Tony blogs about hitting the road this past Saturday as he traveled to the Old Fashioned Days Festival in Greenup.
Old Fashioned Good Time
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They have been at it in Greenup for 45 years, so it is no wonder they have it down pat! That’s my best description of the annual Old Fashioned Days celebration on Main Street. Oddly, this past Saturday I made my first trip to this neat festival.
Why did it take me so long to indulge in the culinary delights, the country fiddling and the southern hospitality of this Appalachian gathering? Well, I am usually away on vacation the first week in October. But this year, I returned a few days early from my golf soirée to the beach. So on a sun splashed autumn afternoon with summery warmth holding on for one last stand, it was party time on Main and Cedar in this quaint Bluegrass town.
Now if you missed me in the parade, you did not hallucinate! You see I never made it into the mile long jaunt. Sure my intent was to drive the First Warning Weather Van thru town but fate had other ideas.
When I arrived an hour early, I decided to head into town to take some video clips for our newscasts on a cell phone. Along the way, I stopped to talk to the Cub Scouts Pack 95 (see enclosed e-pix), all of whom like school! Somehow, I managed to lose the car key to the weather van while in town. That’s when the fun began!
I figured if I couldn’t be part of the parade, I would enjoy it as a spectator. So amidst a crowd of 5 thousand or so, I camped near the courthouse and began photo-shopping the 75 or so units that strutted past the main stage.
There were cute kids on floats, politicians shaking hands and kissing babies and fire engines with blaring sirens. The girls 12 year old softball squad proudly displayed their state championship banner!
For a taste of the American west, the horse brigade manned by cowboys and cowgirls did their best Wrangler John and Jane imitation. Hillbilly jalopies and the the El Hajj gang in their miniature cars were both fan favorites!
The car key still a no show, after the parade, I invited myself into the mayor’s house for a spot of iced tea. The honorable Donna Hewlett served me the best FRESH BREWED iced tea I have ever tasted. Three glasses later, I was still asking for more!
While in the mayor’s abode, hubby Mike and I enjoyed the South Carolina upset of Alabama while daughter Christy introduced me to her sports craved kids. Cole is a Raceland Ram who should be playing on the Ram front line (he must be 6’ 3” 200+) but instead is into golf at the Oaks.
Twelve year old Chase loves the Cats and is projected to be 6’9” by senior year in college. His goal is to play at Rupp someday! Finally there is seven year old Gavin, the football star of the family.
As the ‘Bama game was ending, good news arrived. The car key was found and I was free to head home. But sensing there was mega fun to be had in town, I decided to stay the evening.
Dinner at the “Hautie Stuff” restaurant is always tops (I had tasted Chef Bill Schaefer’s cuisine at the Secret Santa party for kids just 2 years ago) so I grabbed my bib and began to chow down on an old fashioned country dinner.
Mayoral candidate Lundie Meadows of Ramey Estep fortified the notion that I had already sensed; namely, “the people and camaraderie are what makes this such a great festival”.
For dessert, Mattie Coldirion invited me over to her house for some ‘Fried Apple Pie’. Mattie has been a key organizer for Old fashioned Days for years. As for this mouth watering delicacy’s secret I asked Mattie. “Fresh apples and a lot of cinnamon”, she told me as I scarfed down that sweet toothed marvel.
After dinner, Larae Travis of WLGC radio escorted me to the main stage where I enjoyed the festival talent show. DJ Marty Stevens is a legend in town and he emceed this very entertaining event.
One by one contestants from as far away as Mousie Ky and Lucasville Ohio dazzled the captivated audience with their singing and dancing. With 500 bucks on the line to the winner, and several thousand people jammed into the stage area, the field was deep and the tension palpable!
Nine year old going on 18 Gracie Thompson of Knott County came ready to emulate her idol, Loretta Lynn with her rendition of "you ain't woman enough to take my man". I wondered out loud if maybe someday I would see Gracie in Nashville?
I left town as quietly as I had entered, now some 6 hours later I promised myself to come back to this neat hometown celebration!