Heartland Summer Fest heats up
By Janna Odenthal Post-Tribune correspondent July 10, 2012 1:32PM
Classic cars are lined up at the annual car and bike show held in front of the new pavillon at the Heartland Christian Center in Valparaiso, Ind., on Sunday, June 24, 2012. | Jim Karczewski~For Sun-Times Media
For future events at Heartland Christian
Center’s pavilion this summer, call Jason
Oxendine, 462-4500, visit www.heartland
christiancenter.com or visit the church on
Facebook. The pavilion is behind the church
at 170 S. Indiana 49, Valparaiso.
Updated: August 12, 2012 6:13AM
The opening of a new pavilion was recently celebrated during Heartland Christian Center’s Summer Fest in Valparaiso. Activities included live music and games, a car and bike show, stand-up comedy and more.
Actor and comedian Michael Joiner was born and raised in Gary. He landed the star role in the movie “Grace Card,” co-starring Lou Gossett Jr. He revisited the area to entertain the crowd at Heartland Christian Center for the celebration.
“I want people to know how important this area is to me, how dear to my heart,” he said. “This is where I started my acting and comedy career, at the Memorial Opera House. I consider the actors and directors who worked there some of the best I’ve ever worked with.”
The next day, families gathered outdoors for a picnic. Activities for children included bounce houses, cotton candy creations, face painting, pony rides and more.
Shelby Clindaniel, 17, of Kouts attended the event with her mother, Tina, and father, Mike. She watched her sister, Kaylee, 10, ride a horse that afternoon.
“The comedian was awesome. He talked so I could understand him. He was funny,” said Clindaniel. “And (Grace Card) was really great; it was real life. I’m glad I came. It’s a good way to spend a weekend.”
Other activities included a car and motorcycle show. Bikes ranged from a pink retro Harley Davidson Softail to a small red Mini-Bobber and an expansive yellow Can-Am Spyder.
A 1968 red Camaro with wheelie bars and a narrowed rear end was shown by David Guzorek of Hebron.
“I’ve had it for 30 years. When I bought it, it was a $500 wreck. It needed everything. Me, my wife and my friends rebuilt it,” said Guzorek. “We enjoy the car shows, especially the charity shows.”
A 1954 Ford Courier Ambulette, owned by George Grogloth of Valparaiso, was originally used as an ambulance, flower cart and hearse, depending on the needs of a particular day.
Between activities, guests dined on fried chicken, hot dogs and two large hogs, which were grilled and barbecued. Later, they cooled off with an ice cream dessert.
Music was provided by the Hickory Creek Revival band. A bass, banjo, mandolin, viola, violin and guitar created toe-tapping bluegrass sounds.
Donations given during the three-day event benefited local nonprofit organizations including Teen Challenge, The Women’s Center of Northwest Indiana, Frontline Foundations, First Contact and New Creations Men’s Center.