Every year in October, the residents of Parke County, Indiana get together for a 10-day celebration known as the Covered Bridge Festival. The festival began as a 3-day event. The women living in Parke County wanted to provide a festival that would accommodate tourists coming to the area just to learn about the unique properties of the 31 cover bridges in Parke County. The first festival in 1957 was a smaller version of what visitor enjoy today.
Mansfield is the proud home of one of the most famous covered bridges of Parke County. The old Covered Bridge, built in 1867 for a pricey $12,200, spans the Big Raccoon Creek. This is the longest covered bridge in Parke County. It extends a total of 247 feet, and is still fully functional today. The bridge is part of the historic Mansfield Mill and dam. Initially built as a way for covered wagons to cross, today the bridge still has a maximum capacity of over 10 tons.
The festival held every fall welcomes visitors from all over the country looking to experience the splendor of the changing leaves in this picturesque region of Indiana. When coming to Mansfield for the Covered Bridge Festival, you’ll find it centrally located just 55 miles for Indianapolis.
Don’t this even one Covered Bridge Festival. The festival features bus tours that take you around to different areas of the county, vendors including antique sales, food and entertainment. The Mansfield Civic Center near the bridge will play host to hundreds of crafters and other vendors as part of the festival offerings. This year the Covered Bridge Festival promises to be something to see. Come curious, hungry and looking for fun.