Chase to hold first-ever pickle festival

The Village of Chase takes pride in its history. Any Chasite can tell you how it was established by Civil War veterans, expanding to a booming lumber town which former glory was blown away with the embers of the 1892 fire, to a bustling village and potato center. To the current generations however, “pickle” is on the tip of their memory. The pickle salting station was located south of U.S.-10 behind a line of buildings in town aligning the railroad tracks. Here many local farmers and residents from 1912 through the 1950’s had the opportunity to earn income working as an on-location employee or by growing a pickle patch to unload in the large vats for salting. The salted pickles were then hauled by train to Chicago for processing at the Squire Dingee factory.

On Saturday, Chase invites all to come celebrate our pickle heritage in the First Annual Chase Pickle Festival.

The idea for the Pickle Festival was birthed by the Chase Public Library Board and volunteers as a positive endeavor after township budget shortages this past spring forced the community to pull together to keep the library open. With the sense of community and identity the renovated Chase school offers to all ages as not only a library, but a history center, it only seemed appropriate to hold a unique festival that could appeal general interest plus celebrate Chase heritage. All proceeds will go toward the library.

Those who come Saturday can look forward to a wide variety of pickle-themed activities and fun. Enjoy vendors of deep fried pickles and Chase-style hot dogs, with pickles and dill flavored popcorn, and sloppy joes. At 6 p.m. there will be a Taste of Chase potluck including a special feature of old Chase recipes. Children will be entertained with many games, races, story time, a saw dust treasure hunt, dodgeball tournament, hayrides, a coloring contest and Dynamite the Clown! For family activities, a pickle derby track will be set up for a design-your-own pickle car race! Get creative with face painting and pencil portraits and ‘pickle people’ photo booths. A Pickle Festival is not complete without a Pickle tasting contest! Pickles can be submitted for judging by noon. Categories range from dill and sweet to miscellaneous. Tap your toes to different genres of good ol’ music such as Nellie Blue’s gospel choir, the Encouragers, to Celtic fiddle playing and a professional saxophonist. At 7 p.m. a line up of musicians will play folk and blue grass selections throughout the evening. Chinese lanterns will waltz in the nighttime sky. Also a bake and craft sale, silent auction, book sale and raffle will be ongoing throughout the day.

Festivities begin at noon on the Chase Public Library and park grounds. For a listing of scheduled activities contact the Chase library at (231) 832-9511 or check the library Facebook page.