Saturday, June 30, 2018

Larry Cory, singing and leading his band
Story and photos by Sarah Ladd
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media
For a larger version of any photograph, just click on it.

Hundreds of people came out for the third annual Midsummer Nights in Midway event Friday evening.

Debra Shockley of Midway Renaissance, which was experimenting with a new parking and traffic flow with vendors and the band set up in the westbound side of East Main Street, said the new arrangement was working.

Lily McDaniel (left) and Ainsley Lynch danced.
Shockley said with signs informing people of additional parking, “it worked out well. We got all the vendors in and none of the merchants are complaining, so I guess it’s a good thing.”

Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift said the new setup was “working out really well. We’re very excited about that.”

While the street closure made room for more vendors, Shockley said the crowd for this year’s first event was about the same as in other years. Midsummer Nights will also be held on the last Fridays of July and August.

Adults had fun browsing around 20 vendors and listening to Larry Cory and The Passport Band, but it was the children who stole the show.

Early on, Emma Davis (right) danced with a flower she received from Locally Grown’s booth, where the youth ministry was set up selling T-shirts and giving away flowers. Her godmother, Angela Blackburn, watched her dance with a smile. She said she loves Midsummer Nights in Midway. “It’s great,” she said. “Every town should do this.”

Later, with the band in full gear, Midway’s Ainsley Lynch and Lily McDaniel (above) danced their hearts out to the band’s music, earning laughter and smiles from the crowd. Bandleader Larry Cory joked about the girls being his “backup dancers.”

Brenda Jackson (right) and Breauna Pennie at Jackson's craft table
Brenda Jackson, a member of Midway’s Second Christian Church, set up a table at the event to raise money for Operation Christmas Child, a Samaritan’s Purse ministry that allows people to send a shoebox full of goodies to less fortunate children around the world at the holidays. Jackson said she has been filling the shoeboxes for about five years and comes to Midsummer Nights to raise money for the contents and the shipping. “It keeps getting more expensive each year,” she said, but added that she is able to sell considerable produce at the event.

Her booth was full of interesting trinkets such as wooden trains featuring soda caps, candle holders, and jewelry, all of which she made herself for the ministry. She was sporting one of the bracelets she was selling. She said she made them after taking a class on jewelry making. She said the boxes are her own labor of love and “it’s just part of my passion for the church.” She said Breauna and Benisha Pennie, also members of Second Christian Church, help her with the boxes each year.
The westbound side of East Main Street, closed for the event, was filled with vendors and event-goers.

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