• John McDaniel, Midway Correspondent

Midway News - Personals and Comments

One of Midway’s biggest events has come and gone, as the Midway Fall Festival entertained a few thousand visitors even though three hours of Saturday’s program were filled with lots of raindrops. Personally, I was surprised when the rain began pouring down in the afternoon. I was sure that everyone would be heading to their cars or making their way to the restaurants to wait out the weather. Although some vendors and some attendees called it a day, other attendees seemed to be prepared as they pulled out their umbrellas while others went on like it wasn’t raining at all. Amazingly, several vendors stated that they had a better selling day Saturday, rain and all, than they did Sunday, which had what could easily be said was perfect weather. Although the early weather reports probably kept some potential attendees at home, and the fact that this year’s festival was competing with two other major festivals in the state, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival 2016 and the 2016 Bourbon County Secretariat Festival, this year’s turnout wasn’t too bad. Using the McDaniel Density Equation, my standard for determining crowd size for the last four years, I would say there were around 12,000 festival goers not as big as some of the festivals in the past but a successful festival all the same. This year’s festival had more vendors than past events, as 150 vendors were scheduled, with 127 actually setting up. One of the new vendors, Kreole Sisters, traveled from Lafayette, La., to serve up genuine Cajun cuisine at the Midway festival. They even passed out samples of pralines and bread pudding to entice tasters to try their selection of Cajun dishes consisting of various combinations of chicken, sausage, fried catfish and, of course, crawfish. Saturday festival goers had a chance to see how the R.J. Corman Company’s famous My Old Kentucky Dinner Train was set up. The “Dinner Train” has been running in Bardstown since 1988. A couple of past features seemed to be missing at is year’s festival, as kids wanted to know why the tall balloon man and Winnie the Pooh weren’t around. Midway was once again blessed with another great festival, and Kenny Smith of Kennydid Gallery did another great job of guiding the Midway Fall Festival to another great year. ••• Last week, I gave a brief history of the Midway Fall Festival and in that article I commented that the June 29, 1974, festival was in recognition of the Kentucky Bicentennial, according to the front of a pamphlet I had uncovered. But the dates didn’t quite work out, as Kentucky became a state in 1792. Using the information that I had, I wasn’t sure what the first Midway Fall Festival/ Kentucky Bicentennial celebration was celebrating. It was brought to my attention by Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based at the University of Kentucky, and an associate professor in the university’s School of Journalism and Telecommunications, that “Kentucky began bicentennial celebrations in 1974 to commemorate the establishment of Fort Harrod, which became Harrodsburg, our first permanent settlement, and led up to the U.S. bicentennial in 1976. Thanks to Professor Cross, I think I can narrow it down somewhat. The Midway celebration was celebrating the 200th anniversary of Kentucky’s first permanent settlement at Fort Harrod, even though the pamphlet thought we were celebrating Kentucky’s bicentennial. As many of those who live in Midway already know, Midwegians are always looking for a reason to celebrate. Thanks, Al. ••• I am watching TV Saturday night and I hear this loud thud and my lights in the house flickered momentarily and the flickering was soon followed by the sound of sirens. A truck had struck a utility pole at the corner of Winter Street and Higgins Street. The utility pole happened to be a pole with transformers on it. I was lucky my lights in my house only flickered – there were several Midway houses that had their lights completely knocked out due to the wreck. ••• Don’t forget 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. Now call (859) 963-1173 and get your team registered right away. Refreshments will be served after the games. Message from the Mayor By Grayson Vandegrift My son, Jackson, was born on Aug. 18, and he and Katie are doing fantastic. He was just over eight pounds and 22 inches long at birth, so I’m going to put a basketball in his hands as soon as possible because I bet college is going to be really expensive in 18 years. He’s a true blessing, and now all of those things that different folks have told me about how great it is to be a parent make perfect sense. Our city received great news recently when we were able to announce that Lakeshore Learning Materials, an educational supply company, is going to build a distribution center that will employ 262 full-time employees as well as 140 seasonal workers at Midway Station. The other day I was speaking to the CEO, Bo Kaplan, (whose grandmother started the company 60 years ago), and he told me that Midway was originally considered a “plan B” by him and his site location team – that is, until they visited. In the end, although numbers certainly mattered, they wanted to be in a place that they could call home for 60 more years – and beyond – and they found that in Midway. That, of course, comes as no surprise to any of us. I want to give a big thanks to Kenny Smith and the Fall Festival Committee for all of their hard work on putting on yet another great Midway Fall Festival.

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