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Courtney Grimes travels every year from her current home in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., to Vine Grove for Autumn Daze.
Her sister, Heather Goodale of Louisville, makes the trip annually to visit with family and friends and watching the parade that the sisters saw every year growing up in Vine Grove.
Grimes said the tradition draws her back every year.
“We’ve been watching the parade since we were little girls,” she said.
Grimes’ 2-year-old son, William, watched the parade Satuday. His mother said he loved it, especially the fire trucks.
Grimes enjoyed food at the event.
She thought she would like some pickles she bought from one of the vendors crowding the grounds at Optimist Park on Knox Avenue, but she was too busy at the time handing out pickle spears to members of her family to try any herself.
The vendors are part of the reason Vine Grove residents Jerry Weisshaupt and his granddaughter, Kaitlyn, visit Autumn Daze every year.
Weisshaupt said some people stay home most days and the festival draws them out.
“It’s something we do every year,” he said. “We chase the parade. It’s a chance to get out in town and meet people.”
Autumn Daze wasn’t the only festival to bring community members out Saturday.
In Upton, 31 runners and walkers took part in the Upton Days festival’s 5K run Saturday morning as they tackled the rolling terrain of the area. Event organizers said the numbers were lower this year than last and figured the cool and cloudy weather kept participation down.
Michael Hagan wiped sweat from his brow after he and his son, Adrian, crossed the finish line.
“There are a couple of good hills to climb on this course,” he said. “It makes the old legs burn."
At the Upton Community Center parking lot, vendors set up booths as other crews prepared to inflate giant slides and bounce houses. Smoke from a massive charcoal-fired grill drifted from the lot into low areas, carrying with it the smell of grilled pork burgers — meaning The LaRue County Pork Producers once again served a crowd favorite food for festival attendees.
In the far western edge of Hardin County, onlookers crowded into the parking lot of Double L Grocery to talk and mingle as they waited for the parade to start and make its way past the store on Ky. 84. The parade start was held up for a few minutes as an unexpected shower passed through the area around 9:30 a.m.
“We had a pretty good crowd for breakfast this morning. The rain probably kept some people inside this morning, but the sun is coming out and more will be coming here soon” event organizer Lucy Lucas said as the skies cleared.
The sun shined bright and clear as youngsters grabbed the candy tossed their way from the parade units, stuffing their pockets with sweet goodies. After the parade passed, they then headed for the bounce house and other games as adults moved over to a large tent for other events and music.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.