Old Jasper Day includes strawberries, duck race

From Local Sources

The annual Old Jasper Day is set for Sunday in the Riverwalk area.

Activities will start at 11 a.m. and wrap up at 5 p.m.

Along with the annual activities — such as the Lions Club Strawberry Festival, train and wagon rides and the Patoka 2000 duck race on the river — a new feature, guided Riverwalk strolls, has been added.

The strolls are being led by members of the Invasive Species Awareness Coalition Dubois County. Two guided strolls will be at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Each stroll will be about 30 minutes.

“They want to raise people’s awareness of invasive species,” said Nancy Eckerle, executive director of the Jasper Chamber of Commerce. “They are trying to discourage people from planting plants that kind of take over an area.”

Strollers will learn about the plants along the walk, the history of the area and the work being done to combat invasive plants in the vicinity.

ISAC Dubois County was formed this past winter to focus on public awareness, mapping and eliminating invasive species in  the county. Invasive species are plants that are not native to the area and tend to spread so that native vegetation cannot flourish.

The group will also have a booth at the Riverwalk during Old Jasper Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. At the booth, group members will and will give out free native wildflower seeds and show some common invasive plants in the area. The group will also have a drawing to win a native landscaping shrub.

A staple of the event is the Jasper Lions Club Strawberry Festival, at which people can buy and eat strawberries to their heart’s content — at least until the strawberries run out.

“They’re really good, fresh strawberries,” Lions Club President Joe Cozza said. “We get them from a local farmer.”

The club will also have for sale strawberry shortcake topped with ice cream as well as tenderloin sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs and drinks.

“It’s a big fundraiser for us,” he said. “And every penny we take in goes to serving people who need eye glasses and eye exams but can’t afford them. We help in other things, but that’s one of our main focus — helping people with eyesight issues.”

Other events include short train rides on the Spirit of Jasper as well as the Patoka 2000 Duck Race. Train rides cost $3 per person and will run every hour from noon to 3 p.m. Ducks for the duck race cost $5 or 3 for $10.

Prizes will be given to race winners.

People can also take a self-guided tour of the area, visit the Schaeffer Barn on East Fourth Street, take a free horse-drawn wagon ride that start at the train depot, get their face painted for a small fee and watch corn being ground into cornmeal at the city mill.

Old Jasper Day schedule

11 a.m. Jasper Lions Club Strawberry Festival runs through 5 p.m.; Dubois County Suds Club beer making demonstrations run through 3 p.m.

11:30 a.m. Guided Riverwalk stroll begins.

Noon Spirit of Jasper train run; horse-drawn wagon rides run through 4 p.m.

1 p.m.  Patoka 2000 Duck Race starts; Spirit of Jasper train ride.

1:30 p.m. Guided Riverwalk stroll begins.

2 p.m.  Spirit of Jasper train ride.

3 p.m.  Sparrow and Crandall concert at the gazebo; Spirit of Jasper train ride.

All events will be Sunday at or near the Riverwalk plaza.