Harvest Festival parade marshals Dean and Bev Reidenbach have two stories to share. Each story winds through Monroeville as surely as the town’s big annual parade will tour the town.
Festival volunteer Julie Nolan told the Reidenbachs’ stories with the respect that the couple has earned since even before graduating Monroeville High School in 1967. Nolan’s tribute can be found on the town’s website, as can the dozens of details of the approaching festival.
“They are really something, starting at the first rung of their respective careers,” Nolan said in an interview. Each career story begins and continues in Monroeville. Bev started as a night shift window clerk at a bank, and eventually returned to the bank and rose to become branch manager. As a teen, Dean took a job unloading boxcars at Monroeville Box & Pallet. After the military, he returned to that company. He retired as president.
Nolan’s account of Dean and the former Bev Heller involves train rides, the Vietnam War, two daughters, three grandsons and a host of Monroeville and Fort Wayne people and businesses. Nolan takes two stories and creates one story, as did her subjects. It’s not a story that was meant to be told quickly, and brevity was not Nolan’s goal.
Nolan got to know the Reidenbachs when her husband, Jeff, became president of the Chamber of Commerce. Both Nolans have remained active with the Chamber and the Harvest Festival. The Nolans have watched the Reidenbachs in action for six years. “They’re just exceptional people and they are volunteer crazy. They volunteer at the Legion and at their church,” Julie said.
A quick tour of the website will show the familiar features as part of the festival, Thursday–Friday, Aug. 3-5. Visit monroeville.in.com for details. For instance, the parade, at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Jeff Nolan is this year’s festival president. “We usually try to raise money for the community,” he said. “Most of our Chamber dollars go toward funding events for the community and donating to nonprofit organizations in the community. Last year we helped the town and Park Board put up new fence along the arena.”
For the first time, the festival will sell beer, in the arena area that will host lawnmower drags and truck drags.
The amusement rides are back this year, along with the Cardboard Cup boat race, the horseshoe tournament, the quilt show and many other features.
Look for entertainment on the stage, including TJ Gabet Band from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, The Indigos from 5-7 p.m. Friday, TopShelf from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, Memories of the King and Country from noon-2 p.m. Saturday, Sunny Taylor from 204 p.m. Saturday, and the Groove Kings from 7-9 p.m. Saturday.
Monroeville is at State Road 101 and Monroeville Road, 30 minutes southeast of downtown Fort Wayne.