BIG WEEKEND: Labor Day Weekend kicks off with First Friday in Downtown Columbia City

Staff Writer

COLUMBIA CITY – Numerous activities for all ages are planned this Friday evening from 5 to 9 p.m. in Downtown Columbia City for the September First Friday event.
Shelly Dixon and Jeff McRae, a musical duo, will entertain the crowd playing a variety of acoustic rock.
Most Downtown businesses will be open, and there will be many food vendors, a bounce house sponsored by Kayla Wigent and Bryan Graham, Main Street’s Movie on the Square showing of the recent live-action release of “Beauty and the Beast,” Whitley Sheriff Squad Car display, FCCLA kiddie carnival, YMCA activities, Church of the Nazarene, Columbia City United Methodist Church, 80/20 kids activities and Zoo So Cute.

Krider’s Meat Processing hot dog contest
Krider’s Meat Processing will host a hot dog eating contest during First Friday on the Courthouse lawn. The event begins at 6 p.m. with entries due by 5:30 p.m. Two age groups for the contest are 12 to 17 years old and 18 years old and over. There is $5 entry fee to participate.
“There are rules for the hot dog eating contest,” said Randy Krider, of Krider’s Meat Processing. “All announcements made Friday take precedence over any previous announcements.”
Krider said with entry fee money received, he will turn around and provide The Lighthouse with meat products.
The Lighthouse is located in Columbia City and offers transitional shelter to homeless families and individuals who need shelter and assistance. The mission of the Lighthouse is to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the homeless in the Whitley County area.

Whitley County Chamber of Commerce
and Visitors Center
The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center will welcome its first featured local artist, Shanon Roberts, for the “Focus on the Arts” exhibition in the new Visitors Center facility in Downtown Columbia City on the north side of the Courthouse Square.
Roberts’ exhibit, “Evolution of an Artist,” will follow her artistic career through her early years learning and working under renowned art educator Walt Malicki at Whitko High School (WHS) and forward to her present work.
A graduate of WHS, Roberts began her graphics design career at Shindigz in South Whitley. Today, she is a principal designer for Zimmer Biomet in Warsaw and is named in four patents.
The “Evolution of an Artist” Focus on the Arts exhibit will be unveiled Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. with an artists’s reception at the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center located at 128 West Van Buren Street in conjunction with First Fridays.
The Focus on the Arts exhibit will remain open for viewing weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Visitors Center. Admission is free with the exhibit remaining on display until Sept. 31.
The final First Fridays for the year will be Oct. 6.