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It’s A Parade! Maybe.

With the newly created “Heritage Trail Days” celebration replacing the traditional McCreary Fest Parade and Festival in McCreary County, Tourism Executive Director Adam Phillips wants to make McCreary County parade lovers and potential parade entrants aware of some new requirements for entering the parade in Whitley City on the first Saturday of October.  Phillips also acknowledged that it is up to the community to determine if the parade will continue.

“We want to include the parade as part of the Heritage Trail Days event,” Phillips remarked.  “However, we need the community to step and show that they, too, want to continue the parade by entering floats, decorated vintage cars, etc.”

Adams discussed some changes in this year’s anticipated parade format.

“We want church groups, schools, businesses, organizations, etc. to step up and have entries,” Phillips commented.  “However, this year, we want all entries to fit into certain categories or themes.”

There are six parade entry categories/themes indicated on the 2015 parade application form.  The categories are: Cultural/Heritage (Pioneer, Native American, Coal Mining, Appalachian Life, etc.), Old Fashion Religious (old time church, baptizing, etc.), It’s Our Nature (outdoor recreation:  biking, hiking, water sport, ATV, scenic views, etc.), Agricultural (farm fresh produce, livestock (including horses), harvest, etc.), Heritage Vehicles (classic/antique cars, truck, tractors, etc.), and Other.  The “Other” category may include marching bands, etc.

Phillips stressed that this year’s parade entries must fall into one of the designated categories and must be submitted and registered no later than 4:00 p.m., Friday August 28, 2015.  According to Phillips, this year’s early registration deadline, unlike in the past when entries were accepted much closer to the date of the parade, will determine community interest in continuing the parade.   The number of parade entries submitted by the August 28 deadline will determine if this year’s parade will be cancelled. According to Phillips, it will tentatively take the submission of twenty to twenty-five qualified parade applications by the August 28 deadline in order to keep the parade during this year’s Heritage Trail Days in October.

A $5.00 per entry fee must also be paid at the time of registration, with the proceeds being used to provide cash prizes for first place winners in each of the six categories.

In addition to parade entry applications, food and craft vendor applications are also available.  Non-profit food vendors are required to meet health department and licensing regulations and pay a $75.00 registration fee.  Crafters must submit a $15.00 fee with application; however, the fee will be waived if the crafter demonstrates the making of their craft throughout the day.  All crafts must be handmade.  Some booths for non-handmade items geared toward children will be allowed in the children’s section.  Food and craft vendor applications are not due until late September.

The Heritage Trail Days Festival will kick off on Thursday night, October 1, with live music, farmers’ market, and more.  Activities, including an open house and street dance, will occur in Stearns on Friday, October 2.  In Whitley City on Saturday, there will be live music, children’s activities, vendors, and the parade if enough entries are received by the late August deadline.  Guided hikes are planned throughout the County during the three day festival.

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