The Little Cousin Jasper Festival will bring three days of family fun, food and entertainment to Rensselaer's historic courthouse and grounds Friday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 7.

On Friday, Sept. 5, the festival will celebrate opening ceremonies at 5:00 p.m., followed by the Jasper Jamboree, a variety show featuring music and humor, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Beginning at 7:30 p.m., the motivational drummer group, Sheltered Reality, will take to the stage.

New to the Little Cousin Jasper Festival, thrill-seeking attendees can experience zip line rides from noon to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, and from noon to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7.

The Little Cousin Jasper parade will step off at noon on Saturday, Sept. 6, and Nashville duo Meagan Taylor, great-niece of Chet Atkins, and Jason Coleman, grandson of Floyd Cramer, with special guest Ben Hall, will perform on the street stage at 7:00 p.m.

Registration for the annual Little Cousin Jasper 5K Run/Walk will begin at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, with the race beginning at 8:00 a.m. Registration costs $20 per participant. A monetary award will be given to the first place finisher from each division.

The inaugural Little Cousin Jasper Corn Hole Tournament, which will be located on the north side of the courthouse, will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6. Interested players at least 18 years old may begin registering following the parade. Registration for teams of two costs $10, and those who register without a partner will have one assigned. There will be a 50/50 payout, and cash prizes will be awarded to the first place through third place winning teams.

Returning to the Little Cousin Jasper Festival, American Idol finalist Amanda Overmyer will perform on Sunday, Sept. 7, beginning at 1:00 p.m. The second annual Duck Derby will also take place on Sunday. Five hundred plastic ducks, sold for $5 each, will be placed in the river at the Washington Street bridge. The first three ducks through a tunnel at the end of the course will win their owners a cash prize - $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place.

According to Pat Fox, festival committee chair, the Little Cousin Jasper Festival will also include approximately 80 fine arts and crafts vendors, offering numerous items such as hand-made rugs, home interiors, jewelry and more. Additionally, attendees can enjoy a variety of traditional festival fare, as well as Greek and Mexican food, pirogies, yogurt and more.

Additional activities during the festival include a talent show, a pizza-eating contest, kids' activities, a ham and bean dinner, a pet parade and more.

The Little Cousin Jasper Festival is from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5; 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6; and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7. For more information, contact Pat Fox at 219-866-5001 or visit www.littlecousinjasper.com.