The Washington Times-Herald

May 14, 2013

Rail Fest starts Saturday

Lindsay Owens
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — The Daviess County Historical Society and the city of Washington have joined forces to bring the community Rail Fest again this year on Saturday.

The event, in its eighth year, will include several contests, train rides, model train displays, concessions, a model train raffle and much more. Festivities will run from noon to 7 p.m.

“One of the biggest attractions will be the Gauge Model Railroaders train display in the Service Master building,” said Vince Sellers, Rail Fest committee member. “The Washington city train will be giving tours of the city and the Gasthof kiddie train will be town at the depot. A ticket will be needed to ride the kiddie train and for the city train tour. Tickets can be purchased at the Service Master building or at the Daviess County Historical Society Museum.”

Don Spillman will be the guide for the city train tours. Contestants are still sought for the many contests taking place at Rail Fest. Applications for all the contests can be picked up at the museum, located on Main St.

The sidewalk chalk contest will begin at 12:30 p.m. near the Jay Myers statue on Main. Participants must provide their own chalk. A talent show will be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The popular Hobo look-a-like contest will begin at 4p.m. at the depot. Each contest will be divided into 12 and under, 13-17, and 18 and up age groups. Artists are also being sought to display their work. Art can be dropped off at the museum until Friday.

Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and a hobo will also be roaming the streets of the city during the event. A speech by Lincoln will be given at 5 p.m. at the gazebo. Hobo signs will be distributed to children attending the event.

“The railroad was and still is a vital part of Daviess County,” said Sellers. “We depended on the railroad years ago just like we now depend on I-69.”

Jim Pirkle will be presenting a program on the effects of the railroad on the funeral home industry. The program will be on the fourth floor of the museum. The depot will also have its funeral room open to the public Saturday. The miniature scale roundhouse workyard will also be on display.

The museum will also be hosting an open house. Rex Myers will be on hand at the museum to answer questions.

Again this year, Rev. Louis Showers will be showing his model train display at 311 N.E. 20th St. Proceeds from Rail Fest go to the Daviess County Historical Society.

“We are currently trying to get a matching grant to make repairs to the musuem building,” said Sellers. “We need to raise about $40,000 to do that but Rail Fest is not just about that. It’s about honoring our railroad heritage.”

For more information on Rail Fest, call 812-444-9360, visit or find the museum on Facebook.