March Streetfest Meeting


Join the Community of Celestine on Thursday, March 7th at 7pm in the basement of The Happy Hour Sports Bar & Grill for the next public planning meeting for Streetfest 2019 - Saturday June 29.
The meeting will include reports from all chairpersons & areas of the fest. 

We welcome anyone to attend to contribute ideas! 

Agenda for the March Meeting includes:

SCHEDULE - Review what we believe to be the final schedule so we can begin promoting it to the public

MENU - Reports from the Celestine Park & Knights of Columbus on their proposed menu items

GAMING - Updates on the gaming activities we are planning, we need people to help on this committee

SCAVENGER HUNT - Updates on the latest plans for this event, we need people to help on this committee

ON STAGE GAMES - Updates on the latest plans for this event, we need people to help on this committee

LOGISTICS, SETUP, TEAR DOWN - Updates on the plans in these areas, along with a call for help in these areas

If you are interested in joining these committees or have other ideas please contact Tony Buechler (812-827-8430) or Dawn Schaefer (812-639-1048). 

Celestine Herald Article

Check out this article from the Dubois County Herald about our great town!

The Places We Call Home: Celestine


Sense of compassion for one another is a basic component to Celestine’s identity.

The families are generations old, with children and grandchildren and great-grands settling in the unincorporated village.

The people support each other, and are quick to help anyone who has a need.

They welcome newcomers to the community, and make them feel as at home as they feel.

Celestine, which was established 175 years ago, is its own distinct community.

“We’re not an incorporated town. We don’t have a sheriff. We don’t have a town board or a mayor,” said Celestine native Tony Buechler. “But we kind of do, through the leadership groups of the church and the park and the clubs. These groups look after the town, and see to the needs of the town.”

And most of the community is involved in one or more of the different groups, thus giving them an intimate role in taking care of Celestine.

“We are always there for each other. That is the root of this community,” said Glenda Reckelhoff, director of religious education at the St. Celestine campus of the St. Isidore Parish. “We are rooted in that faith from generations and generations and generations ago. With that, it’s about how you serve other people.”

Buechler has been a part of the Celestine community all of his life. He left to go to college, but came back afterward to settle in the eastern Dubois County town and run the family farm. His family has been a part of Celestine for at least 125 years.

“There’s a tremendous sense of family here,” he said. “The faces are all familiar to you, even if you don’t know the person intimately. You may not be super close to them, but you know they are a part of the same community. There’s a real comfort to have that extended family.”

Having that extended family comes in handy. Both Reckelhoff and Buechler mentioned, as an example, the tornado that came through Celestine in 2011 and severely damaged several homes.

“There was a tremendous outpouring of people that next day,” Buechler said. “People were standing on the damaged property of those they didn’t know intimately, people they weren’t close friends with. But they were out cleaning up the debris. And they were happy to help. They wanted to contribute. That’s the extended family.”

And the involvement isn’t only during a time of crisis.

“People get involved with the Celestine Community Club, and with the church and the school, and with Celestine Park,” Reckelhoff said.

The Knights of Columbus is heavily supported, as is the Celestine Volunteer Fire Department, Buechler said. There is also Celestine Inc., which does community projects, like the annual Celestine Streetfest.

“There is definitely a structure and a collectivity of the community that goes back to the Catholic church, and the community was founded by Father Kundek,” Buechler said. “We are now a multi-denominational community; we are not the mono-religion that it would have been 50 years ago. I think the church side of things led to a bunch of other things that unite the community.”

Celestine was founded by Father Joseph Kundek, who platted the area in 1843 and named it and the parish after Rev. Celestine Rene Lawrence de la Hailendiere, the second bishop of the Vincennes Diocese. The town’s early history is noted in the St. Celestine Catholic Church’s history, as the two are very much linked. Many of the town’s first inhabitants, including those who came from Hesse province in Germany, are recorded in the church history.

Two books have been published documenting the community trek through time. The first history book was printed in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the community, in 1993, and contained the community’s history up to that point. The second book continued to today, and was printed this year in conjunction with the community’s 175th anniversary celebration. Both books are available at the church.

It is through the church that Joel Johnson and his wife, Sharon, became involved in the community when they moved to Celestine from northwest Indiana 17 years ago.

“We knew absolutely nobody,” Joel said.

The two attended and got involved in the church. “I wasn’t Catholic at the time,” Joel said. “Sharon was a devout Catholic, so she started going, and I went with her.“

What he found through the church was an extended family. “They were all very pleasant and welcoming to us, especially me, not being Catholic,” Johnson recalled. He ultimately converted to Catholicism and got more involved.

Along with working as a groundskeeper for a number of years, he served on the parish council for three years, one of those as president. Sharon worked at Dubois Elementary for a few years; she also served as president of St. Anne’s Solidality. They’ve also been involved in the “Save the Jeeps” campaign, and support different activities and events in the community.

Their daughter, son-in-law and three grandsons live here, too, moving to the area about five years after the Johnsons.

“There are two main things that impressed me about this community,” Joel said. “One is the openness of the people. They welcomed us with open arms. The other is the giving spirit, which is different from northwest Indiana. Everyone up there is so fast-paced, going here, going there. We got down here, and it’s like if someone here needs a hand, the community just pulls together. That was something to see. It opened our eyes; it really did.

“We are blessed to be here.”

Celestine is their home, Joel said.

“We’re not German. Sharon is Croatian and I’m Swedish. But that didn’t matter,” he said. “They took us in. We are part of the community, and that’s due to the warm, welcoming feeling we get from the people here.”

Service to each other and the community are the elements that have helped Celestine last, thrive and stand the test of time.

“There’s a power to being a small community,” Buechler said.

History Book Overview Video

Learn more in the video below about the Celestine 175th history book documenting the history of the community from 1993 to 2018 along with the Beyond the Calendar perpetual calendar, photo book, and recipe book.

Copies of the Celestine 175th History book, the 1993 history book and the Beyond the Calendar book are available at the St. Celestine Parish Center.

Cost of the 175th history book is $25, cost of the 1993 history book is $15, and a bundle of both books is $35.

The Beyond the Calendar book has a collection of monthly snapshots taken at various Celestine locations, a nice collection of recipes submitted by people from the Celestine area, and a perpetual calendar for each month. It is for sale for $15.

These books also are available for purchase at Chocolate Bliss, Illusions, Hoosier Office Supply and the Dubois County Museum in Jasper.

The history and culture of Celestine Indiana has been documented in two new books created to celebrate Celestine’s 175th birthday in 2018.

These books make great gifts for those who hail from Celestine and neighboring areas. They document the history and culture of not only the Celestine community but also Dubois County at large as well as the development of the Catholic faith in the area by the German Heritage immigrants who settled the area.

These books make a great gift idea for that hard to buy someone in your life who appreciates the blessing that the community of Celestine Indiana has been for the past 175 years.

History Books

“Celestine, Indiana A History: 1993-2018” is 363 pages of information on Celestine, acting as a sequel to the 1993 published book “Celestine, Indiana: A Sesquicentennial History.” This 2018 book continues where Father John Boeglin left off when he wrote the 1993 book.

The history book committee for 2018 tried to cover stories that happened in the past 25 years and more. The table of contents lists 18 parts to the book, from Our Community with Township Trustees; current landowners; Celestine Community Club and Celestine Park history information; significant events, such as local fires, Celestine damaged by tornado and the Avian flu outbreak; to our humbled dead; to histories of farms 100 years and older; to special interviews with the community’s elders age 80 and older; to faith journey and the forming of St. Isidore Church.

Members of the history book committee are Clara (Rasche) Fromme, editor; Denise (Vollmer) Buechler; Margaret (Goebel) Buechler; Jenny (Etienne) Betz; Betty (Fetter) Kleinhelter; Kathy (Schnell) Knust; Carol (Oeding) Dekemper; Julia (Jochem) Hurst; Ruth (Schnell) Gehlhausen; Dorothy Rasche; Sharon (Turich) Johnson; Mary (Beckman) Lampert; Kathy (Brosmer) Bachman; Anna (Breitweiser) Knebel; Emily Fromme; Jill (Hoffman) Kelly; and Joel Johnson.

Beyond The Calendar

Thanks to Kathy Messmer and Girl Scout Teen Troop 60, the community is blessed to have “Beyond the Calendar: Celestine 175,” which captures present-day life in Celestine. Elaina Epple, Courtney Vittitow and Emilee Clark spent hours creating this book by organizing photos and recipes. Their months-long efforts signify their vision of the year 2018. The spiral-bound paperback book is comprised of three elements: photos, a monthly perpetual calendar and recipes.

Photos: Nearly 20 photographers, most of them amateurs, submitted photos for the book. The photos were all taken in and around Celestine, and they typify each month of the year. For example, lots of snow pictures, dormant fields and the bareness of winter dominate the months of January and February. March and April bring flowers, waterfalls and rainbows. May and June feature First Communion, Memorial Day, and green trees and blue skies. Back-to-school days, the firemen’s tractor pull and colorful sunsets over farms enlighten July and August days. September, October and November feature fields being harvested and the colorful leaves of autumn. Christmas in Celestine is featured in December.

Monthly perpetual calendar: A double page spread holds dates for each month of the year. These lines provide spaces for recording birthdays and anniversaries of family members and friends. Since this calendar is “perpetual,” there is no need to rewrite dates onto a new calendar each year. Once the month’s special days are filled in, you can plan to leave the calendar open on your desk, kitchen counter or coffee table and never forget a birthday again.

Recipes: Celestine residents have submitted their favorites. Comfort foods and special family treats are highlighted. Among the contributors are Judy Betz, Holly Epple, Ann Hassfurther, Loretta Humbert, Mary Lampert, Aileen Lueken, Betty Merkley, Dorothy Rasche, Glenda Reckelhoff, Shirley Schmitt, Kay Schroeder, Therese Wessel and Ernie Wehr. This is a book you’ll want to display at your fingertips. Thanks to Girl Scouts Elaina, Courtney and Emilee, their mothers and their leader, Kathy, for a job well done.

“Beyond the Calendar: Celestine 175” - $15
“Celestine, Indiana A History: 1993-2018” - $15

“Celestine, Indiana: A Sesquicentennial History (1843-1993).” - $15
A bundle of both history books is available for $35

Books may be purchased at the St. Isidore Parish Office in Celestine The 2018 history books also are available at these locations. These books also are available for purchase at Chocolate Bliss, Illusions, Hoosier Office Supply and the Dubois County Museum in Jasper.

Cookie Walk Sunday, December 2nd

Sunday, December 2nd - 2018 Community of Celestine Holiday Festivities!

Cookie Walk: 8am - 12Noon ~ St. Celestine Dining Hall Purchase cookies & treats by the pound.

Live Christmas Music Performances: 3 PM ~ Downtown Celestine

Horse & Wagon Rides: 3pm - 5pm ~ Downtown Celestine

Santa Arrives & Tree Lighting: 5:30pm ~ Downtown Celestine

$100 Gift Card Drawing & Refreshments: 6:15pm* ~ St. Celestine Dining Hall *Immediately following Tree Lighting - Must be present to win*

October Streetfest Meeting


Join us on Thursday, October 4th, at 7pm in The Happy Hour Bar & Grill basement for a Celestine Streetfest 2019 planning meeting. We plan for this to be the last meeting of 2018 with monthly meetings to resume in January leading up to the event on Saturday, June 29th 2019. Items on the agenda include:

2019 Event Goal Setting & Brainstorming

2019 Schedule Review & Brainstorming
2019 Entertainment Discussion

2019 New Event Ideas & Brainstorming

2019 Chairperson & Committee Reports

2019 Openings for New Committees

2019 Open Call for New Ideas & Suggestions

Further Updates on the 175th Celebration

Sponsorship Committee: We have two members for the committee but are looking for a few more members.

Logistics Committee: We want to form a committee of hands on people to take the lead on organizing and tackling things like setup, tear down, rental items etc.

Fun & Games Committee: We have an idea for a series of on stage games and competitions between young and old in the community. Games would be like those that you would see at family reunions, post proms, field days and on the TV show Minute to Win It To Win It. We need a team to help pull it together.

If you are interested in joining these committees or have other ideas please contact Tony Buechler (812-827-8430) or Dawn Schaefer (812-639-1048).

Dubois County Herald: Celestine Celebrates Its Roots In Family, Faith

As we look back on the excellent Celestine 175 celebration here is an article posted by the Dubois County Herald on Wednesday, June 27th, 2018.

Pictures included with this article are viewable at

Celestine celebrates its roots in family, faith

By Candy Neal,

June 27th, 2018

CELESTINE — This weekend, the community of Celestine will celebrate its dodransbicentennial, marking its 175 years of existence.

“It will be like a homecoming for a lot of people,” said Tony Buechler, promotions chairperson for the celebration. “We’re expecting a lot of natives to be back.

“Celestine is full of German Catholics and German Christians, who love being a part of this community.”

Celestine’s roots are in family and faith. The community started with its church on the hill, St. Celestine Catholic Church.

The church came about because of a man rather famous in Dubois County — Father Joseph Kundek. The Croatian priest, who founded other parishes in Dubois County, purchased land for the church on Oct. 4, 1843, and platted the area on Nov. 16, 1843. He named it Celestine after Rev. Celestine Rene Lawrence De La Hailandiere, second bishop of the Vincennes Diocese. De La Hailandiere Street in Celestine is also named in honor of the bishop.

The first priests to serve Celestine were responsible for multiple parishes and often held Mass only once a month.

So the times were a little challenging for the members of the community.

“The early settlers at Celestine had their joys and sorrows. Life was not easy,” according to Celestine’s Sesquicentennial book. “The early settlers lived in solitude and stillness among the hills and trees. With oil burning wicks and tallow candles, they managed to bring a little light into their homes when darkness came. On their open fireplaces, they prepared their frugal meals. When death came, many times there was no priest to bless the graves of loved ones. They lived on, hoping for better days and praying to find a happier home in heaven.”

The townspeople cleared forests to build houses and cleared farmland.

The early industries were logging and farming. Once sawmills were built, many residents made a living selling timber.

The community’s first post office was created in 1851, and the first mention of a school in history records was in 1852. There were also some general stores in the community. After the Civil War, blacksmithing proved to be a profitable business in Celestine, along with agriculture. According to records from 1859, “160 Catholic families were present in the Church,” the Sesquicentennial book says.

Some of the notable sites in Celestine’s history were Millers Restaurant, which was built in 1932 and destroyed by fire on New Year’s Eve 2000; the Ursuline sisters’ house, known as the “old school,” that was constructed east of the church in 1879 and remodeled in 1891; the Hasenour store that was built in 1899 and operated until 1965; and the Buchart store that was built in 1879 and operated until it was destroyed by fire in 1966. These buildings and more are depicted in a mural about the community that is painted on a wall at the Dubois County Museum.

Celestine has continued to march on. The community celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1993, printing its history book up to that point, and will celebrate its 175 birthday this weekend.

A continuation of the community’s history was published this year. The update includes stories from longtime residents and acknowledgements of community businesses, activities, sites and milestones since the history book was published.

Celestine amps up fest activities for 175th

Celestine is ready to celebrate its 175th birthday this weekend and is inviting everyone to the party.

“We’re very good friends and neighbors with our neighboring communities,” said Tony Buechler, promotions chairperson for the celebration. “We are welcoming everyone to come celebrate with us.”

Normally, the community hosts its Celestine Fest this weekend. But since it is the community’s 175th anniversary, the celebration was stepped up considerably with some special features to make the weekend more memorable.

One of those is the nationally touring musical group Dirty Deeds, an AC/DC tribute band, who will perform Friday night.

“This band has played around here before, performing at the Lincoln Amphitheatre, in Montgomery (and) at the Dale Fall Fest,” Buechler said. “I already know about groups coming from Washington, coming to see them.”

The Cincinnati Circus Company will do three one-ring circus shows Saturday. “Two of the shows will be very traditional, with a high wire and everything, during the day,” Buechler said. “There will be a show at 10 o’clock on Saturday night, that will involve a lot of fire, aerialists, a lot of twirling. That will be very exciting.”

Tethered hot air balloon rides will also be a part of the event on Saturday evening.

“This is kind of an unusual thing,” Buechler said. “We expect there to be a line of people waiting for that.”

Along with the traditional parade, which will be on Sunday and features more than 100 entries, there will be a night parade Thursday night. It will start at 10 p.m. and more than 20 entries are already signed up. The last night parade was done in 1993 as part of the community’s 150th celebration.

“There will be lighted floats, tractors that will be lit up, tractors, walkers,” Buechler said. “There is even a lawn mower that someone has entered that will be decked out in lights. It should be a lot of fun.”

Celestine is also welcoming 20 members from its sister city of Wagshurst, Germany. Those guests were due to arrive today and are staying with families in the community. They will be recognized as part of Celestine’s opening ceremonies and ride in Sunday’s parade, Buechler said. Some members of Wagshurst’s brass band will perform in the Sunday morning mass at St. Celestine Catholic Church.

The dozens of people involved in organizing the event are excited to get the celebration started.

“The mood around here is bubbly. We’re happy to be putting this on,” Buechler said. “We’re happy that the community has been around for 175 years, and the community is vibrant.”

Dubois County Herald: Celestine Night Parade Lights Up The Town

As we look back on the excellent Celestine 175 celebration here is an article posted by the Dubois County Herald on Friday June 29th, 2018.

Pictures included with this article are viewable at

Celestine's night parade lights up the town

By Sarah Ann Jump,

June 29th, 2018

CELESTINE — After months of preparation, friends and family lit up the night Thursday to kick off the Celestine 175 Celebration.

A sea of people crowded the parking lot of St. Celestine Catholic Church where food booths, a beer garden and the main stage were all set up. Later, a night parade lit up the town.

“For as hot as it is, we are blown away by how big the crowd is,” said Tony Buechler, entertainment chairsperson for the weekend’s celebration.

The event officially began with the opening ceremony Thursday that included the recognition of several committees; the grand marshals, Jim, Don, and Ron Sander, and Martha Geopfrich; several visitors from the town’s sister city, Wagshurst, Germany; and Miss Celestine Lydia Burke and her court. Chad Schnell, a member of the celebration’s executive committee, also gave a heartwarming toast to the town.

“We are big in heart, spirit, and community, casting our impact to areas far beyond our boundaries,” Schnell said. “We are a community of family and friends. When times are tough, we pull together. When times are good, we party together.

“175 years old today, we don’t act a day over 150,” he joked. “Welcome to our town, happy birthday Celestine! Cheers!”

The Fashions of Yesteryear contest and the bake-off contest judging also took place as part of the celebration Thursday.

The main attraction of the night? The night parade.

Festgoers were buzzing with excitement about the parade and what they might see.

“We just saw it in the paper and thought it would be fun to see,” said Judy Hemmerlein of Haysville, who attended with her husband, Amos. “We have never seen a night parade.”

Anyone and anything were welcome to participate in the unique parade. Beginning at 10 p.m., entries were decked out in lights and glow sticks. Entries included everything from tractors, to Jeeps and even bikes.

“Some are creatively lit and some are just in it for the celebration,” Tony Buechler said. “People will probably get some laughs at some floats.”

11-year-old Trace Buechler of Celestine proudly paraded the lawn mower his grandpa had painted for him.

The town’s 150th anniversary celebration in 1993 also included a night parade; however, there were many more entries this year, and more-advanced lighting technology.

Judy Hemmerlein said her favorite entry was the giant 175th anniversary “cake” by the Stemle family. As the cake cruised by, the song “We are Family” rang in the air as both the parade participants and audience began to sing and dance along.

Anthony Quinn and his wife Brandy walked in the parade with the Dubois County Democrats.

The Celestine Volunteer Fire Department used a burning house float to remind people to check their smoke detectors during the night parade at the Celestine 175 celebration on Thursday. For more photos from the opening night of the fest, click here.

“The amount of people lining the streets was amazing. The sea of glow sticks, the smiles, the strands of lights and the music made for a memorable evening,” Brandy said.

Anthony added: “I really enjoyed it. Celestine has done a wonderful job of kicking off their 175th celebration.”

The first place victor in the parade was Ernie’s Welding Shop. With a flaming sign engraved with the company’s name and sparks showering from a welder, the crowd was amazed at the inferno.

“We have a parade on Sunday, which will be great, but it is mid-afternoon in July; it’s going to be hot,” Tony Buechler said.

With many more festivities to come, he is thrilled with the entertainment the town has brought in.

“There’s going to be entertainment you haven’t been able to see in Celestine before,” he said. There will be an AC/DC-style rock show, three circus shows, hot air balloon rides and much more throughout the weekend.

“We put on a street fest every year and will continue to do so,” Tony Buechler added. “But this is different. We are trying to take it to another level and say, ‘Hey we love our town and come celebrate with us.’ And we appreciate that.”

Celestine Book TV Interview

Celestine History Book and Perpetual Calendar & Photo Book TV Interview


Watch WJTS TV 18 Jasper's recent interview with Clara Fromme and Kathy Bachman about the two newly published books celebrating Celestine's 175th. Clara and Kathy were part of a larger committee that created two publications that were released at the 175th.

The "new" Celestine: 2018,  the 175th History Book, is also available for $25. It gives the history of events and activities in the community over the past 25 years and serves as an addendum to the 150th History book, Celestine: 1993 (which is still available for $15 or a bundle of both books for $35).

Beyond the Calendar The 170 page perpetual calendar with photos of the Celestine area and events along with recipes is available for $15.

Both books make great gifts. The Celestine History books include a lot of the history and heritage of the Dubois County area.

Both books are available in the parish office during regular office hours. 812-634-1875 or by emailing to coordinate payment and pickup. You can also buy them at Chocolate Bliss, Illusions Day Spa, Hoosier Business Machines and at the Dubois County Museum.

Bill Potter sits down with local authors, Kathy Bachman and Clara Fromme, to discuss books on the history of Celestine, Indiana.

Celestine 175 Sunday Mass With German Musicians WJTS Video


WJTS Channel 18 was on hand to film the 8am Mass at St. Celestine Church and St. Isidore Parish on Sunday, July 1st. The Mass featured music from musicians Celestine's sister city of Wagshurst Germany. Fr. Eugene Schmitt was the presiding priest and he was joined by former St. Celestine Pastor Fr. John Boeglin who gave a number of remarks about our sister city relationship. You can watch their coverage on YouTube

18 WJTS presents Celestine's 175th Celebration Special Mass

Celestine 175 Parade WJTS Video

WJTS Channel 18 was on hand to film the Celestine 175th parade on Sunday, July 1st. You can watch their coverage on YouTube


18 WJTS Presents the Celestine's 175th Parade.