• By John McDaniel, Midway Correspondent

The Week At Midway: Personals and Comments

Midway is having one of its biggest weekends of the year. Yes, it’s already time for the 14th annual Francisco’s Farm Arts Festival. The festival has gone through lots of changes over the years; different locations, different directors and different formats have kept the festival interesting, to say the least.

The Francisco’s Farm Arts Festival has been named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society and a Top 10 Art Fair and Festival by American Style Magazine. It is an event that brings artists of all mediums into our small town. The festival usually supports exhibit space for more than 100 artists, and are selected by a jury of non-applicant professional artists and other arts professionals. Artistic excellence is the sole criterion for selection of exhibitors in a blind jury process. The exhibits will include two and three-dimensional works of art such as drawings, oils, pastels, photography, watercolors, ceramic, fiber, glass metal, leather, stone and wood. Festival attendees will be able to study these works up close and discuss the creative process with the artists in person.

As always with the Francisco Farm Arts Festival, there will be something new, something old, and probably some things that you’ve never seen before. Last week Woodford Sun reporter Bob Vlach described the more than 100 pieces of art created by students from Woodford County at this year’s event. Be sure and take time to and stop by the Ann Hart Raymond Center and see the works of Woodford County’s future Picassos.

Another new exhibit this year will be the “Making of a Master.” According to Sara Ladd, a Midway Messenger reporter, “Makings of a Master” contains seven display cases housing a variety of musical instruments, tools and art made by master tradition bearers, interpretive panels, display photos and quotes, along with a push-button video display. The exhibit will be on display in the university’s Anne Hart Raymond Center. The campus’ main entrance is at 512 E. Stephens St. The decision to bring “Makings of a Master” to the annual event was to make visitors aware of Kentucky’s traditional art forms, said Helen Rentch, chairman of the Francisco’s Farm Art Fair artist liaison committee.Be sure to check out this award-winning festival on the Midway University campus this weekend. Saturday, the festival will open at 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. On Sunday, it will open at 10 a.m. and close at5 p.m. Admission is free and parking is $5.

With art, food, and music all taking place at one of the most beautiful campuses in the state, who could ask for more?Don’t forget to shine up your golf clubs, get together with some friends and sign up for the Locally Grown Third Annual Golf Scramble June 16 at 2 p.m. at Kearney Hill Golf Links in Lexington. Registration of $85 includes supper, gift bags, snacks and team prizes, along with great silent auction items. Proceeds benefit the Locally Grown Youth Ministry. Registration and sponsorship details at lgmidway.com

Want to check out some more neat Midway stuff? Be sure you don’t wait too late to buy your tickets to the Midway Woman’s Club Historic Homes Tour. The word is that the tour is formatted to give visitors a look inside some of the most interesting houses in the Bluegrass on Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The tour will include houses in Midway on the National Register of Historic Places. According to information handed out by tour organizers, most of the homes in this year’s tour are important to the Parrish family, which has been in Midway for seven generations, including several current residents. Patriarch James Ware Parrish (1815-1857) is a co-founder of the Kentucky Female Orphan School, the precursor to today’s Midway University. He or his descendants occupied all six houses on the tour, and he was an early supporter of the Second Christian Church in Midway, the oldest African-American Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the nation, which is also on the tour.

Houses on the tour:

Southern Equine - formerly Parrish Hill Farm, where several thoroughbreds of note were bred, including Derby and Preakness winner Charismatic

Pinkerton-Rouse Place - home to the Midway University president

Porter House - ca. 1840, where it is rumored that the Porterhouse steak was created

Village View Cottage - formerly located at Parrish Hill Farm

Parrish Place - now Midway Small Animal Clinic

Parrish Homeplace - ca. 1810, called Dearborn, owned now by Darby Dan Farm, patriarch James Ware Parrish home

Tour tickets are $20 with a lunch ticket option (details below) and available online at Eventbrite and at three locations in Woodford County: in Midway, Railroad Drug and May & Co. on Railroad Street; in Versailles, at Marketplace on Main, 116 East Main Street; and in Lexington at the Rag Peddler, 250 Walton Avenue. Cash or check only at store locations.

Tickets must be purchased at one of these locations or on Eventbrite for admission to the tour.

The Woman’s Club is also offering a Tour with Lunch ticket, which includes the homes tour and a three-course gourmet lunch at the Holly Hill Inn in Midway, another former Parrish family home that is not on the tour. Seating will be at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Tour with Lunch tickets are $50 each, which includes tax and tip, and available on Eventbrite only.

The number of tickets is limited. Please note that houses are not handicapped accessible. The tour is self-directed. The tour begins at Northside Elementary School, 500 Northside Drive in Midway, where tickets must be redeemed for admission booklets. Proceeds will benefit the Woman’s Club, a non-profit group dedicated to helping Midway families and the community. For more information, please email midwaywomansclubky@gmail.com.

The Monday Market in Midway is officially opening this Monday, May 21, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of Darlin’ Jean’s restaurant.

Stay tuned for the Wednesday Market opening date and location! We hope to see you this Saturday, May 19, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at courthouse square in downtown Versailles and on Monday, May 21, in Midway!

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