By Larry Incollingo
It’s that time of year again when all roads lead to Elnora, where the curtain is going up Sept. 6 on the biggest show of its kind in southern Indiana, and it won’t be coming down for three whole days: the 6th, 7th, and 8th. And you are invited.
So after you’ve read this column clip it and attach e it to your refrigerator door, your vanity or shaving mirror, or where you normally post your bills, because this will be the only written invitation the sponsor of the show–White River Valley Antique Association–is going to send you.
Thousands of people have been enjoying the show every year for the past seventeen years. There were just a few short of 20,000 last year: 5,000 on Friday; 10,000 on Saturday. And 5,000 on Sunday. On this 18th year of the White River Valley Antique Association Antique show and flea market more visitors are expected. Free parking for more than 5,000 vehicles has been made available, so don’t hold back.
Opening day is school children’s day and kids by the busload have historically attended the big antique show and flea market. Association President Melvin Paulus said invitations to school children within a 60 mile radius of Elnora have been mailed out for this year’s show. A private fenced-in parking area has been set aside especially for school buses. No other vehicles or persons will be allowed in the area, and security for the buses and their contents has been arranged, Paulus said.
Association Secretary Dick Cottrell noted, “This is the biggest show of its kind in southern Indiana. “We’ll have about 100 acres available for the show and all of its requirements including free parking.”
There will be many special attractions to please the thousands of visitors who are expected to attend. Scores of farm tractors, old and new and unusual, oil field engines and pumps, gas engines, and more. A newly constructed 40 X 60 horse building, nineteen different other buildings displaying a variety of collections and continuing demonstrations including cider-making, sorghum, applebutter, ham and beans, lye soap, hand-dipped candies; a machine shop; grist mill; quilt displays and much, much more.
Another building to be introduced to show-goers will be a replica of the A.L. Arthur General Store that once thrived just out the road from Elnora at Newberry. The facsimile was designed and built by the late Ray Baker who was A. L. Arthur’s grandson and a member and avid supporter in every way of the Association and its activities. Baker had worked in his grandfather’s store from the time he was 12 until he entered military service. Until his death last November it was open to the public as a country store museum at the Baker home on Springville, Route1.
Fulfilling Baker’s wish, the building recently was moved intact to the Association’s show grounds where it will be open to visitors attending this year’s event, and where it will remain as a permanent fixture. The gift was made in Baker’s memory by his widow, Mrs. Grace Baker. She will fill the role of hostess storekeeper during the exposition handing out lollipops to children, a treat Baker offered until his death to children who visited the museum while it was at the Baker home.
Although all roads lead to Elnora, it is well to remember that the entrance to the big show is on State Road 57. Plenty of food will be available and visitors are invited to spend an entire day–or three days– viewing the sights, demonstrations and the large flea market. There is something of interest to every member of the family, including a kiddie tractor pull. Admission is $3, and children under 12 will be admitted free. Primitive camping is available and there’s lots of parking space for motor homes and pull campers. The parade will be at 1 p.m. Sunday.