During the third weekend in September, the residents of Francesville, Indiana, gather together to celebrate life in “A Small Town with a Big Heart.” Our celebration begins late afternoon on Friday and continues through Sunday afternoon. During this time, festival-goers can experience wholesome family fun at very little cost.
On our downtown streets, you will find a variety of arts, craft, and flea market treasures to enjoy and purchase. There are also a variety of American, Greek, Oriental and Mexican foods available to whet your appetite. Benches are strategically located near many of the booths and food vendors and provide ample seating for those who want to rest, eat or visit.
Just in case you’d rather enjoy a casual “sit-down” meal, simply head to the fire station! There you will find delicious meals sponsored by various local organizations.
Friday evening’s meal, sponsored by the Francesville Fire Department, consists of fish and tenderloin. The Medaryville Nursery School starts Saturday morning off right by providing a pancake and sausage breakfast; while the evening meal on Saturday is sponsored by the Humanitarian Distribution Center and features broasted chicken and delicious desserts.
Then who can resist a tantalizing Sunday dinner showcasing Indiana pork chops–grilled to perfection? This dinner is sponsored by the Francesville Fall Festival Committee. All proceeds from each one of these meals are invested back into our local organizations and benefit countless numbers of Indiana residents, both locally and afar!
The town was plated in 1853 by James Brooks, the President of the New Albany and Salem Railroad and was named after his daughter Frances.
Francesville grew around the railroad and became a center for the farmers to bring in their grain, and also become a bustling downtown with many different businesses. Hunting wild game and fishing were also important trades of the early years, as Francesville was very swampy until the drainage industry came into being, and farmland was tiled and became very fertile farm ground.
Our 39th Fall Festival will feature some history of our heritage with free, family-type entertainment. The "Singing Trainmen" will entertain Friday evening, with their stories of the railroad's beginning and the music of the railroad era, and the railroad's affect on Francesville.
A "Francesville Community Improvement Foundation" was formed and incorporated as a non-profit organization. There were nine directors, and the corporate certificate was issued May 10, 1961. These nine directors solicited funds from business firms and citizens of the community. They received donations and pledges to purchase land and construct the much needed building.
People came with trucks, tractors, shovels, or whatever needed to do the work going in the fall of 1963. Eight farm trucks made a trip to Bedford Quarries, in southern Indiana and returned with Indiana Limestone. The stone was then laid in the fall of 1964.
There was still lots of work to be done to complete this 56 x 72 foot building that would house six pieces of fire fighting equipment, several offices, public restroom, and a kitchen. All of this was to be completed with no taxpayer funds.
Well, when this building was finished in 1967 it was decided to have a parade and dedication on September 22 and 23, 1967. This was the beginning of the Francesville Fall Festival. Each year it is held for the local community, to meet old friends and new, and be thankful for a wonderful place to live, where people care about their neighbors.
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