Celebrating Baldwin’s heritage

BALDWIN — Although summer doesn’t officially end for almost two months, the traditional summer festival season in Lake County started drawing to a close with the end of Baldwin’s annual Troutarama on Sunday.

The festival, which celebrated its 57th year, ran from July 17 to Sunday. Like its name implies, the festival started more than a half a century ago as a way for residents to celebrate Baldwin’s trout fishing heritage. Lake County also did not have a fair at the time and the festival acted as an unofficial county fair.

Like years past, the festival offered craft and sidewalk sales, games, a midway with rides, parades, horse pulls, music, food and drinks and more.

On July 18, the Little King and Queen contest was held at Wenger Pavilion. This year’s Little King was Joshua Taylor and Little Queen was Yesenia Perfitt.

On Friday and Saturday morning, families and children lined up at the Baldwin fish hatchery to sink bamboo poles into the water to try their luck at catching three fish to take home.

Saturday also brought crowds to the streets of Baldwin for the grand parade. The theme of the parade was “For the Good Times,” and the family of the late Edie Mitchell served as the Grand Marshalls.

Although the festival once again offered nostalgic fun for residents and visitors alike, it also featured new events like the Scottville Clown Band performing in the beer tent, a teen dance, a pet parade that joined the kid’s parade, a women’s tennis tournament and a 5K run.

Saturday’s 5K run had 167 participants. Of all the runners, the youngest was 7 years old, and the oldest was 69 years old. Although race organizer Lasha Turner does not have an exact count of how much money the race raised, she estimates it collected just more than $2,000. The money will benefit St. Ann’s Senior Center, the Troutarama Youth Fishing Derby and Baldwin Rotary Scholarships.

“(The race) went really well,” Turner said. “I had a lot of positive feedback from race participants. We already have a list of things going for things to do to make it better for next year. But there weren’t any major hiccups. Everything went really smoothly. Overall I am really happy with the outcome.

“My goal before when I started this was to have 50 people sign up, so to have over three times that many turnout was really great.”

Turner contributes the race’s success to the local businesses who sponsored the event.

For a list of race participant’s results, visit www.irunracetiming.com.