“Bill Gode had been doing what I’m doing for decades,” local attorney and community volunteer Dusti Relph says. “Bill just came right into the office and asked if I’d be interested in it. By 2008, I’d settled into the law practice, and I was ready to start giving back to the community and getting more involved in those sorts of things. He caught me at a weak moment.”
Gode began mentoring Relph in 2008, making this her sixth year as one of the event organizers.
“Old Settlers has changed over the years,” Relph says. “People that are on the committee change. Things are coming along, and we’re very excited about that.
“The big thing that we’re excited about is Corydon’s Got Talent. That’s a new thing we’re doing this year—we’ve replaced an afternoon band with a talent contest. It’s open to anyone who has roots in Corydon. We have several contestants lined up, but we’d like to make it a big event.”
Corydon’s Got Talent was the brainchild of Martha Hoch, in her first year on the Old Settlers committee. Hoch is in charge of entertainment, having taken over for Jeannie Winslow.
“Bill [Gode] used to do that also, so there were such big shoes to fill that it took two people to do it,” Relph says. “Jeannie has done a great job for several years. She decided to keep things going, fresh blood and everything.”
First prize in Corydon’s Got Talent is $200, second place $150, third $100, fourth $75 and fifth $50. The competition will take place on the Corydon Bandstand, beginning at 3 p.m. on Sat., Aug. 9. Contact Hoch at 641-203-0438 for more information.
While adding this new talent event, there are still four bands scheduled to play this year, with a variety of styles to suit different tastes. Relph is excited to have a metal rock cover band from Ottumwa, Mister Fugly, to go along with more traditional country western music.
The first to take the Corydon Bandstand on Fri., Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. is Half of Dueling Pianos, the interactive comedy act of musician Spike Blake. The idea behind Blake’s unique performance is based on the crowd being the other half of the dueling pianos.
“Everybody says that they’re a lot of fun, and that there’s a lot of crowd participation,” Relph says. “We’ve got to get people up to the front row.”
At 8:30 p.m. the same night, Big Time Grain Company will perform on the hospitality stage. This Kansas City group presents itself as a premier country western and country rock band, playing a mixture of current and classic country, from Chris Young and Jason Aldean to Johnny Cash and Alabama.
On the bandstand at 7:30 p.m., Sat., Aug. 9 will be Sons of Britches, a veteran Branson show band delivering a sing-along brand of country, Cajun, zydeco, bluegrass, old-time rock ‘n roll and more.
On the hospitality stage at 8:30 p.m., Mister Fugly will perform, covering Lynard Skynard, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, Tom Petty, Three Doors Down, Theory of a Deadman, Cracker, Jason Aldean, Grand Funk Railroad, Poison and AC/DC among others.
The Old Settlers committee is looking for more volunteers, with the hope of getting more people involved and invested in its success. They hold meetings on the second Tuesday of each month from February through September.
“We’re really hoping that next year we get more people to help out with the committee,” Relph says. “And to make Old Settlers more of a community activity and project, instead of a small committee. We’re inviting anyone who wants to join in and come to Old Settlers.”
Relph invites people to visit the wrap-up committee meeting on Sept. 9, 7 p.m. in the Wayne County Hospital meeting room.
This year, committee president is Susie DeVore.
“The president is in charge of making sure those loose ends are wrapped up,” Relph says. “She’s done a great job doing that.”
Other committee members include Susan Henderson, Gary Henderson, Doug Hoch, Joyce Brown, Denise Hook, Rick Hook, Mark Winslow and Steve Fortune.
The last several years, they’ve had difficulty obtaining and maintaining carnival attractions. Relph’s goal is to again make carnival rides a part of the celebration.
Relph indicated that the reason Old Settlers lost its rides was because the carnival they contracted with in 2012 went bankrupt, defaulted on their contract and backed out at the last minute. The committee scrambled to procure inflatables from Gee Willie Entertainment. Gee Willie did not honor their financial contract, and the committee cut their losses and moved on. In 2015, the carnival should be back to full strength with a new contractor, which they hope will prove more reliable.
“This year, we’re in a rebuilding mode,” Relph says. “We have big plans for next year. We anticipate full carnival. We’re still in rebuilding, with the community pulling in to make this year fun and successful for the kids.”
For this year, Old Settlers will bring in three carnival rides and several inflatables. The committee collaborated with the Corydon & Allerton Chamber of Commerce, which will man the inflatables in exchange for a donation to the Corydon street light renovation.
Rides include the Whizzer and Sand Storm for older children, and a trackless train for younger kids. Inflatables include the Jouse, a giant slide, the jumper, bungi run and a bounce house.
Tickets will be available soon at Corydon State Bank and Great Western Bank for $1 each, or a sheet of 20 for $15. Sheets can be bought at the reduced price in advance only. Anyone who buys a sheet in advance before Aug. 8 can exchange the sheet for a wristband and have unlimited rides on Friday night. Beginning Fri., Aug. 8, all tickets will be $1 each. Rides will cost two to three tickets.
Relph says that the annual parade is one of the biggest in the area. There will also be face painting for children. The Gypsy Sisters and WAYCO Arts Council are going to put on an art activity Saturday afternoon. An animal shelter from Centerville will be on hand, with a llama, a donkey and a goat.
Sat., Aug. 9, there will be a dance featuring the band Centerline at the Corydon American Legion from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Vendors include kettle corn by Justin Abel; Double A Concessions by Garrett and Melissa Abel; Wayne County Cattlemen; Keep it Simple BBQ by Tim and Cindy Kelly; Hawaiian Shaved Ice; and The Lodge Twisted is once again hosting the hospitality tent.
“All of our food vendors are local vendors, which is a good thing,” Relph says. “We are working hard together just to make sure everyone has a good time. There’s lots for adults to do in the evenings, and we’re really trying to fill the day with things kids will enjoy, and have things to do for those coming back for reunions.
“We’re open to suggestion, and we invite everyone to come and participate. The more ideas there are, the more people are willing to give a little time or talent, the better it is for everybody.”