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"I'm Proud of Us..." Billie Creek Village Welcomes Back Covered Bridge Traditions

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PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI)- Taking a walk through Billie Creek Village is like stepping back in time. The village has been a part of both Brandi Vandivier's and Jenn Kersey's childhood. 

"Billie Creek Village has been here since I was a small child," Kersey said. "And so I was able to come here all the time and enjoy the village, the buildings, the history." 

A big part of that history includes the Covered Bridge Festival. Kersey said the village had always been open during the festival, but it had been years since vendors were open for the full ten days. 

"I think it may have been a little bit forgotten," Kersey said. "And so definitely want people to remember it's here and come." 

Kersey and Vandivier were given the opportunity to change that after the cancellation of the 2020 Covered Bridge Festival. Both women are businesses owners. After the cancellation, they began to think about where they could go for 2021. They both agreed that Billie Creek would be a great place for their businesses. 

"We just kinda put a little proposal together and approached the board of Billie Creek Village," Kersey said. "And asked if they would be interested. And they liked what we had." 

After they received approval, the two began to advertise and reach out to vendors. Vandivier said it was important that they included vendors with handmade goods. Similar to the ones they visited in the village when they were kids. 

Vandivier also said it was important to keep the community in mind. 

"We wanted to give back to our community," She said. "Both of us grew up here. Both of us came back to raise our families and we know the importance of it to our community." 

The festivities in the village are doing just that. 

Both of the schools in Parke County are providing parking in the village. They'll receive 50% of the proceeds that can go towards anything they need. 

It has been a long journey for Vandivier and Kersey. Still, no matter what the outcome is, Vandivier is happy with the results. 

"I'm proud of us for taking this on," she said. "We took on a ten-day festival of the largest festival in the state. In a village that hasn't been open for a while." 

For more information on Billie Creek and its vendors, click here

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