In the late 1950s the Francesville Town Board advertised for bids to construct a fire station. The costs submitted were out of reach at that time, and the project was put on hold. In 1961, 11 community-minded people met to discuss a means to build a fire station and municipal building. As a result of that meeting, the Francesville Community Improvement Foundation was formed and incorporated as a non-profit organization. The nine directors solicited funds from business firms and citizens of the community. They received donations and pledges to purchase land and to construct the much-needed building, all to be done using no taxpayer funds.
People came with trucks, tractors, shovels, or whatever was needed to do the work going into the fall of 1963. Eight farm trucks made a trip to Bedford Quarries, in southern Indiana and returned with Indiana limestone. The stone was then laid in the fall of 1964. When the building was finally finished in 1967, the people of Francesville decided to have a parade and dedication on 22 and 23 September. This was the beginning of the Francesville Fall Festival.
Each year, on the third weekend of September, Pulaski County continues to celebrate “the small town with the big heart”. Booths fill Franceville’s streets with artists, craftsmen, demonstrations, and a multitude of food vendors. Entertainment includes a carnival with rides for children, a petting zoo, a parade (and pet parade!), competitive events of every kind, and a variety of free performances on the entertainment stage, with fireworks providing the perfect celebratory nightcap.