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The second run for the second Founders’ Day Festival was not plagued with the problems of the first attempt, which was rained out July 4 and postponed.
A surf rock riff sounded off the Freeman Lake bandstand compliments of the 100th Army Band, and a modest crowd started trickling in the park shortly after 5 p.m.
Some were armed with lawn chairs, blankets, umbrellas and coolers for the Elizabethtown festival and others formed long lines to filter into the multi-colored bouncy houses, slides and castles.
Rachel Todd’s small face painting tent was boxed in by a growing mob of eager children, who fought their natural instincts and waited patiently for Todd to adorn their faces with her two-minute tapestries of color.
A small sign affixed to the tent detailed her rolodex of alter egos. Boys could take on the likeness of a cyborg, tiger or pirate while girls could choose rainbow shades and fairy twirls.
“The best part of my job is seeing their smiling faces when I’m done,” Todd said, discussing her craft while sketching another makeshift mask. “There’s enough adrenaline in that to keep me going for hours.”
A full-time dental hygienist, Todd began face painting this past spring and uses it as a duel business and fundraising venture. She worked the Hardin County Fair and Horse Show this past week, where she raised around $1,000 for Mission Hope for Kids, she said.
Todd said her style is patterned off unique ideas she conjures in her spare time, such as the rainbow tiger that is one of her most requested designs.
Todd’s booth was a popular spot for the children of Maria Livingston, a West Point, N.Y., resident who was visiting family in her native Bonnieville.
She heard about the festival through her family and came out of curiosity and because of the weather. She said she was drawn to the kids’ fun run, which kicked off the celebration.
“It seems very organized,” Livingston said. “The kids are having a blast.”
Beyond the children’s attractions and food vendors, a freedom flag ceremony touching on Elizabethtown’s history, a dedication service to late Mayor Tim Walker’s family and a fireworks display were scheduled later in the evening.
Mike Vititoe and his girlfriend, Jody Oelschlager, of Rineyville, were taking in the full experience. Vititoe said they bounced, visited the face painting booth and received free fans since arriving.
Oelschlager said they missed the inaugural festival so they wanted to check out what offerings Founders’ Day entailed this year.
“We almost didn’t make it this year because it got canceled,” she said.
When asked their overall impression of the event, the couple said “so far, so good.”
“I’m glad there is another festival at Freeman Lake,” she said.
Rineyville resident Terrell Jackson was waiting on his children, who were taking advantage of the inflatables. He started the evening by watching them compete in the 50-yard dash of the kids’ fun run, where his son and daughter finished at the top.
Hopefully, he said, laughing, the activity and running would tire them out before they returned home.
“It’s a nice, wonderful event,” Jackson said. “Fortunately, we didn’t have anything planned for today so it gave us something to do.”
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.