CAMDEN —The 32nd annual Camden Black Walnut Festival was held this past weekend, Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20. The festival featured homemade crafts, food vendors, Black Walnut ice-cream, Safari Junction’s petting zoo, and a wide variety of entertainment.
This year, there were approximately 110 vendor booths set up at the festival.
The festival kicked off on Saturday morning with the parade and open car cruise-in. According to Camden Black Walnut Festival President Andrew Groh, the car show was one of the biggest events to date.
On Sunday, there was a baked goods contest and auction following. Kathy Chamberlain won first place with her pumpkin roll, Shirley Gamble won second place with her peach cobbler, and Lisa Moss won third place with her sugar cream pie. Raffle prizes were awarded as well.
Sunday also featured the Kiddie Tractor Pull and live entertainment.
“The festival has grown throughout the years. The car show started out 15 years ago with 20 cars. As of [Saturday,] we had 200 that registered and another 40 that did not register. The car show has grown from 40 to 240,” Groh said.
“The Black Walnut Festival brings people together from all over — we have a knife guy from New York. The people you meet down here are wonderful and it is a great thing for the Village of Camden.”
There are no sponsors for the Black Walnut Festival and all money raised goes toward the safety departments and scholarships for Preble Shawnee students.
“I think the best thing about it, is the younger generation sees it and it leaves something in their mind for down the road that maybe they can do. Hopefully, they get a good experience from it and do great things with it in the years to come,” Groh said.
This is actually Groh’s last year as committee president. He has found someone who might be interested in taking over leadership, but nothing is concrete yet.
He added, he would like to thank all committee members, Dave Maynard, and Marvin Eperson for their hard work.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH