Jerry “Hip” Etchison is a local resident of Frankton, IN, a small rural community about 45 minutes northeast of Indy off St. Rd 37. Jerry has lived in Frankton his entire life. Jerry has many talents worth mentioning but he is known around Frankton for his Chainsaw wood carving skill. He has put this talent to use many times while showcasing his skill during the festival. The festival has been lucky to have Jerry’s work on display over the past eight years. Jerry has become known as “The Barefoot Wood Carver” due to him usually working his trade without wearing any shoes. Jerry carves most anything, from frogs to eagles, dogs to owls, and even lighthouses, all from wood stumps or trees.
This year the Frankton Heritage Days Festival is partnering with Jerry and the Riley Cheer Guild. The Riley Cheer Guild provides comfort and cheer to the patients and their families at Riley and IU hospitals. The Etchison family has a connection to Riley Hospital through Jerry’s wife. She had two surgeries at Riley as a child. Jerry’s son also had two trips to Riley for leg injuries and his granddaughter has needed surgeries there as well. Jerry has participated in the Miracle Ride for Riley motorcycle event. He has always felt the need to give back to Riley for their service to his family.
During the 2017 Heritage Days Festival in Frankton, Jerry will again take an opportunity to give back to Riley by using his skill in wood carving. Festival goers will be able to watch as Jerry spends the weekend carving one of his masterpieces. Once the carving is complete it will be auctioned off Sunday for someone to take home to display. The proceeds from the sale of his wooden art will go to Riley Cheer Guild to help support the programs that enhance the stay for patients and family. The Heritage Days Committee sees this as an exciting way to raise money for Riley and to showcase a local talent. Other popular events at the festival this year will be showcasing local music artists with live entertainment, vendors of all kinds, yummy festival foods, and a parade Saturday morning with a large car show following the parade. Your little princess can come and visit a Disney princess immediately following the Parade at the festival gate. Frankton Heritage Days Festival has hot air balloons, a tractor show with tractor pulls, a pet parade, 5K run/walk, carnival rides and town wide rummage sales. There will be something for everyone at this year’s festival. The Frankton Heritage Days Festival is always the 3rd weekend in September. This year’s dates are Friday September 15 through Sunday September 17th.
Go to heritagedays.org to find out more about Frankton and our award winning festival.