My Thoughts About One of My Favorite Places--Northeastern Indiana's Amish Country

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Shipshewana 500

I’ve been meaning to write about an event I attended at Shipshewana’s Mayfest last month, but I lost my notes!  So here’s the post, but it’ll be shorter than I planned...

After the annual Shipshe Mayfest parade on Saturday morning, an event is held on Morton Street called “The Shipshewana 500.”  This involves teams of four people—two inside a buggy and two pulling it.  They pull the buggy 250 feet down the street, around a traffic cone, switch places (pullers and riders), and race back down across the starting/finish line.  All teams use the same buggy, to keep a level playing field.

All the teams are trying to break through the elusive “30-second barrier.”  The key to that seems to be rounding the traffic cone and making the U-turn while keeping as much momentum as possible.  Some of the contestants barely made it into the buggy as it raced back down the street, hanging on with one foot and both hands, trying to pull themselves back inside!

An announcer provides plenty of commentary, and crowds (mostly Amish) lined both sides of the street.

This year there were about a dozen teams entered—mostly fit young people, but not all!  The teams had names like the Peacocks and the Eagles.  One team came all the way from Pennsylvania.

The winning team was the Eagles, so they got the $100 first prize.  Second and third place teams got gift certificates to local places, with coffee mugs for the fourth place team.

Here’s a video of the action: 

For a sample Shipshewana Mayfest calendar (this one from 2018), click here.