• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

Millville prepares for 38th Hillbilly Daze

THE PARADE at Millville’s Hillbilly Daze festival is one of the highlights of the annual event, featuring antique vehicles, tractors carrying chickens, and other colorful entries. The 38th annual Hillbilly Daze begins Saturday morning at 9 – but plenty of folks arrive early. (2017 photo by John McGary)

The 38th annual Hillbilly Daze celebration is set for Saturday, Sept. 8, and this year, organizers expect the 10 a.m. parade to run a bit more smoothly. John Watts, chair of the group that operates the Millville Community Center, said what seemed to be a much smaller number of vehicles and floats in last year’s parade was likely due to one that broke down midway through. “Part of (the parade) came up, and then there was a lull, and then the other part came,” Watts said, laughing. “Which made it seem like it even less.” Watts said a longtime Hillbilly Daze and parade participant was out of town last year, but will be back home for this year’s event. “It’s up and down with the parade participation,” Watts said. Rick Johnson and friends will bring antique cars for a cruise-in on the field next to the Community Center, and many of the vintage vehicles will take part in the parade, too. “Anyone who has an antique vehicle or tractor, whatever they want to bring (that’s allowed on a state highway), be down at the Millville Christian Church at 9 a.m.,” Watts said. Sponsors who don’t wish to be named are picking up the costs of the inflatable slide, bouncy houses, and musical entertainment from acts like Joe Watts and the Red Hots, and Danny Hess, Watts said. The event itself, partially funded by vendors who’ll set up in and outside the Community Center, is a fundraiser for the old gymnasium and cafeteria, built in 1959. “We hope the people will be generous in supporting the Community Center and keeping it here. It’s still our meeting place. Other than the churches, the Community Center is where everyone comes to gather and have community time together,” Watts said. Efforts are being made to reach alumni of the old Millville elementary and high schools so that the event will also be something of a reunion, he said. Highlights include Rick Caudle’s famous Millville burgoo and a 1 p.m. creek walk conducted by Joe Lacefield of the Kentucky Division of Fish and Wildlife. “He’ll be explaining about all of the minnows and the environmental aspects of the creek. It’s very educational,” Watts said. “This has been going on for over three decades. It’s a small community event that is kind of dying out in the even smaller communities, and this one, we’re trying to keep it going… We have a wonderful place.”

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