Lions Club Summer Festival Opens on July 25 at the Historic Village

By Sue Moore

It’s a social happening with family activities, several bands playing, games such as volleyball, horseshoes and even corn hole to challenge contestants agilities while quaffing a Miller Lite or Coke a Cola, claimed Doug Stafinski ,the long-time chairperson of the Summer Festival or B & B as it was originally known.

“We started with two barrels of beer in 1973 and our distributor said it would probably be too much as they didn’t think there were any beer drinkers in town,” Roland Peach related. “They had to make a run back to the warehouse to bring more.” His wife, Shirley Peach saw to it that the tables were cleared and the pitchers quickly filled. “She was a whirling dervish when it came to taking care of the customers,” he said.

These days, about 40 barrels of beer are consumed during the three-day stretch of the festival that will take place on July 25, 26 and 27 at the Historic Village, beginning at 4 p.m. on Thursday and 11:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. A new menu addition this year will be a cup of shelled peanuts for $1.00. These have been donated by Logan’s Steak House and the Texas Road House.

Thursday Family Night highlights include clowns, a raffle, games for kids with prizes, and nobody loses from 6-8 p.m. If the kids don’t like brats, there are hot dogs instead at a special of $1.00 each or cans of pop at $1.00, Stafinski said.

The adult volleyball competition gets going on Friday and extends into Saturday with the championship team determined by early evening. A cornhole tournament is scheduled for Friday from 6-9 p.m. Live band music takes over from 9 -1 a.m. with no one under the age of 21 admitted.

The click, clang of horseshoes gets the Saturday tournament off to a ferocious start at 1 a.m. as devotees practice their pitching prior to the draw to determine their partner. Three-time champions, Tim Kudary and Scott Haines will be challenging all-comers this year, said Brett Grossman, the horseshoe tourney chairperson.

When these guys get warm, they tend to drink a little more beer which also helps the bottom line, Grossman chuckled. It gets pretty intense with the only prize being the bragging rights for another year.

Miller Lite, Miller Hi-Life and Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy are for sale along with Seagrams wine coolers and non-alcohol drinks. “Miller has proven to be more popular in Vicksburg, plus their distributor takes really good care of us during the festival,” Stafinski said.

Tickets are purchased upon entering the grounds at 50 cents, $1.00 or $5.00 which can be spent for food or drink. There is a cover charge of $5.00 beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Nellie Pierson is in charge of ticket sales and sets up the schedule of volunteers to sell tickets. They did experience some counterfeit tickets one year and so she is meticulous about how this is handled. A bracelet must be worn by anyone entering the festival grounds. The security is tight but not invasive, Stafinski acknowleged. “We do appreciate the help we get from the local police, the Sheriff’s department and the Sheriff’s

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