Monthly Archives: August 2013

Persimmon Festival to be smoke-free

Persimmon Festival to be smoke-free

Designated areas will be established



April 2, 2013 MITCHELL — Smokers and other tobacco users will be relegated to designated smoking areas come September when the Persimmon Festival sets up in Mitchell. Discussion on the ordinance was varied during Monday’s regular council meeting. Council member Joey Slone said he talked to about 30 people, with only five of them in favor of the ban. Nancy Miller, another council member, said she received a phone call earlier Monday. The caller told her Mitchell was again “the laughing stock” if it passed the ban, and vendors would lose money if the rule was implemented. Councilman Everett Ferrel worried about enforcement. Matt England, another council member, replied by saying, “It will be a work in progress.” Council member Vicky Schlegel compared it to speeding. “It’s against the law, but people still speed.” Schlegel continued, “If you follow state law, there is actually very little space where you can smoke legally downtown as it stands now. Mitchell should be very proud of the Persimmon Festival. It takes a lot of work, with a lot of commitment and dedication by good people. Yet, people refer to it as the ‘Dirt Fest,’ and that’s sad. … I think this ban is a good step in the right direction of making the festival family-friendly.” Schlegel pointed out that, once upon a time, smoking was the norm, noting you could once smoke in hospitals, doctor’s offices and on planes. “We think that’s absurd today,” she said. The issue was originally brought forth to the council during its March meeting. Members tabled the idea then to allow for public input and for city attorney Byron Steele to draw up the law. Steele presented the ordinance, which states, “The Persimmon Festival shall be tobacco free. No person shall use tobacco products of any kind in any manner anywhere within the area where the Persimmon Festival is being conducted, except in such area or areas as may be designated ‘smoking area’ by the Persimmon Festival committee.” The fine, upon conviction, is $100 plus court costs. The ordinance passed, after council members suspended the rules of order, on a 4-1 vote. Slone voted against the measure. Mitchell Mayor Gary Pruett praised the city council for making the decision. A former smoker, he said he empathized with those who smoke, but he said now is the time for Mitchell to take a positive step forward to protect public health. “I don’t expect every person in town to stop smoking because of this, nor do I expect them to quit coming if it goes non-smoking,” Pruett said. “Smoking was once the norm, but we have learned a painful, hard lesson in what this costs us in term of the quality of life. “This ban will anger people, but I don’t think we’ll be the laughing stock. Quite the opposite, actually, because I think we’re taking the lead on an important issue aimed at protecting public health. “People have looked at Mitchell has a backwards community for far too long, … in part because of some practices we’ve refused to change, just like this issue. It’s just seven days a year. Wherein lies the harm for having fresh air for seven days?” The Persimmon Festival, sponsored by the Greater Mitchell Chamber of Commerce and organized by volunteers, is conducted the final full week of each September.


Contact Times-Mail Staff Writer Krystal Shetler at 277-7264 or by email at

It’s time to enter queen contests

It’s time to enter queen contests

August 7, 2013


MITCHELL — Entry forms are now available for the Mitchell Persimmon Festival queen contest.

The contest will be conducted Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. in the Mitchell High School auditorium. Crowning will be on the Main Street stage at 8 p.m. Sept. 23. The sponsor fee is $30. All contestants must live within Lawrence County and be currently enrolled in a high school program.

Registration forms are available at the Greater Mitchell Chamber of Commerce office, 1494 W. Main St., Mitchell, (former Integra Bank building), in the Mitchell High School office or at Hatfield Elementary School. All entries and the sponsor fee will be accepted no later than Sept. 5. Contestants must remit the sponsor fee, a photo and the entry form to the chamber office or mail to: Persimmon Queen Contest, 897 S. Meridian Road, Mitchell, IN 47446. For questions, call Jenny Day at 545-9134 or Jodi Mundy at 583-6119.

Little queens

Entry forms for the Mini, Little and Junior Miss Persimmon pageants will be available only at the Greater Mitchell Chamber of Commerce Office, 1494 W. Main St., Mitchell, (former Integra Bank building) on Aug. 12 at 8:30 a.m. Entry forms cannot be faxed or hand delivered.

A $30 entry fee is required and space is limited to 20 girls in each age group. Each category is on a first-come, first-serve basis and will fill up within the first few days. All entry forms must be filled out, postmarked and mailed to Candi Livingston, P.O. Box 248, Mitchell, IN 47446.

All contestants must be enrolled in a Lawrence County school. The Mini contest is open to girls in grades K-2. The Little Miss contest is open to grades 3-5. The Junior Miss is open to girls in grades 6-8.

Time to enter Persimmon parade

EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ Time to enter Persimmon parade

August 16, 2013


Waking up to the chilly air filtering through my windows the past two mornings has reminded me a lot of fall. And for those of us who call Mitchell home, nothing says fall like the Persimmon Festival.

Believe it or not, the festival is just a month away.

That means I better get my hands on some persimmon pulp, and it also means Gary Rayhill wants to get his hands on some parade entry forms.

Rayhill, who serves as the parade chairman (a job he might just be stuck with until his final days), told me Thursday that the parade entry deadline is quickly approaching. In fact, parade entry forms are due Sept. 1.

“I’m getting some forms in, but people do tend to drag their feet a little when it comes to entering the parade,” Rayhil told me.

This year’s Persimmon Festival parade will feature the 113th Army Band, “The Dragoons,” of Fort Knox, Ky., the Southshore Drill Team and the New Generation Fancy Drill Team. Not to mention that five high school bands are already registered to participate.

Entry forms can be picked up at Ben Franklin/ACE Hardware or Gasoline Alley in Mitchell. They can be downloaded from the website,, or obtained by calling Rayhill at 797-0427. Completed forms can be mailed to: 1844 State Road 60 East, Mitchell, IN 47446.

The parade will be at 2 p.m. on Sept. 28.

Click here for Parade Entry Form!!!