• John McDaniel, Midway Correspondent

Midway News - Personals and Comments

This weekend, Midway will entertain one of the biggest crowds it will see this year. It is Midway Fall Festival time! One hundred and fifty vendors will start setting up this Friday afternoon, preparing for the crowd of people that will be making their way through town this coming Saturday and Sunday. Before I delve into this year’s specifics, I’m going to ask a question. Do you know how or why we have the Midway Fall Festival? About 42 years and three months ago, Midway had the first of what is now known as the Midway Fall Festival. The first event was June 29, 1974. I always knew that the first event was celebrating some kind of centennial, but the dates never added up and I was always confused about the purpose of the celebration. The town of Midway was incorporated by the Kentucky Legislature Feb. 17, 1846. If you subtract 1846 from 1974 and you get 128 years, so was the town celebrating its 128th birthday? Apparently, it wasn’t. While I was digging in my pile of Midway papers, I found six pamphlets that were distributed for the first event. The pamphlets cost 25 cents each. There it was, right on the front of the pamphlet: “Midway celebrates Kentucky’s Bicentennial, June 29, 1974.” Great – now we know why we had the first celebration ... or not? A bicentennial is the 200th anniversary of a significant event: So now I take 1974 and subtract the date that Kentucky June 1, 1792, became the 15th state in the union and we come up with 182 years. Evidently, it didn’t matter if the state of Kentucky wasn’t quite 200 years old or not, Midway was going to celebrate the state’s 200th birthday come hades and high water. So it was on June 29, 1974, that Midway had its first festival, which is now known as the Midway Fall Festival. There were a handful of people who put the event together, but if I remember right, it was Margaret Ware Parrish who spearheaded the whole production. The first celebration consisted of a small parade made up of dancers, dad’s jeep, and various groups of people. This was the first of about three parades that has ever taken place in Midway. The day consisted of a walking tour that included the old Midway City Hall. There was a cat show at the Presbyterian Church and James Cogar gave a lecture on antiques using slides and that took place in the Midway Christian Church basement. At 12:30 p.m. there was a pet show and the Midway Police Department put on K-9 demonstration. Music was played in town throughout the day by various musicians. The Pioneer Dancers hit Railroad Street – aka Main Street – at 2 that afternoon, followed up by the Midway Lions Club dishing out ice cream and Mr. William “Hamp” Hamilton demonstrating his skills on the piano and leading a family sing-along. Now, all this took place at the Midway Christian Church from around 7 till 8:30 p.m., whereupon the fun again transferred downtown for a big old square dance and that, my friend, is the story of Midway’s first Fall Festival. This year’s Midway Fall Festival, like the festivals before it, has continued to grow and has become a time of year that many Midwegians from all over the country make it a point to attend to reunite with old friends and show their children and grandchildren the sights and sounds of their home town. Then there’s about another 12,000 or 13,000 people who will visit this weekend to check out the 150 vendors who will be lining the street. The festival will begin at 10 a.m. and will run till 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, and Sunday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. ••• There is a special date that all of those people who like to play corn-hole might want to mark down on their calendars. If you want to play in the first-ever corn-hole tournament at the Homeplace at Midway, you will need to register your team by Sept. 26. The tournament will take place Thursday, Sept. 29. from 1 to 4 p.m. Call (859) 963-1173 and get your team registered right away. Refreshments will be served after the games.

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