Saturday, September 17, local vendors, organizations, businesses, performers, and community members crowded Michigan Avenue between Lincolnway and Noble Street in Downtown La Porte for the 23rd Annual Sunflower Fair. With too many vendor tents to count, food trucks galore, live music, dozens of antique cars, brightly colored bounce houses, and so much more, Sunflower Fair had something for everyone.
Having attended for the first time last year, Kathy Trevillian from The Farmer’s Designs by The Farmer’s Daughter was glad to be back and see how much the event had grown over even a single year.
“This year is much busier than last year. Last year was not as busy, and I don’t think the weather was as nice. It’s the perfect day,” she said. “I came back this year because I want to support La Porte–I’m a lifer. I think it’s great when the community comes together.”
While attendees walked at their leisure at the fair, there were a few scheduled events to enjoy. This included the Antique Auto Show by Michiana Antique Car Club from 7:30 a.m.-12 p.m., the Sunflower Contest from 11 a.m.-12 p.m., and the Rib Cook-Off from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. which was sponsored by American Licorice Company.
Other event sponsors included American RENOLIT, NIPSCO, and Visit Michigan City LaPorte.
“We have things like the rib contest, and last night was great with the concert down here,” said La Porte Mayor Tom Dermody. “What I enjoy the most is seeing our community and people from surrounding areas come to Sunflower Fair. They believe this is the place to be, which makes La Porte special. Seeing everyone together spending their day in downtown La Porte just makes my day.”
While Sunflower Fest focuses on fun, it also allowed important organizations to connect with the community. John Rochefort, vice president of the Michiana Chapter of Guardians of the Children (GOC), was grateful for the opportunity to raise awareness and education about what GOC does.
GOC is a 501 c3 organization comprised of a loyal band of motorcycle enthusiasts who support and protect children who have suffered abuse. They get to know the children through monthly events like bowling and pool parties before standing alongside them in court to make them feel safe as they testify.
“We have members that live up in La Porte who have been to Sunflower Fest before and thought it was a good opportunity to bring child abuse awareness to the public. We’re excited about getting the word out. It’s a nice event.”