Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall Festival draws 15,000, including newcomers

Video story by Brittany Forte'
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Story and photos by Dimitri Silva
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Residents and visitors alike flocked to town to see the attractions, eat some good food and enjoy the atmosphere at the Midway Fall Festival Saturday and Sunday. The sun was out and the crowd was, too, as the 90 merchant tents and 80 arts and crafts booths were packed full of customers and curious observers.
The total crowd was estimated at about 15,000: more than 8,000 Saturday, more than 6,500 Sunday.
“We’ve been coming for years,” said Carol Kane, a Versailles resident who has long attended the festival with her husband, Dick. Her favorite items to buy each year are the hand-woven baskets. “We have a house full of them and all our relatives have them as well, great Christmas shopping,” she said with a smile.

Dick is partial to the clothing from Crittenden Clothes, Midway’s esteemed tailor and clothing designer. “My favorite thing is the men’s shop that has all their items and stuff on sale once a year,” he said. Likewise, the couple enjoys the “steam engine” used to skin corn and the lively festival atmosphere as a whole.

A man on stilts entertained festival goers.
This year’s festival had several new foods and products to offer visitors. Lawrenceburg resident Amy Osbourne and her family visited the festival for the first time this year after seeing promotion for it on Facebook.

“I love Midway,” Osbourne said. “My husband and I visit this town quite frequently and I’ve been wanting to visit the festival.” Asked what she was excited to see, Osbourne said, “I really enjoy visiting the antique booths and local shops.”

Joseph Hawkins of Lexington-based Black Barn Woodworks spent his day selling rather than buying. Hawkins crafts custom, high-quality wooden utensils and household items that were on display in his booth.

“I started woodworking like two-and-a-half years ago after building something for [his girlfriend] off Pintrest and it has just snowballed from there,” he said. Hawkins’ items included cutting boards, bowls and even custom-made wooden bow ties.

After walking around in the hot sun many people found themselves hungry. Fortunately, there were many food vendors ready to satisfy any hungry customer.

Like all festival food booths, Thai & Mighty had a cure for that hunger. Based in Lexington, Thai and Mighty Noodle Bowls’ booth was a popular destination for hungry festival goers. Many were likely drawn there by the food’s enticing aroma, and many of those munched on Thai & Mighty’s most popular dish, the basil beef noodle bowl.

It was the restaurant’s first time at the festival, sponsored by the Midway Merchants Association. “There was no way we could not be here,” said Seneca Holden, one of the managers.

The balmy weather made this year’s festival feel like summer. Music, meals and handmade goods were in abundance as Midway welcomed in the fall season with style.

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