Record crowds pack Midway Fall Festival
The 43rd annual Midway Fall Festival was full of energy this past weekend as sunny skies and seasonably warm temperatures brought in massive crowds. The streets were lined with vendors through downtown and the sound of Bluegrass music filled the air. The food options were plentiful with vendors offering a variety of foods ranging from Greek cuisine to southern barbecue. "This is our sixth year in a row and we always have a great turnout," said David Sponcil of Browning's Country Ham. "The people have taken a liking to our ham and every year the response is bigger and more positive. We plan on coming back every fall. The crowds are huge this year and we were just discussing that we will need to bring in more ham for tomorrow because we underestimated the traffic coming through. Our ham sliders are selling real well and we are on pace to beat last year's sales." The lemonade stands were packed with long lines and the ice cream vendors had a steady flow of patrons as well. There were plenty of options for children at the festival. Rosie's Ponies out of Georgetown offered pony rides for a nominal fee and there was face-painting as well as a bouncy house slide. A pair of large canopies were set up in front of Darlin' Jean's Apple Cobbler Café where live music performances took place. This location was a popular spot where folks could enjoy the shade and have a bite to eat. "This is my first time out here and we are shopping and having a good time," said Versailles resident Chelsea Hartley. "It's great seeing the community coming together and many people from all over the state coming in. The lemonade is hitting the spot with the heat as well. We are headed to get some food and then continue with our shopping."
"This is an annual gathering place for us," said Kelly Simpson. "My husband's mother and sister have always come here from Indiana and Louisville so we all meet up here for the day. We love seeing the different vendors and all the crafts that they sell. It gets better every year." The festival offers something for everyone with items for sale such as jewelry, handmade wreaths, soaps, wind chimes and more. For those with a sweet tooth, there were plenty of homemade chocolates and fudge for sale. "This is our second year here and we love this festival," said Cindy Gipson of Glendale. "We had a storefront behind the Whistle Stop in Hardin County, but now we travel to festivals and this is always our best festival. Last year in the rain, we still had so many people who came out to see us and buy our homemade fudge." On the side roads leading into downtown Midway, there were more pop-up shops and even people holding yard sales trying to attract the large crowds. Many experienced vendors have figured out that the Midway Fall Festival provides a jackpot of customers in a two-day period and they welcome the traffic with open arms. "I've been selling my jewelry here for eight years," said Jewelry By The Spoonful owner Susan Davisson of Cynthiana. "It's a highlight of our season every year to come to Midway and be part of this. Everyone is always so nice and the crowds are magnificent in rain or shine conditions. I will probably do a total of seven festivals this year and judging by the crowds here, this will be the largest all year."