With the 34th annual Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival is just a couple of days away, organizer Kitty Strode said the final touches are being completed and everything is ready for another successful festival.
“We’re in good shape,” Strode said. “The banners are going up today, everyone has worked hard to get College Park and Lykins Park in great shape, so we’re excited and ready to go.”
The festival kicks off Friday at 6:30 p.m. with the street dance in downtown Winchester in front of the Clark County Courthouse featuring regional favorites Custom Made and Higher Ground.
Saturday, the festival gets under way at 8:30 a.m. with the popular Daniel Boone 5K run. The starting point for the race has been moved this year and will now begin in the George Rogers Clark High School parking lot. The move was made at the suggestion of the Winchester Police Department, Strode said.
“With the race starting at the library, all that traffic, added to the traffic of vendors and others setting up at College Park, caused traffic near the park to be a nightmare,” Strode said. “Winchester Police suggested that we move the start of the 5K to GRC to take away some of that traffic.”
At 9:30 a.m., the Walk with Friends, organized by the GRC cheerleaders, gets under way at the Kentucky Bank location on Lexington Road. Money raised from the walk goes to the STRIDE organization.
Also at 9:30 a.m., visitors can sample arts and crafts offered by vendors from around Kentucky and surrounding states, sample regional food favorites and listen to live music throughout the day at College Park. Vendors will be in the park and inside the College Park Gym.
The festival this year also will feature live demonstration throughout the day from artists and craftsmen showcasing their talents in glassblowing, pottery, broom making and wood carving.
“We’ve had people ask for craft demonstrations at the festival for a while and we’re excited to have several lined up this year, for the first time in many years,” Strode said.
Saturday’s festivities finish up at 7 p.m. when Calvary Christian Church hosts a youth concert in downtown Winchester.
Sunday, the popular community church service begins at 8 a.m. at College Park, and this year will feature motivational speaker Chad Varga, sponsored by the Clark County Christian Drug Coalition. Also Sunday the arts, crafts, food and music will be available in College Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The festival finishes up Sunday night at Lykins Park with the Kitty Strode Concert Series featuring Hunter Hayes, Casey James and local favorite the Lauren Mink Band. The show starts at 5:30 p.m.
The event closes out with a fireworks show following the concerts.
Once again this year there will be shuttle service for festival visitors with shuttles leaving the GRC parking lot every 20 minutes. Also again this year, the Winchester Rotary Club and the GRC JROTC will serve as ambassadors for the event and will be in the parking lot to assist visitors and answer questions.
Some festivals across the state have struggled in recent years, but Strode said the Pioneer Festival has bucked that trend and continues to thrive and grow.
“We’re growing and we are still having vendors calling in this week wanting to get in the festival,” Strode said. “We are so fortunate in that the community is so patient with the traffic and everything this weekend each year because they know how important the festival is to the community.”
Contact Bob Flynn at email@example.com.