Tent Chautauqua set for July 19th


“Big Doin’s Tent Chautauqua and Art Fair” is happening in Vevay on Saturday, July 19th.

The event will be held on the Switzerland County Historical Museum grounds; and is reviving a long tradition that once brought a range of theatrical and educational experiences to rural America.

Chautauquas were a local custom that started in 1915 and continued into the 1930s.

The old-fashioned performance under the big-top tent will begin at 2 p.m., taking an even further step back in time to the turn of the century, with a variety of vintage entertainment experiences.

Hear Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, portrayed by Jeff Kuehl and ‘Dr. Balthazar’s Marvelous Miracle Medicine Show’ via the talents of Mike Follin.

Music and mirth will be provided by emcee Old Dan Tucker/Dan Bixler and the Reen Family Singers. Dance interludes by Erin Brockman and a speech from a fiery suffragette will balance out the show.

In addition to the Chautauqua performance, an all-day arts fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. will be part of the festivities, providing a venue for regional artists to sell their work.

An “Open Mike” will complement the enjoyment of the day from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Big Tent, available for acoustic music, poetry and dramatic vignettes. “Open Mike” will resume following the Chautauqua performance.

Booth spaces for the Art Show are $15 for a 10’x10′ space, available by contacting the museum at (812) 427-3560 or email swcomuseums@embarqmail.com.

There is no admission charge to attend the day’s festivities. Switzerland County Tourism is providing the funding to help organizers revitalize the Chautauqua tradition in Vevay.