Concerts with bluegrass, gospel and country-rock artists, a large car show and several new food vendors will highlight this year’s 33rd Annual Old Fashioned Trading Days festival that will kick off Thursday and run through Saturday evening in Williamsburg.
“It is going to be a really good festival. We encourage everyone to come down and enjoy,” said Williamsburg Tourism Director Alvin Sharpe, one of the festival organizers. “We have a lot more food vendors than we have had in the past. All of our booth space is just about filled up. Some of the best things will be the entertainment. I just hope the weather stays pretty so we can get it all in.”
Sharpe said there would be the usual food vendors in addition to several additional vendors, including several that specialize in barbeque.
“The car show ought to be bigger and better this year. Junior Peace has worked real hard getting antique cars, antique tractors and motorcycles.”
It will take place Saturday morning.
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.
“We are trying our best to do something for the younger generation, who are not into bluegrass or gospel music and so forth,” Sharpe said.
On Thursday night, Tim Hall and Buffalo Country will perform on stage two.
On Friday night, the Low Down South Band will perform and County Wide Band will perform Saturday night.
“We are going to have three days of different entertainment,” Sharpe noted.
“Tim Hall and Buffalo Country and the Low Down South Band are both from North Carolina. County Wide Band is a local group. It is really good music, some of the best I have ever heard around here. Get on line and look up the videos and you will see why.”
Portions of Main Street, Third Street and Cumberland Avenue will be shut down starting Tuesday evening.
“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 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 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. The displays will be available for pick-up from 6 – 7 p.m. Friday.
Bluegrass music will start Thursday at 4 p.m. on stage one with Whitley County Colonel Strings performing followed by Tidal Wave Road, Virgil Bowlin, Tad Paddle and Crimson Cross performing. This will be the first time that Crimson Cross has performed during Old Fashioned Trading Days.
Tim Hall and Buffalo Country will perform on stage two starting at 7 p.m.
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.
The Whitley Central Intermediate School Patriotic Performers will start the entertainment at 9:30 a.m. on stage one.
Several local choirs and bands will take the stage beginning at 10 a.m. Friday starting with the Williamsburg High School Choir, followed by 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 Peggy Inks, followed by Kevin Byrd, Straight Creek, The Southern Grace, Mercy Reigns, The Believers and an encore performance by Mercy Reigns at 8:30 p.m. This is the first year that Southern Grace will perform.
Low Down South Band will be performing on stage two starting at 7 p.m.
Festivities will start off early Saturday morning with the Kiwanis Harold Mauney 5-K run/walk. Registration starts at 8 a.m. Walkers will begin the race about 8:30 a.m. and runners will begin the race at 9 a.m. The race begins and ends at the University of the Cumberlands’ James H. Taylor Stadium.
One change on Saturday this year is that the Reclaiming Futures juvenile drug court program will take over the annual cornhole tournament. Registration will start at 9 a.m. with practice time from 9 – 10 a.m. The tournament begins at 10 a.m.
The car show will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and will run until 2 p.m.
From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Williamsburg police will be handing out children’s ID kits to parents at the information booth.
Saturday’s entertainment will start with The Dance Centre performing at 10:30 a.m. on stage one followed by The Kites at 11:30 a.m., Leanne Hoffman at 12:30 p.m. and Pine Mountain Polecats at 1:30 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.
County Wide Band will perform on stage two starting at 7 p.m.