PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Part of Indiana is transforming for the state’s largest festival. For eleven months of the year, Bridgeton, Indiana is as quiet as can be. But preparations are already underway for this year’s Covered Bridge Festival.
News 10 spoke with Kathy Collom, who owns Collom’s General Store with her husband. She shares, “It’s a peaceful little town. It’s approximately 125 people who live here in Bridgeton. It’s very quaint.”
While most signs of the Covered Bridge Festival pop up in October, the General Store is a staple in the town year-round.
Collom says, “We have a lot of our regulars that we see on a daily basis that pop in and have lunch, visit, drink coffee.”
But early this week, visitors from St. Louis, Missouri came into Bridgeton on two wheels, hoping to beat the festival crowd.
Bicyclist Anne Jesse says, “I think we first came out here in 1993 for a bike tour, a three-day bike ride, loved it. So we come back every few years.”
As Jesse shares, the lively 10-day Covered Bridge Festival isn’t for everyone. She says, “We try to avoid the covered bridges tour because we know we couldn’t get accommodations in the area. Although it looks like a lot of fun!”
As the festival inches closer, the hustle and bustle settle in. But for Collom, who watches the madness unfold year after year, she says it’s a tradition she wouldn’t trade for anything.
The store owner shares, “You feel like, I’ve got a lot to get done, but it all comes together on Thursday night. And we’re ready to go.”
If you’re looking to get in on the Covered Bridge Fest fun, you have ten days to do so, starting this Friday, October 12th.
Officials want to remind you if you’ll be in Parke County during the festival, to be extra careful driving. They say there will be more traffic than normal. Also, pedestrians are often near the road while shopping or site-seeing.
For more information on the 61st Annual Covered Bridge Festival, click here.