The La Porte Sunflower Fair is a one-of-a-kind event that brings rare activities and competitions to the community. This year marked the 20th year of the one-day fair that commemorates the end of summer and celebrates the beginning of the fall season.
Of course, what would a Sunflower Fair be without a sunflower contest? The Wyatt Wilke Memorial Sunflower Contest awarded prizes to the following categories: tallest sunflower, sunflower stalk with the most blossoms, and the largest sunflower seed head.
Other contests included the Rib Cook-Off, where competition is judged based off appearance, texture, taste, and sauce. The cooking for the competition happens on site where one can watch, and smell, the competition from start to finish.
The Sunflower Fair gives exposure to over 100 vendors in and around the community that range from big name companies to small town businesses. There is no doubt that with all the foot traffic, all booths are likely to get great attention.
Jami Jackson, watercolor artist and owner of The Life I Create, was attending her first year at the fair as a vendor. She spoke about how the fair promotes her hobby and gives great attention to her business.
“This is my first year here. I’m a mom of three kids, and this has always just been a hobby for me. This fair is an opportunity to push my work into the next level. Getting to do something local and close to home is fun, and I get to share it with my community,” Jackson said.
Alongside the multitude of vendors, the front of the fair featured live entertainment throughout the day with various bands from the area. The Michiana Antique Club also sponsored the Antique Auto Show which awarded 20 different trophies to the participants.
Betty Jerndt, a veteran to the Sunflower Fair, has been attending and selling her handmade items with her daughter at the fair for the last twenty years. She explains how the fair has grown since she started.
“My mother started this, and now I do it. We make hot pads, micro mitts, flags and potato bags. This keeps getting bigger and bigger and has grown over twenty years. When it first started it didn’t even cover Michigan Ave,” Jerndt expressed.
Debbie Galvas, an attendee of the event, has been attending the fair since it started, as well.
“My husband is a Door Village Lion, and he is cooking right now. He was gone at 5 AM preparing for the fair. It brings out so many people, and we need that here in La Porte. I wish it could be two days,” Galvas laughed.
The Sunflower Fair in La Porte is full of excitement and opportunity for all who attend. Activities and vendors had a wide range of uniqueness, which provides fulfilment for all types of visitors of all ages. The one day fair will mark another in the books as a success, and continue onto the next.
If you are interested in next year’s event, as a visitor, vendor, or live musician, visit their website!