Second annual Kentucky Crossroads Harvest Festival on the horizon

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By Geoff Hamill

As fall approaches, with it will come the second annual Kentucky Crossroads Harvest Festival.

The festival officially begins on Friday, Oct. 3, but this year will feature a special event that kicks things off on Sept. 27.

“Last year we built a really strong foundation for the new festival, and we are looking forward to seeing how it grows from year to year,” said Dawn Pettus, executive director of the Springfield-Washington County Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve added some great new events for 2008 and brought back many favorites from last year.”

For the first time in years, Washington County will be represented at the Kentucky State Fair by a Miss Washington County, and she will be selected at the Harvest Festival Miss Teen Pageant on Saturday, Sept. 27.

The pageant will be open to Washington County residents between the ages of 13 and 15, and the winner will represent Washington County at the opening ceremonies of the 2009 Kentucky State Fair, according to Dawn Pettus, executive director of the Springfield-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

“We haven’t had this in a while. Most counties do have fairs, and they have pageants to select their representative, so we’ve combined this with our festival, and the person who wins will represent the county,” Pettus said. She added that the winner, along with the first and second runners-up will be featured in the Oct. 4 parade during the festival.

Although the festival is relatively new, it has already taken on some changes and is showing early growth. This year’s event will be a three-day festival, where last year’s event was two days in length. Pettus said this makes the festival more like the sorghum festivals held in the past.

Entertainment will be available for just about any musical taste, and it features a battle of the bands being held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3. Pettus said there are already several bands from around the state scheduled to take part, and more are anticipated. The battle of the bands will take place on the main stage near the Washington County Courthouse in downtown Springfield.

“Entertainment-wise we have a terrific line-up in store this year,” Pettus said. “We kick-off the festival with a battle of the bands on Friday night and have all genres of music throughout the weekend that will appeal to all ages.”

Other music, including rock, bluegrass, country, and Christian will be featured throughout the festival. For a complete list of artists and times, see the schedule below.

Another new feature this year will be a breakfast offered by Mordecai’s on Main. Pettus said the popular local restaurant will offer a breakfast buffet on Saturday and Sunday for $9.95, including food and drink. Also, the House of Hope will move its annual Walk for Life to coincide with the festival. The walk will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Medicine Shoppe.

Among some of the old favorites returning this year are the cooking competitions, the 5K race and the classic car show.

While competitors work over their hot grills, guests will be able to purchase a bracelet for $5 allowing them to sample each and every cook’s work, and also cast a vote toward the people’s choice award for the cooking competition. This year, competitors will square off to see who makes the best barbeque or chili. Pettus said plans are to have both amateur and professional categories. The cookoff starts with registration at 7 a.m. Saturday and continues throughout the day.

The Harvest 5K Run starts on Main Street with registration from 7 to 7:45 a.m., followed by the start of the race at 8 a.m.

The classic car show is set for Sunday, with registration beginning at 8 a.m., and the show runs through 5 p.m.

“It’s hard to believe the festival is only five weeks away,” Pettus said. “The Chamber Board of Directors has worked very hard this year to get to this point and we can’t wait to see everyone in October.”