The Brown County hamlet of Helmsburg, located northwest of Nashville and west of Bean Blossom on State Road 45, is presenting the 4th annual Helmsburg Festival on Saturday, June 14th, rain or shine.
The festival is a celebration of Helmsburg’s past, present, and future. You can depend on family-oriented fun for all ages.
Once known as Connard’s Ford, Helmsburg was named for Wilson Helms and family who came from Ohio in 1854 to settle on 100 acres of farmland near Beanblossom Creek.
In 1905 the Indianapolis Southern Railroad (later the Illinois Central Railroad) laid track across northern Brown County, placing a train station on the site of the Helms farm.
Helmsburg quickly grew into a town with its own sawmill, flour mill, cannery, feed store, restaurants, hardware and grocery stores, storage facilities, post office, doctor’s office, Methodist Church, Masonic Lodge, and undertaker supply store. Liveries competed to take passengers and freight to Nashville. The Rains Hotel served those whose business kept them in the county overnight.
But all that changed when a terrible series of fires gutted the downtown area destroying many of the town’s most prominent businesses. Soon after better roads and the automobile made train travel obsolete and Helmsburg settled into a sleepy middle age.
But unlike many other Brown County communities that today are little more than bumps in the road, Helmsburg continues to survive and is enjoying a revival with many new businesses and a community that is forward looking and full of fun.
From 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. there will be featured a terrific line up of live music, children’s activities—including pony rides and games—craft and flea market booths, a Helmsburg history display with memorabilia and photos, delicious food, and a cake walk. New this year is a dunk tank to soak the local notables, and—watch your head!—an old-fashioned skillet throw.
Appearing at 3:00 will be this year’s special guests: Slats Klug, Robbie Bowden, and Dave Gore of the award winning Brown County song cycle recorded as the Liar’s Bench, My Brown County Home, and Brown County Christmas I & II CDs.
9:00–10:00 Frank Jones
Natural showman with a wide range of influences, Frank is not adverse to slipping a little Emerson Lake and Palmer into the middle of his set.
10:00–11:00 Lou Stant
Singer-songwriter whose songs tell stories about the many colorful characters he’s known.
11:00–12:00 Kara Barnard
Extraordinary and graceful guitarist with a sharp and willing sense of humor.
12:00–1:00 Mike’s Smooth Country
House band for Mike’s Music and Dance Barn specializing in country, old rock, cha-cha, rumba—but weak on polkas.
1:00–2:00 Sarah Flint and Tim Tryon
Sarah, vocalist for the Stardusters, sings a wide range of music from folk to big band. Tim plays in a group called Big Ole Things with Frank Jones.
2:00–3:00 Pat and Christopher Webb
Pat is a folk music legend, compatriot of Phil Ochs, Odetta, John Sebastian, Yank Rachell and many others. Son Christopher is making his own mark with his band, The Beaten Poets.
3:00–4:00 Klug, Bowden, and Gore
Combining two of the area’s best fun-time bands, Mojo Hand and the String Bean String Band.
Don’t miss this fun-filled event!
For information call 812-988-7447 or 812-988-8807.
For Booth space call 812-988-2189