Shipshewana Mayfest returns, kicks off tourist season

May 5—SHIPSHEWANA — By bike, buggy, car and truck, they came to Shipshewana Mayfest Saturday.

The annual event, scheduled for Friday Saturday, got underway Saturday at 10 a.m. with a parade which began and ended in the area of Shipshewana Auction, heading north along Morton Street to downtown before veering left onto Middlebury Street through downtown, then south on Van Buren.

"It's very interesting," said Simroy Campbell, Syracuse, who watched the end of the parade after doing some shopping at Yoder's Meat and Cheese, right next to the auction grounds.

The parade featured the Shipshewana Fire Department, as well as a number of local politicians, businesses and organizations such as the Hoosier Ford Club and others.

"No major problems," said Officer Brock Bergman of the Shipshewana Police Department as he helped direct traffic at the end of the parade route. "Got beautiful weather — couldn't ask for anything better."

From there, the center of Mayfest shifted to the area of Morton and Depot streets, near the Wolfe Community Building, where food trucks, vendors, carnival games and others were set up and the area filled with festival goers.

"It's good," said Jerry Schwartz, Bourbon, owner of 5 Star Frappes, about how many customers he had served from his truck. "It's a lot of people."

A kids' pedal tractor pull, courtesy of Michigan Pedal Pullers, out of Stockbridge, Michigan, was ready to go.

"Last year we had 81 participants," said Dustin Noll, with the company. "We're hoping for the same or more."

With so many people attending the festival, naturally places like Davis Mercantile saw a lot of foot traffic, as did businesses along Morton Street and in downtown generally.

"Each year we are excited to kick-off our spring season with a Mayfest celebration in Shipshewana," according to "Locals and visitors alike join in for some good ole' fashioned hometown fun!"

Jario Arias, of Kukui's Hawaiian Shaved Ice, said the festival was helpful for business.

"I think it's a very good start for the season," he said.