Kekionga kickoff on Friday

    Decatur's annual Kekionga Festival, larger this year than ever before, officially starts this Friday with a citywide garage sale.
    The garage sale will continue on Saturday, when two other events are scheduled: a Riley Children's Hospital benefit at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie on S. 11th St. and a car show at The Bridge church, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    That's it for the activities until the following Wednesday when an old-fashioned praise & worship tent service will be held at Riverside Center.
    The festival will swing into high gear on Thursday, August 23, with numerous activities scheduled that day through Sunday, August 26.

Flying at Eagles
    The Eagles event will begin at noon with a kid's carnival, which will include games, food, prizes, face painting and a dunk tank.
    Live music will kick off the evening activities at 4 p.m., with four local bands providing entertainment under a Big Top beginning at 5 p.m. Food and beer will be served.
    Businesses or individuals wishing to donate to help purchase items needed for the benefit may call John Klug, event chairman, at (260) 701-0710, or mail checks, payable to F.O.E. c/o Riley Benefit, to 1039 S 11th St., Decatur, IN, 46733.    All proceeds will go to Riley Children's Hospital, organizers said

Flowers and vegetables
    The second annual Kekionga Festival Flower and Vegetable Contest and Show is open to area gardeners of any age, according to a news release. The event will start on Thursday, August 23, in conjunction with the Farmers Market at the Riverside Center.
    Cash prizes will be awarded for the top three finishers in as many as 50 categories, the announcement said. Check-in for entries will be on August 23 from 3:30-7 p.m. After judging, all exhibits will remain on display at Riverside Center throughout the festival.
    The flower contest categories include coneflower, dahlia, gladiolus, hydrangea, snapdragon, sunflower, zinnia, and the favored rose category. Gardeners can also enter an arrangements of dried or fresh flowers and a hanging basket or outdoor planter.
    Even if the growing season does not produce that perfect specimen, prizes will be awarded for a weed or wildflower arrangement, and creativity will be recognized for arrangements using a re-purposed item, new or used, that would not be associated with a floral medium, the news release said.
    There will also be classes of green beans, sweet and hot peppers, cabbage, cucumbers, pumpkins and tomatoes. Prizes will be awarded to an arrangement pretty enough for a centerpiece at the dinner table and an award will go to the most unusual “freak of nature," according to the release.
    Complete details, rules and categories are available at the Decatur Chamber of Commerce, the Grainery, the Adams County Extension office, and the website,