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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Staff Writer
The sun was out, hay littered Main Street, smiles were plentiful and the smell of barbecue filled the Autumn air. It could only mean one thing – it was time for the second annual Kentucky Crossroads Harvest Festival in Springfield.
The festival was expanded to three days this year and organizers couldn’t be more pleased.
“Going to the three-day event definitely helped,” said Dawn Pettus, executive director of the Springfield-Washington County Chamber of Commerce. “We estimate there were approximately 10,000 attendees this year, about double what we had last year.”
The festivities kicked off Friday evening with food vendors opening at 6 p.m. and the Southern Star band warmed up the crowd before the Battle of the Bands took place at 7 p.m.
Six bands from around the area competed for the title with Waiting West, a rock band from Lexington, taking top honors. Blunt Force Trauma from Bradfordsville came in second while Bardstown’s One Way finished third.
The 5K run/walk took place the following morning with Bill Rayens finishing as the top male and Chelsea Deakins the top female.
In the under-10 category, Kaylie Hisle finished first while J.P. Cecconi placed second and Jack Wheatley came in third.
The 10-14 class was won by Michael Mann, followed by Will Hale and Jimmy Wheatley.
In the 15-19 category, Matthew Osbourne finished first and Corey Robinson came in second.
First place in the 20-29 class was won by Jesse Osbourne, while Will Cheser finished second and Rebecca Hinton came in third.
Joe Pat Cecil took first in the 30-39 class, followed by Laura Hisle in second and Rodney Dean in third.
The 40-49 category was won by David Thompson, with Steve Wheatley placing second and Fritz Haupt coming in third.
Curtis Tinker finished first in the 50-59 class, Wayne Kennedy came in second and Liz Wathen placed third.
The 60-69 category was won by Don Carney with Janet Kessler taking second place. Jane Munson won the 70-79 class.
The cook-off contest featured several participants from the area competing in brisket, pork shoulder and chili categories.
In the brisket category, first place went to Micro-Weld Technologies of Springfield, with Ruff Stuff Grille, from the Glendale/Cecilia area, taking second place and Backwoods Barbeque from Springfield coming in third.
The best pork shoulder also went to Micro-Weld, with Divine Swine of Lexington placing second and Ruff Stuff finishing in third.
Best chili went to Up In Smoke from Northern Kentucky, while Dr. Don and the Smokin’ Diablos from Springfield came in second and High on the Hog from Shelbyville placed third.
Crowd pleaser awards, judged by festival attendees who paid to sample the cook-off entries, were given to Micro-Weld Technologies for both brisket and pork shoulder, with Up In Smoke taking the award for chili.
The Traveling Trophy, awarded to the highest cumulative score in all three categories, went to Up In Smoke. The Best in Show award for best decorated cooking area went to Backwoods Barbeque.
The Miss Teen Harvest Pageant was won by 13-year-old Michelle Gribbons, who attends Washington County Middle School. She will compete in the 2008 Miss Kentucky County Fair contest in Louisville later this month and will represent Washington County at the 2009 Kentucky State Fair.
Activities for young ones got started at 9 a.m. with several contests in front of the old courthouse.
In the pie eating competition, Makayla Lanham, Abbigail Gullett and Jenny Begley each won their respective rounds, while both Abbigail and Jenny tied by retrieving all 25 pieces of candy corn from their pies.
A three-way tie was declared between Peyton Combs, Ryan Bottoms and Landon Tharp for the best decorated wagon.
Winners in the tractor race were Brice Pirkle, Alexis Pirkle and Ryan Bottoms.
Four-year-old Justin Norris won Grand Champion for the best dressed scarecrow contest, while a three-way tie for first went to Ryan Bottoms, Blake Tharp and Landon Tharp.
The frog-jumping contest was won by Logan Flanagan, with Seth Greenwell taking second, Kayleigh Flanagan taking third and Morgan Flanagan finishing fourth.
At noon, the Harvest Parade got under way with Springfield’s Justin Hatchett acting as grand marshal. Hatchett sustained serious injuries in a tractor accident on his family’s farm on June 18. The crowd showed plenty of support for Justin and his family as they led the parade down Main Street.
Springfield attorney Hamilton Simms was presented with an engraved brick on Springfield’s Sidewalk of Fame outside the old courthouse.
The cornhole competition was won by the team Back and Forth from Campbellsville.
The festival wrapped up on Sunday with a classic car show and an antique tractor show while more entertainment was on hand.
First place in the Car category went to Lloyd “Shot” Dooley for his 1955 Chevy, which also won for Best in Show. Second place was won by Billy and Susan Watts for a 1964 Ford Mustang Convertible.
First place in the Truck category went to Ricky Coulter for a ‘71 GMC, and Barbara Lay took second for a ‘47 Chevy Pro Street Truck.
In the Street Rod class, Corey and Stacey Cambron for a ‘46 Chevy. David Oliver placed second with a 1930 Ford Tudor.
The Tractor category was won by John Parrot for a ‘65 Farmall 806.
Pettus said it was a great year and some good things are already in the works for next year.
“We feel really good about the weekend, but we’re already discussing ways of making 2009 even better.”