Fun will resume at 10 a.m. Saturday with the annual fall fest parade along Main Street. A car cruise-in will take place after the parade. A baby pageant for children up to 2 years old will begin at 11 a.m. on the Main Street stage.

Other activities throughout the day include kids rides, bingo, music, im-personators and food booths. Carry-out barbecued chicken and grilled pork-chop dinners will be sold from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A medieval encampment and demonstrations will begin at noon and BMX bike stunts will be performed at 1 and 3 p.m. A new bike will be given away after each show. Local country singer Daniel Epperson will perform from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Line dancing will start at 6 p.m. A Hank Williams Sr. impersonator will offer musical stylings at 7:30 p.m. and “Elvis” will take the stage at 9. From 8 to 10 p.m. Extreme Studios will DJ the teen dance. A handmade quilt sewn by members of the Grandview Ladies will be raffled at 10 p.m.

The festival will end Sunday with a worship service at the Grandview Boat Ramp at 10 a.m. The public is invited to all events. In case of rain, the service will take place at the Grandview United Methodist Church.  

Varners Serving as Grand Marshals

Grand marshals for this year’s parade will be John and Geraldine Varner.  “I feel honored to be asked to serve as this year's grand marshal,” John said. “I’ve always watched the parade and waved at everybody, but this year I get to ride in the red Thunderbird.”

John is a 1946 graduate of Chrisney High School and Geraldine is a 1947 Richland graduate. The couple met while in high school and went on a few casual dates, but it was many years before their relationship really sparked. The Varners have been married for 39 years and have called Grandview home for most of that time. John was born into a farming family and raised cattle just outside of the town for many years. He was drafted into the Army in 1953 and served two years before returning to his pastoral roots.

Three years after returning, he enrolled at the University of Evansville, where he earned a teaching degree. He taught grade school at Grandview, Clay-Huff, Rockport and Tell City and served as principal at Grandview.

He left teaching after 13 years to follow a career that more closely kept ties with the farming lifestyle. What started out as a means to supplement his teaching income, John sold milking machines to dairy farmers for the Chicago-based Babson Brothers Co. for 45 years.  

He was a charter member of the Grandview Civic Association and was in charge of the children's games at the fall fest for 31 years. In the late 1940s and early 50s, he also served as president for the Southwest Indiana Duroc Hog Association and the Spencer County Purebred Livestock Association.

Geraldine worked for 25 years as senior cost analyst at Alcoa and was a secretary at Evansville College. Now in their 80s, the Varners have traveled the world, volunteering on mission trips. John said they have volunteered in 11 different countries, but have visited many more than that.

He said he has personally been to 64 countries, capped off by a 29-day Asia tour that took him to Japan, Korea, China and Indonesia.

Their last trip was in 2004. Every year they sponsor $1,000 scholarships for graduating Spencer County students. Each high school in the county is awarded 10 scholarships.