A look back: Ohio County and Rising Sun 7-16-15


Compiled by

Mavis Uhlmansiek

Celebrating the history of

Ohio County and Rising Sun

July 15th, 1965


Blue Jeans Festival Is Over:

Huge Success

Rising Sun’s Blue Jeans Festival came to a close Saturday night, July 10th, after an enjoyable week of entertainment for the entire community.

Ray Walton and Bill McClure got the activities off to a flying start Sunday, July 4th, when they emceed the water ski show at the river front which featured events by the Sun-Pat Ski Club made up of residents from Rising Sun and Patriot. Also included in the day’s activities were parachute jumps into the river by two men, members of the Cincinnati Parachute Club with headquarters at the Rising Sun Airport, and the Little League Games and Fireworks display sponsored by the Lions Club.

Wednesday night’s entertainment featured a concert by the Rising Sun High School Band, under the direction of Morgan Drescher. They presented a variety of selections including, “I Could Have Danced All Night”, from the musical “My Fair Lady”, and a host of more classical tunes. After the concert many enjoyed entertainment and rides on the midway furnished by the Kissell Brothers Amusement Company, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Highlight of the entire event was the crowning of “Aunt Fannie” Hamilton, 99 years young, as Queen of the festival. Thursday night Mrs. Hamilton, who will celebrate her 100th birthday anniversary October 15th, lives alone in her home on South High Street, does her own household chores and welcomes friends and neighbors for visits.

The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan North, she was reared at North’s Landing, south of Rising Sun, where her father operated a general store at the landing for keelboats, flatboats and the river steamers. She recalls ferrying many people across the Ohio River in a small boat, particularly a physician who visited patients in both Indiana and Kentucky. She has fond memories of her own horses which she rode and exhibited in the area, particularly at the East Enterprise Fairs.

Mrs. Hamilton’s side-saddle and ornate riding habit have been placed in the Switzerland County Historical Society Museum at Vevay.

“Aunt Fannie” stated she was ‘scared to death’ when she was crowned Queen and presented with a lovely spray of roses by Paul Fletcher, festival chairman, but she recovered her composure and acknowledged a long and hearty ovation from festival patrons. She is the widow of John O. Hamilton, who for many years managed tobacco warehouses in Kentucky and Indiana.

The Queen’s court was made up of candidates for queen of the annual Chicken Barbecue which will be held in September, sponsored by the Ohio County Rescue Unit. The candidates are Kathy Lamkin, Joan Mosley, Connie Williams, and Karen Brown.

Also on the program Thursday night was a hilarious men’s dress revue with approximately 10 outstanding Rising Sun business men participating.

Friday night’s entertainment included a concert by the 40-voice Scottish Rite chorus of Indianapolis, which was enjoyed by all. Also on the program were outstanding dances presented by the Oola Kahn Grotto Indians of Cincinnati. Many will remember this group from their performances during the Sesqui Centennial celebration last year.

The final day of the celebration will well be a day to remember by many of the workers who helped prepare the pit, fire, spit, etc., for the Ox Roast. Workers, under the direction of Russell Scudder of Fairview began roasting the 300-pound dressed beef Friday afternoon and continued throughout the night. It necessitated four men to turn the animal at frequent intervals.

At approximately 7 a.m. Saturday, a down-pour of rain extinguished the fire and the ox roast momentarily was out of business. The men quickly took the beef to Dale Bowman, Rising Sun Food Locker owner, who de-boned the animal and placed the roasts in aluminum foil which they in turn took to the high school ovens where the cooking process was finished. The menu included beef, baked beans, pickles, potato chips, bread and tea, and the beef was entirely sold.

Located next to the Ox Roast food stand on the river front was the antique Flea Market which represented 18 exhibitors from the states of Wisconsin, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. Along with the sales featured for the day were Sidewalk Sales by the merchants on Main Street.

The gala Parade was preceded by a number of aero di-dos cut by stunt flyer Glenn Moody of Louisville, Kentucky, in his 1944 Stearman bi-plane which was enjoyed by the hundreds of spectators awaiting the parade.

Among the entries included in the parade directed by Charles W. Bondurant, president of the Rising Sun Chamber of Commerce were: Rising Sun Fire Department, American Legion Post 59 Color Guard, Rising Sun High School Band, the Queen “Aunt Fannie” Hamilton, a number of entries by the Horseless Carriage Club of Madison, Rising Sun Saddle Club, float by B & K Café, float by N.F.O., Patriot. Representatives of Lawrenceburg Saddle Club, the “Ravens” float by the Rising Sun Methodist Church, and the 60-piece marching band of Southwestern High School, Hanover, under the direction of Ed. Ballinger.

The day was completed with a Teen Hop at the Rising Sun High School featuring the poplar disc jockey of WSAI, Steve Kirk, and a square dance on Main Street for the adults.

Final conclusion of the Blue Jeans Festival for this year will be the boat ride aboard the “Chaperone” scheduled for Friday, August 27th.