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The return of McCrearyFest

Several local events coming soon

By Eugenia Jones
eugenia@highland.net

Visitors and residents can look forward to several fun filled events happening throughout McCreary County over the next few weeks.
On Saturday night, September 14, tales told at the annual Ghost Train Storytelling Event at Blue Heron will once again tickle funny bones, tug at heartstrings, and produce shivers of fright.
Unlike in the past, the Big South Fork Scenic Railway will be unable to transport passengers to the Blue Heron Outdoor Museum for the storytelling due to track damage caused by heavy rains in the winter. However, the free event is still scheduled with visitors able to attend by driving down to the Outdoor Museum at Blue Heron.
Park staff and volunteers will lead groups of visitors in the darkness of night by only the flickers of lanterns to local storytellers. They, through the age-old tradition of the spoken word, will share their traditional tales from around the region with those attending the event. Free parking is available, but everyone is encouraged to carpool as space is limited. Refreshments and food will be available for purchase at the concession stand.
The following week, from Thursday September 19 through Saturday September 21, bluegrass fans can once again enjoy fine bluegrass and gospel music during the 2019 Blazin’ Bluegrass Festival. With a three day pass costing $30.00, the event is well worth the cost as it features prominent bluegrass and gospel performers such as C. F. Bailey and Shadow Ridge, Open Rail, Dean Osborne and Friends, Joyful Noise, Steve Gulley and New Pinnacle, Dave Adkins Band, Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, along with many others. One day tickets are: Th./$8.00, F./$12.00, and Sat./$15.00. Friday’s Gospel Night will begin at 2:45. For more information, visit the festival website www.blazinbluegrass.com.
The return of McCrearyFest kicks off at 6:00 p.m. on October 4, Friday night. From 6:00 p.m. through 9:00 p.m., there will be a chili cook-off in the public library parking lot. Those wishing to compete (or donate) should bring their chili to the cook-off at 5:30. There is no entry fee for the cook-off. Samples of chili will be sold for .50 cents while bowls of chili will cost $3.00 (.50 cents extra with cheese.) Chili cook-off awards will be presented at 8:00 p.m. There will also be a Country Western Street Concert from 6:00 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. with live music and line dancing on Main Street in front of the Court House.
Saturday’s McCrearyFest parade will begin at 11:00 a.m. featuring Superheroes and Princesses. This year’s parade theme is “Homecoming” with parade awards presented at 2:00 p.m. Additional activities include live music from 12:00 until 4:00, fire tower demonstrations, a balloon man from 11:00-2:00, vendors including Eastern Star, Downtown Browns, and the Animal Protection League of McCreary County, and a Power Wheel Derby at 2:00 p.m. for children ages 2 to 10. Children wishing to enter the Power Wheel Derby should bring their own battery operated power wheel. There is no entry free, and all participants will win a prize.
This year’s McCrearyFest also features a free children’s section with a petting zoo (including a camel and kangaroo) and pony ride carousel. The children’s section will also have face painting, carnival games, and a bounce house.
Applications for parade/float entries and craft and food vendors are available at the McCreary County Tourism Office during regular business hours or interested parties can message the McCrearyFest Facebook page and receive applications by email. More parade entries (and vendors) are needed. There is no entry fee for the parade. Craft vendor set up fee is $20.00, and food vendor set up fee is $50.00. The application deadline for parade/float entries and vendors is September 30.

The McCrearyFest Committee has raised funding for this year’s festivities through a variety of fundraisers including a Murder Mystery Theater Dinner, Mom Prom, and Fathers’ Day Basket Raffle. Members of the McCrearyFest committee include President Sandi Johnson, Vice President Vonda Garland, Secretary Michelle Perry, and Treasurer Canidice Greene Bridgeman.

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