History and the summer go hand in hand in our city just about this time every year.
This weekend is a time for repeating history in a very personal way for all those that belong to the Portage Historical Society. It marks the 25th annual Countryside Historical Festival. The hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and the public is welcome to come check it all out at Countryside Park, 5250 U.S. 6. The Historical Society has been celebrating their Silver Anniversary all year but the festival is a great time to showcase all that they do.
The festival is unique because it takes you back in time to a life that is simpler, without cell phones, cars and modern conveniences. Many of the artifacts date back to the turn of the 19th century.
The Historical Society received a grant to restore and refurbish the Traeger farm house and barn and a few years later they built a splendid museum in honor of Alton Goin, the original president and the man who spearheaded the project.
The museum houses many treasures and facts about our city’s short but interesting history and many came from the time capsule we uncovered in the year 2000 from the first year we were incorporated as a city. You see, we are very young in comparison to other cities of our size in Northwest Indiana. Portage was incorporated as a town in 1959 and became a full-fledged city in 1968.
The day kicks off at 10 a.m. with presentation of the colors by the PHS JROTC and Beth Franzen singing the Star Spangled Banner. There will be an antique car show and a vintage 1929 fire truck there available for photos with your own camera.
A fishing derby and carnival games will be some of the highlights for the kids as well as Native American and French trader re-enactors. There will be lots of entertainment by the Save the Tunes, dulcimer and banjo music, Strummers with ukulele music, Trilly Cole, the Good Time Cloggers and an Abraham Lincoln impersonator who looks like the real deal.
Show your skill in eating by entering the watermelon contest.
There will be old fashioned hayrides and loom weaving in the museum.
There will be a great silent auction and the members will be selling tickets to win a a picture of the restored Robbins mansion.
Food of all kinds will be available for purchase such as hot dogs, brats, hamburgers, homemade pie, ice cream, soda and root beer floats. Doesn’t it make your mouth water?
Vendors will be selling merchandise all day long. So if you’re looking for something unique, this is the place to come for it.
The Portage Historical Society is always up to something to preserve history in our great city.
Don’t miss this opportunity to take a trip back in time this weekend. For more information, call (219) 762-1675 or (219) 762-8349.
I just wanted to remind everyone about the Portage Community Market every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Founder’s Square Park just west of Hamstrom Road on Main Street. Lots of food, foliage and friends can be found here every Sunday through Sept. 30.
Also the deadline is approaching for the applications for the 4th of July parade. Call (219) 762-5425 for more information or go online for an application at the City of Portage website. Vendors for the Fireworks Festivities can also still apply online.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion.