Concerts with bluegrass, gospel and country-rock artists and an expanded car show will highlight this year’s 32nd 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 of new food vendors this year. We will have a bigger eating area. Hopefully, we will be able to use the spot where the Jones Building used to be. We have a big tent going in there."
This year car show is expanding and will also include motorcycles and antique tractors for the first time.
"We have really upgraded our car show. Our car show will be the best that we have ever had," Sharpe noted. "We have tractors and motorcycles this year."
It will take place Saturday morning in the old health department parking lot and the parking lot of the Whitley County Judicial Center.
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.
Stage one will still be located near the intersection of Third Street and Cumberland Avenue across the street from Bill Woods Park.
Stage two will be set up on Main Street between the Whitley County Board of Education’s central office and Milly’s on Main.
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," Sharpe said of the three bands. "Some of the best I have ever heard around here. Get online and look up the videos and you will see why."
Portions of Main Street, Third Street and Cumberland Avenue will be shut down starting early Wednesday morning. Other portions of Cumberland Avenue starting at Fourth Street will be shut down Thursday afternoon after the school buses go through.
"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.
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, Kentucky Mountain Trio, Virgil Bowlin, Tad Paddle and Mountain Connection performing.
Tim Hall and Buffalo Country will perform on stage two starting at 8 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, Ron & Vernon & Straight Creek, The Southern Grace, The Murray Family, The Believers and an encore performance by The Murray Family at 8:30 p.m.
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 at 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.
Registration for the Sid Strunk Memorial Corn Toss tournament 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 3 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.
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 they go missing.
Saturday’s entertainment will start with The Dance Centre performing at 10:30 a.m. on stage one followed by Savannah Faith, Leanne Hoffman, and the Pine Mountain Polecats.
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.
The Whitley County Courthouse and the Whitley County Judicial Center will be closed for business on Friday, Sept. 11 due to Old Fashioned Trading Days.