Bright Fest Perseveres; Expecting Big Weekend
By Mike Perleberg
(Bright, Ind.) – Firefighters at the Bright Volunteer Fire Department are hard at work Thursday, though they aren’t battling a fire or aiding vehicle crash victims.
But the crew would drop their preparations for the annual Bright Community Festival to take care of their primary responsibilities if called up.
The biggest festival in northern Dearborn County takes place Friday and Saturday at Bright Fire Station #1, 23759 Brightwood Drive, just off Salt Fork Road.
Planning for this year’s festival has fallen on more members of the volunteer department with the passing of assistant chief Tom Stevens, Sr. in March. The longtime Bright FD member was a lead organizer for not just the festival, but for many tasks concerning the department.
“Other people have had to step up and assume responsibilities. The show has to go on. The department has to have that ‘next man up’ mentality,” says firefighter Kyle Luebbe.
That’s because the festival proceeds make up a large chunk of the department’s funding. Bright Fire Department covers the largest area geographically in Dearborn County.
“We aren’t an incorporated area so we don’t get money from a city tax base. We rely on beer sales and our raffles,” Luebbe said, adding that grants and contributions from the state, county, and Dearborn Community Foundation help fill the gap.
Visitors to the Bright Community Festival will notice a few additions, such as more kids rides and craft vendors than festivals past. This years festival will include entertainment from Pure Grain on Friday night and Gen-X followed by After Midnight on Saturday evening.
Last year, the festival experimented with two separate beer garden areas, but has returned to setting up the 21 and over section to one large area this time around.
“We found it kind of split up the fun,” Luebbe said.
One thing they will be splitting up is the festival giant split-the-pot. The drawing’s grand prize could increase to $5,000, then $10,000, then $30,000 or more.
There is another drawing for a complete vacation package including airfare, deluxe accommodations, and $1,000 in spending money – or the $2,500 cash buyout option. Second and third prizes in the vacation drawing will each take home $500.
Unlike most years, the raffle tickets were not mailed out. This year they can be picked up at the following locations: Bright Community Festival, Merchants Bank & Trust on Stateline Road, Snappy Tomato Pizza on Jamison Road, Skyline Chili on Jamison Road, Logan Supermart on North Dearborn Road, or Bright Fire Station #1.
Tickets can be entered into the raffle during the Bright Festival. The drawings will be held Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The raffles are licensed with the Indiana Gaming Commission under license #135237.
The popular Bright Parade will star grand marshals Jim and Charlotte Helms, of Bright. Jim Helms retired as chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College southeast earlier this year following a long career in education in Dearborn County. The couple will celebrate 49 years of marriage on August 7.
The parade steps off at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, beginning at the intersection of Sneakville Road and Stateline Road then proceeding to Salt Fork Road before ending at the Fire Station #1. Sneakville, Stateline, and Salt Fork roads will be closed during the parade.
Also riding in the parade will be the three finalists in the Mayor of Bright fundraising contest by Integrity Lodge 763 F&AM. Three dogs – Bailey, Cuddles, and Max – have been the top vote getters for $1 per vote to earn their way to the finals among 10 animals entered into the contest this year. Voting continues at a designated booth at the festival.
Max owned by Scott, Kristie, and Marissa Gabbard has one previous stint as the Mayor of Bright in 2012-13. Bailey is the pet of Scott and Kelli Kluener. Cuddles belongs to Bunny Newcomb.
Proceeds from the Mayor of Bright contest will be donated to Bright Fire & EMS.
More information about the Bright Community Festival can be found online at http://www.brightfd.org/Wordpress/bright-community-festival/.