For 75 years, this quirky, orange and puckery fruit has been celebrated in Lawrence County’s Mitchell, Indiana. Here, persimmons thrive and grow until September when they ripen immediately after falling from the trees.
Persimmons are harvested from the ground, after they drop from the trees. Choosing the best persimmons is a specialized skill. Before baking can begin, the persimmons need to be transformed into pulp. Here, Judy Shaw demonstrates harvesting and making the persimmon pulp.
Including persimmons in recipes is how persimmons taste best. Recipes have been passed down through family generations, traded among friends and taste-tested in Lawrence County kitchens and restaurants. Secret recipes are guarded almost fiercely as Fort Knox. However, if you are lucky, you will find someone willing to share a tried-and-true, mouth-watering persimmon recipe like Judy Shaw has here.
All-in-all, these delightfully, quirky fruits are worth celebrating, and we do it in a BIG way in Lawrence County!
Mitchell’s Persimmon Festival – Preview Events
Fireworks on Friday, Sept. 16
NEW this year! Phenomenal fireworks on Friday, September 16 kick off the Persimmon Festival Preview Events. The downtown Mitchell evening sky will sparkle with color and light, igniting what is sure to be the best festival yet! Bring the family and have a blast!
Spring Mill State Park Candlelight Tour on Saturday, Sept. 17
The traditional Spring Mill State Park Candlelight Tour lights up Pioneer Village Saturday, September 17 from 4p.m. until 9 p.m. Illuminated lanterns and glowing candlelight transcends the village back to the 1800s, as crafters demonstrate their skills and produce their wares.
This twilight stroll through Pioneer Village, busy with pioneer life, provides a glimpse of a typical fall evening in the mid-1800s. Color-edged leaves, hay bales, scarecrows and corn stalks create autumn magic, as the smell of persimmon goodies signals festival time is here. Come hungry for the ham and beans dinner, popcorn balls, caramel apples and persimmon desserts. Proceeds benefit the many charity, educational and cultural projects supported by the Mitchell Chapter of Tri Kappa.
Glenn Miller Orchestra on Sunday, Sept. 18
Another NEW festival preview event is a performance by the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra on Sunday, September 18 at the Mitchell High School Auditorium. One of the greatest big bands of all time, the Glenn Miller Orchestra will play timeless classics like In The Mood, Moonlight Serenade, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Pennsylvania 6-5000, String of Pearls and Tuxedo Junction. Starting at 3 p.m., this band will have you swinging and singing.
Mitchell’s Persimmon Festival – The Main Event
Celebrating 75 Years!
Then on Monday, September 19, The Persimmon Festival comes alive. Open through Saturday, September 24, this celebration is packed with carnival rides, a parade, pageant winners, contests, activities, demonstrations, crafts, a car show and vendor booths. Native sons and daughters return and families gather for this traditional homecoming. Again this year, bring your singing talents to the Main Street Stage for Persimmon Idol on Monday, September 19, then join us every night for bands and musical artists.
Fantastic Festival Food!
As always, you’ll find some of the best food you have ever tasted. And, yes, some of the best food you have ever tasted will be persimmon recipes including, but not limited to persimmon pudding, cookies, and ice cream. To compliment your persimmon treats, other festival food favorites like tacos, corn dogs, BBQ, tiger ears, and cheeseburgers will be easy to find. Wash it down with coffee, iced tea, lemonade, cream soda, apple cider, soft drinks or water. Take advantage of the nightly dinner features, including beans and cornbread, Italian night, Mexican night, pork dinner, steak dinner and chicken BBQ (check the festival guide for days and times.) With so many tasty temptations, come hungry and thirsty!
Lots to see and do!
The Persimmon Festival provides so many ways to work off your persimmony treats. Shop the arts and craft booths. Peruse the business vendors. Attend the parade. Meet and greet the pageant winners. See displays throughout the festival. Watch the many interesting demonstrations. Experience thrills as you ride the carnival rides every evening from 5 p.m.–10 p.m. and on Saturday from noon–10 p.m. Boogie or sway to the music with the nightly musical entertainment. Festival favorites plus new activities every day will keep you coming back to the festival all week long. It is a full schedule, so plan your trips to the festival here.
To receive monthly e-newsletters featuring other Lawrence County events and attractions, click here.