Hometown pride: Vernon hosting celebration

Vernon, the smallest county seat in the state, is throwing a big party for its friends and neighbors.

The 56th annual Labor Day Vernon Homecoming celebration, Friday through Sept. 4, will feature three days of live music, food, games, arts and crafts — and even a morning church service on the historic town square on the final day.

“It used to be famous for its flea market and antiques, but we have added a few things and expanded the scope to keep things interesting,” Vernon Mayor Dan Wright said of the annual celebration.

Festivities begin at 5 p.m. Friday with live music on the courthouse lawn and a beer garden on nearby Pike Street. The Spare Change Band will open. Stan Attenberger will take the stage at 6, followed by The Southern Comfort Band at 7. At dusk, a movie will be shown outdoors on the Courthouse lawn.

A Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned cookoff starts early Saturday and lasts through the afternoon on the courthouse square. The public can watch the cooks throughout the day, and an awards ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Other Saturday highlights include:

Booths featuring antiques, arts and craft that will open at 9 a.m. and remain open until 8 p.m.

Live music beginning at noon with the Spare Change Band followed by the Crooked Creek Band, Scotty Geer and then Jerry Zollman and Troy Steele. Tracey Thompson and Elaine Basham take the music stage at 4 p.m., and headliner the Jimmy Davis Band will play from 5 until 8.

Kids pedal tractor pull at 3 p.m.

Beer garden, from noon until 8 p.m.

The Back Yard Barbeque Dinner, 5 to 7 p.m. A meal of pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob, baked beans and tea or lemonade can be purchased for $5.

Sunday’s events include:

Booths of antiques, arts and crafts, opening at 9 a.m.

Church service on the courthouse lawn, 10 a.m.

Live music beginning at 2 p.m. with the Small Change Band, followed by Frisky Business and then Rick Wilson.

An open car show from 2 to 4 p.m. that will feature Crosley cars and other collections.

“We want this to be good, clean fun for everyone. The event started as a homecoming for people that used to live here, but it is also a good time for people new to the community to get to know us and see what makes this town special in its own way,” Wright said.

If you go

WHAT: The 56th Annual Vernon Labor Day Homecoming

WHEN: 5 p.m. until late Friday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 4.

WHERE: Vernon Town Square

WHO: Everyone is invited

COST: Admission is free, but fees for food, beer and merchandise.

A few booth spaces are still available for vendors. To rent a booth space call Amber Fields at Friends of Historic Vernon by calling 812-592-0428.

To enter a car in the Sept. 4 car show, call Dan Wright at 812-592-1410.