What started as a way to way to connect businesses, artisans, organizations, and more in Pulaski County has become community-wide effort to celebrate all that makes the county special. For the past two months, the Pulaski County Tribe has upped their outreach in the community, encouraging residents and visitors to explore and “play” with the “Play in Pulaski” program.
In planning and bringing the program to life, Brandi Larkin, President of the Pulaski County Tribe, and her team looked to other towns in the area for inspiration, and in doing so, found a common thread throughout the Region.
“What we wanted was to highlight the pace in Pulaski County, something a lot of towns here do when creating and promoting events,” Larkin said. “We didn’t want a city pace, we wanted to highlight the community pace found throughout Pulaski County. It’s a slower pace full of friendly faces.”
The program is in its beginning stages, but the Tribe’s first steps have already taken off. Since April, the Pulaski County Tribe has hosted Second Saturdays, a monthly community-wide event that showcases everything the area has to offer.
“It’s an opportunity for businesses, organizations, independent consultants, crafters, and artisans that have an event or an activity to offer on the second Saturday of each month, and for [the Tribe] to support and promote those opportunities,” Larkin said.
Every second Saturday of the month, local Pulaski businesses, organizations, and independent contractors or artisans put on special activities or events for residents and visitors to take part. From retail discounts, volunteer opportunities, indoor and outdoor recreation, dining specials, fundraising events, and local events, Second Saturdays have something everyone can enjoy.
“From shopping and dining, to gathering for a bike ride on the Panhandle Pathway, to going to Tippecanoe State Park to climb the fire tower, to participating in the Famers Market, there’s so much people can do to make their Saturday exciting,” Larkin said.
“This week, we got to work painting the first part of a crane mural in Medaryville by artist Zach Medler, so this Saturday, we are encouraging people to check it out and maybe stop by Main Street Bakery and grab a donut to celebrate their one-year anniversary.”
Main Street Bakery, owned and operated by Dusty and Casey Williams, has had an incredible first year of business. The bakery officially opened on June 12, 2020 in Medaryville, and the pair immediately got to work making their classic and specialty donuts. From classic favorites like glaze, cake donuts, chocolate, sprinkles, and Bavarian cream, to unique flavors like a peanut butter mousse and The BMT (named after the Williams’ close friend Big Mike Tiede), a combination of two donuts, covered in maple icing, and coated in peanuts, Main Street’s donut selection continues to grow.
“We had cut all of our donuts, and they are all made in-house in Medaryville. There are Friday nights when we are making upwards of 700 dozen donuts in a night,” said owner Dusty Williams. “We are in the process of opening up two new storefronts in Morocco and Rensselaer, but it’s important for us to keep our production right here in Medaryville.”
“I’m originally from Rensselaer, but Casey is from Medaryville, so we want to stay in this community and help to grow this county.”
The bakery also makes pies, nut and cinnamon rolls, cookies, and even has a deli. On Sunday mornings, the Williams shift gears and cook a traditional restaurant-style breakfast, so community members have a breakfast spot to enjoy. Every third Tuesday of each month, they also make special meals. This upcoming Tuesday will feature a BBQ brisket and mac & cheese burrito.
For June 12’s Second Saturday, the first one Main Street Bakery is participating in, guests can stop by the bakery located at 504 E Main Street in Medaryville for a free glazed or vanilla long john donut before stopping by the new mural, something Williams highly recommends.
“[Medler] is so good at what he does, and the mural is incredible,” Williams said. “He deserves all the recognition he gets.”
Williams remarked how their participation in Second Saturday reflects their desire to connect the community that for too long has felt too divided.
“The county divide is terrible, we hardly see people from other towns here,” he said. “We’re doing our part to make it better, to connect the county, and the Tribe is doing great things throughout Pulaski, with these monthly events and the new mural going in. People are starting to feel proud of this place again, something that hasn’t happened in a long time.”
“Simply put, we just want to make a difference in people’s lives,” he continued. “We’re not doing this to get rich. We want to see our county, our home, grow.”
You can find more information about Main Street Bakery on their Facebook page here, where they not only continue to post new updates and donuts, but also engage with the Pulaski County community.
For those looking to enjoy the county’s natural surroundings, Tippecanoe State Park is a beautiful getaway with can’t miss scenery and activities. For Larkin, however, it’s a place to make connections.
“We always say about being out there in the park is that you will leave with stronger connections,” she said. “Whether that’s to yourself and your mental health, your loved ones, your friends, or even just nature, you’ll leave with a strong connection than you would need for internet service.”
The push to include every community in the county highlights the Tribe’s focus on celebrating the entire county’s history and heritage.
“It is not one community specific; we encourage everyone to visit the different communities in Pulaski, since they can easily drive to each one throughout the day,” Larkin said. “We want people to take advantage of what every community in the county has to offer.”
“What was also important to us as the Pulaski County Tribe was for there to be opportunities both in-person and online,” she explained. “It’s not exclusive to just brick-and-mortars, it’s not exclusive to just sales. It’s inclusive of anything someone in the county has to offer.”
Second Saturdays will continue throughout the rest of the year, bringing new events and opportunities to residents and visitors as the program continues to grow. It’s completely free to get involved and register; you can find the registration form here.
“As long as it’s something that can be done in Pulaski County, is on the second Saturday of the month, is online or in-person, and is safe, we want to promote it,” Larkin said.
And after a difficult year due to COVID-19 and social distancing, Second Saturdays not only are a welcomed return to a bit of normalcy, but also a new stage for the county and the Tribe.
“If you talk to our community members about what’s great living in Pulaski County, one of things that you will hear about is, of course, our great natural resources, but the part is our people,” Larkin said. “Our people miss our people. We miss one another, we want to engage again, and we want to support our small businesses and enjoy each other in our great natural resources we have. We want to offer opportunities to bring that all together.”
“Here’s a day you can spend in Pulaski County doing a variety of things in a variety of ways,” she continued. “Let’s just play in Pulaski.”
The next Second Saturday will be held on Saturday, June 12th. Local businesses, organizations, and activities involved in the event include Alliance Bank, Custom Canine, Eden Valley Farms, Friends of the Panhandle Pathway, Healey's Home Center, Healthy Bites Kitchen, Luminary Signs, Main Street Bakery, Lyshie's Lavish Looks, Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant Alyssa Chapman, Medaryville Crane Mural Phase 1, New Intuition Coaching, Pickleball Winamac, Pulaski Animal Center, Pulaski County Journal & The Independent, Sanders Foods, Scentsy/Blissful Aromas, Starke/Pulaski Habitat for Humanity, Sunrise Harvest Farm, The Old Barn and Garden, The Owen Abbott Memorial Splash Pad, and Winamac Ace Hardware.
For more information about the special events and activities offered by each organization, read the Pulaski County Tribe's article here.