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Covered Bridge Festival returns after cancellation last year

(WTIU/WFIU)

The Covered Bridge Festival, Parke County’s claim to fame, returned this week after the cancellation of it last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This 10-day festival started last Friday and showcases the county’s 31 historic covered bridges.  Local artisans, farmers and bakers set up at one of 10 locations around Park County to sell goods.  

“All the exhibitors are thrilled,” said Mike Roe, owner of Bridgeton Mill.  “They’re just selling and selling you know, and it’s been absolutely amazing.”

­­­­The Bridgeton Mill has been open every year since 1823.  With approximately one to three million people coming to the festival every year, Roe says that a lot of local businesses - including the Bridgeton Mill - rely on the festival to stay financially stable. 

“It’s a huge, huge shot in the arm for the whole area not just this county but the surrounding counties,” said Roe.

Last year, without the festival and because of the pandemic, many local businesses and farmers around Parke County struggled, with some shutting down. However, now that the festival is back on, Roe said this is the busiest and most successful year, so far.  Roe said he hopes local farms that he grew up with will reap the benefits.

“Farm families and farm life, I would hate to see that disappear and it’s still holding on pretty strong here in this little county,” he said.

The Covered Bridge Festival is open to the public through Sunday.  For more information on Parke County and the Covered Bridge Festival, visit coveredbridges.com

 

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