Concerts with bluegrass, gospel and country-rock artists, a variety of food vendors, two cornhole tournaments and the addition of a beauty pageant for both the young and old will highlight this year’s 35th Annual Old Fashioned Trading Days festival that will kick off Thursday and run through Saturday evening in Williamsburg.
“It looks like it is going to be another big one,” noted Williamsburg Tourism Director Alvin Sharpe, who is helping organize the festival.
Sharpe said that all of the food vendor spaces are full and as of late last week there were about 10 vendor booth spaces left.
“It is going to be a really good festival. We encourage everyone to come down and enjoy,” Sharpe said. “We have a lot of food vendors. Some of the best things will be the entertainment.”
He said there have been some changes to the original schedule, which may still be on display in some places.
Whitley County Colonel Strings is not slated to perform Thursday afternoon. Instead Chris Shouse will be performing. At 8 p.m. Thursday, instead of Joe Hampton and the Main Street Band, the Moron Brothers will perform.
“They are funny,” Sharpe noted about the Moron Brothers.
In 2013, Old Fashioned Trading Days added a second stage for entertainment, which is continuing this year.
While stage one will still feature the traditional bluegrass and gospel music concerts that Old Fashioned Trading Days is known for, stage two will feature country-rock artists.
On stage two, County Wide will perform Thursday night.
“Everybody loves County Wide,” Sharpe said.
Low Down South will perform Friday night. On Saturday night, the Frontier Band will perform.
All shows on stage two will start at 7 p.m. nightly.
“Our committee has worked real hard putting this together and I think it will be as good as we have ever had if not better,” Sharpe added. “I am real excited about this year. I think it is going to be one of the best ones that we have ever had.”
Old Fashioned Trading Days will start Thursday with booths opening on the courthouse lawn that morning. Set up will officially start after 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Quilting and canning registration will take place Wednesday from 10 a.m. – noon at the old Whitley County Extension Office, which is located across the street from Williamsburg City Hall.
Entries will be on display at the old extension office from 1 – 6 p.m. both Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, the entries will be on display from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Bluegrass music will start Thursday at 3 p.m. on stage one with Gene Siler and Brushy Mountain performing followed by Chris Shouse, Tidal Wave Road, Virgil Bowlin, Tad Paddle and The Moron Brothers, who will close out the evening’s performances.
Friday’s festivities will start off with registration for the vegetable show from 9 – 10:45 a.m. Judging will start at 11 a.m.
Several local choirs and bands will take the stage beginning at 9:30 a.m. Friday starting with the Whitley Central Intermediate School, followed by the Williamsburg High School Choir, the Williamsburg High School Band, the Whitley County Middle School Choir, the Whitley County High School Choir and the Whitley County High School Band.
Gospel music kicks off at 3 p.m. Friday on stage one with Wanda Cornelius, followed by Peggy Inks, Straight Creek, The Southern Grace, The Griffith Family, The Believers and an encore performance by The Griffith Family at 8 p.m.
The Griffith Family has not performed at Old Fashioned Trading Days before.
Saturday will feature not one, but two cornhole tournaments.
The Reclaiming Futures Treatment Program Eighth Annual Cornhole Tournament will have registration starting at 8 a.m. and the tournament beginning at 8:30 a.m.
There will be the corporate division, the celebrity division and an open division.
Reclaiming Futures, which was formerly known as juvenile drug court, helps teens overcome drugs, alcohol and crime. Proceeds from the tournament will be used to support the program.
The Reclaiming Futures cornhole tournament is sponsored by Reclaiming Futures in the Cumberlands, Whitley County Tourism and the Whitley County Fiscal Court.
The Sid Strunk Memorial Corn Toss Tournament will have registration starting at 10 a.m., and the tournament beginning at 11 a.m.
The car show will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and will run until 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Whitley County Judicial Center.
From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Williamsburg police will be handing out children’s ID kits to parents at the information booth.
The kits enable parents to collect blood and hair follicle samples that they can keep for up to five years and use to positively identify their child in the event it goes missing.
From 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., the Whitley County Spokespeople will hold a bicycle rodeo, which will include a free helmet, a goody bag and bicycle safety education.
It will also be held in the parking lot of the Whitley County Judicial Center.
Saturday’s entertainment will start with The Pine Mountain Dancers performing at 10 a.m. on stage one followed by The Dance Centre, Rusty and The Green Horns at 11:30 a.m., Leanne Hoffman at 1 p.m. and Rusty Strings at 2 p.m.
WKYT’s Bill Bryant will be the special guest Saturday afternoon.
Gospel music will follow on stage one starting at 4 p.m.
The singing will kick off with the Heavenly Heirs, followed by The Whisnants, the Mike Bowling Family and The Primitives.
The Miss/Mr./Ms./Mrs. Old Fashion Days Pageant will take place on stage two with registration starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Michele Calton, one of the organizers for the pageant, said it for people ages newborn through 60 years old or perhaps older.
“A lot of parents want to compete with their children and grandchildren,” said Calton, who noted she organizes several pageants for schools and fairs.
Calton said the oldest contestant she has seen at a pageant was 60 years old in the Modern Miss and Modern Mrs./Ms. competition.
As of Tuesday, about 70 people had registered for the pageant, but so far no adults have registered.
The Modern Mrs./Ms. category includes plus size women.
“That is very in now,” Calton added.
Calton said the weather would probably be a big factor in regards to how many people actually take part in the festival.
The ages 0-3 years old and the all boys’ pageant will start at 10:40 a.m. Registration will be at 11:30 a.m. for ages 4 and up.
Age divisions will be girls ages 0-6 months, 7-12 months, 13-18 months, 19-23 months, two years old, three years old, four years old, five years old, ages 6-7, ages 8-9, ages 10-12, ages 13-15, ages 16-up, Ms./Mrs., Modern Miss, Modern Mrs./Ms.
Age divisions for boys will be 0-12 months, 12-23 month, 2-4 years old, ages 5-7, and ages 8-14.
For more information about the pageant, contact Calton at (606) 524-4635.
The pageant is a free event.
Dressing rooms will be available.
The pageant is sponsored by the city of Williamsburg.