Midway Fall Festival 2012     By Ariel Waldeck, University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications
Another year at the Midway Fall Festival has trailed off into the distance. One of Kentucky's top 20 festivals is now a memory that, for several thousand people, will live on for years to come.

The 39th annual Midway Fall Festival was held Saturday, Sept. 15, and Sunday, Sept. 16, on Main Street. Nearly 100 vendors from Kentucky and neighboring states came to Midway to showcase their wearswares. The Fall Festival is put on by the Midway Business Association and City of Midway and traditionally brings several thousand people to this Central Kentucky town. These pictures were taken on Sunday during the festival. For a larger version of a photo, click on it.

Someone among the crowd said,” I don’t know what paid for this weather, but it was a good investment.” The sunny day proved to be a one of the deciding factors for those attending the event. “Biggest one I’ve seen,” based on the parking, “which went for blocks in all directions,” said Diane Shepard, assistant city clerk. Mayor Tom Bozarth called it “record-breaking.”

Jim and Nancy Phillips crossed state lines to set up their basket booth. The couple from Jacksboro, Tenn., has made the journey up Interstate- 75 for three years to come to the Midway Fall Festival. “I like anything about the festival,” said Nancy. “We have this wonderful spot to make baskets and we sell several.” Last year the couple sold 113 baskets. This year on Saturday alone the couple sold 87.

Copper and stained glass come together in Dru Perry’s works of art. This was Perry’s first year setting up at the Midway Fall Festival. “There has been a decent crowd,” said Perry of Lexington. “And the nice weather is always a plus.”

“I didn’t think we would have anything left,” said Eli Mertens of Lexington. “This is our first real show.” Mertens has been creating these wood masterpieces for seven years, but had only given them as gifts. “It is fun getting the response that people love what I do,” he said, “and they are buying it.”

Some works of art were made during the festival on Sunday. Enrique Gonzalez created this painting of Murphy. John Harrison of Lexington said his wife loved Enrique’s work so much that she wanted a portrait of their dog, Murphy.

Kenny Smith is the owner of Kennydid Gallery of Photographic Art. The best part of the festival was the increased traffic flow, said Smith. His gallery and studio have been open on Main Street for 10 months.

Arts and crafts were not the only displays for attendees to enjoy. Children young and old were able to enjoy feeding and petting llamas, sheep and goats, as well as pony rides.

Children were also able to climb aboard their own train and travel to a destination, with the assistance of the caboose, a teenager pushing the train.

Entertainment was not in short supply. Music enthusiasts could enjoy the smell of food and a live band under the white tent nestled beside the railroad tracks.

The Squash Beetle Morris dancers from Midway, Lexington and Berea demonstrated dances, created by dance team members. Throughout the day festival attendees may have seen the 20 different dances that make up the summer repertoire. Dancing “kept me off the New York streets as a teen,” said Judy Goldsmith of Lexington, one of the dancers in the group.

The Midway Fall Festival may attract vendors and tourists every year and this one guest may also attend regularly. Many other fall festivals probably can’t say they had a parrot fly in for greetings.

Lining the railroad tracks on East Main Street, vendors set up booths to sell their goods. However, the Midway Fall Festival was more than a shopping spree to many attendees. This festival was a chance to catch up with old friends and enjoy the beautiful weather as well as showcase this small town.

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