CHALMERS — As the evening slowed down for the Chalmers Community Farm Days festival on Friday, something new this year kept 54 people in the town park until after dusk.
They ran through the town getting sprayed with day-glo paints at check points and ended up under blacklights at the finish line.
The Frontier High School Business Professionals of America conducted a “fun run” for the younger residents and a 5K run for teens and adults.
The BPA surveyed the students about what they’d like to see at Chalmers Days.
“And this is what they said,” BPA advisor Jennifer Newcom said. “It was something different that we’ve not seen around here.”
Mallory Culver, the BPA president, said they previously did a color run for autism in Chalmers, but the day-glo thing is something new around the area.
Given the success of this run, they’ll definitely do it again next year, Culver said.
During the sunlit hours, the festival had all the traditional favorites.
Lines of classic cars — including a 1957 Chevy, 1970 Ford Mach I and a 1988 35th anniversary Corvette — were on the park grass while a DJ played cruising music from the 1950s and early 1960s.
There was the dunk tank and the town-wide garage sales that began Friday but officially started Saturday when the Chalmers Volunteer Fire Department had its morning pancake breakfast.
The cheerleaders had their 50/50 raffle while the Frontier Rotary sold water next to the beer garden — and there were all kinds of picnic food for sale.
The fire department ran out of hot dogs fairly early, the crowd was so good this year.
“We had more community participation here,” said Town Manager Faith Willoughby.
High school cheerleadering coach Katie Runk agreed.
“It was a good turnout,” she said.
Cheerleader Nakea Fields said many of the people buying tickets for the cheerleaders’ 50/50 raffle said the cheerleaders could keep the winner’s 50 percent.
Runk said that reflects the town’s motto.
“’Small town, big hearts’ — that is the true spirit,” she said.
Willoughby said the decision to have the festival primarily on Friday seems to be popular with many people.
It goes into the cooler night, and those entering the car contest didn’t have to choose between it and Buffalo Daze and its car show the next day.
Barb Echterling, of Monticello, has attended Chalmers Days for seven years with her 1988 Corvette, the 100th off the line for the 35th anniversary edition.
She said she started working on cars at 17 and does her own repair work.
Echterling also used the car show to kick off her participation in the 25th annual Hot Rod Power Tour as it went through Indiana and Ohio.