The Berne Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the 2016 Swiss Days Festival, an annual celebration of Berne’s Swiss heritage, on July 28-30. The Swiss Days Opening Ceremony will take place on the downtown stage at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, 2016.
You may want to start your day in downtown Berne, where you’ll find merchants selling their wares at the old-fashioned “sidewalk sale.” The wide selection and variety that comes with the vendors guarantee everything from crafts and antiques to clothing apparel for the whole family. You can relax near the downtown stage to the sounds of local talent and genuine Swiss performers while munching on mouth-watering Swiss food, such as bratwurst and apple dumplings.
Continue your day at First Mennonite Church, located on US 27 and 218 in Berne. Here you can admire a great variety of quilts at the Quilt Show.
The Quilt Show contains many exciting elements! This year’s Quilt Show includes a quilt challenge, raffle quilt, kid’s category and a display by three featured guild members.
The 2016 Swiss Days Quilt Challenge-“ Pin Cushions” Get creative! There is no size restriction or material restriction. It doesn’t have to be quilted. Think outside the box, or in it. Make it a one of a kind or one of dozens. Will it have other uses too?
Make your ultimate dream pin cushion. Recycle products or buy new. It is totally up to you. Have fun and bring us that totally tempting pin cushion.
History will come to life as the story of our Swiss beginnings unfolds at Swiss Heritage Village on the north edge of Berne. The village has grown to become the largest indoor/outdoor historical museum in northern Indiana, consisting of 15 historical buildings built between the years of 1860 and 1900, and has recently added an indoor historical museum.
If the simple ways of our Amish friends intrigue you, then head on down to Amishville, USA. Here you will find guided tours of an authentic Amish home, buggy ride and camping. You can also enjoy a snack at the Amishville Grille.
Competitions are always a fun part of the Swiss Days Festival! One of the most popular and definitely the most “Swiss” is the traditional Steintoss competition, which has competitors throwing a heavy stone similar to that of a shot put. This year’s Steintoss will feature levels of competition, for both men and women alike.
Other competitions include a cornhole tournament, sidewalk chalk competition, recliner race, grape stomp, cheese carving contest, baby crawl contest, bowling, tennis, and sand sculpting tournaments, as well as the Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull, and the Big Wheels Race. The popular First Bank of Berne Swiss Days Race will celebrate its 43rd anniversary this year, which involves a 5,000-meter race for ages 12-up and a 1-mile race for 11-under.
Coming to our festival this year will be Beers & Jessops Amusement Rides who will offer many exciting carnival rides throughout Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
As always, this year’s festival will feature a wide array of nightly musical talent. The Ken & Mary Accordians will be performing on Thursday night. The Klaberheads, will perform on Friday.
The traditional downtown parade will be featured on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.
As you can see, there is much to experience in our Swiss community during the 2016 Swiss Days Festival! Berne is located just 35 miles southeast of Fort Wayne and 130 miles northeast of Indianapolis. Come join the celebration!