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Heartland Festival Activities Schedule
Friday 5 p.m.- dark Park opens for festival activities 5 p.m.- 8 p.m. Children’s amusement rides 8 p.m. Windstream Presents The Headstones 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Balloon Glow Saturday 6:30 a.m. - 9 a.m. Country Ham Breakfast 7:30 a.m. Bluegrass Cellular Heartland 5K Run 10 a.m. Kentucky Heartland Festival Parade 9 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Canoe and Kayak Races Children’s Amusement Rides 1:30 – 5 p.m. Beauty Contest 1 - 4 p.m. Elizabethtown Fire Department Water Ball 1:30 p.m. Baby Contest 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. Open Car Show 4:45 p.m. 14th annual Sky-Divers Performance 5 p.m. Hot Air Balloon Buck Chase XXV 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Best of Heartland Idol Dusk Fireworks Display IF YOU GO: The 26th Annual Heartland Festival Parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Public Square in Elizabethtown. For a complete list of Heartland Festival activities, locations, times and event registration forms visit www.kyheartlandfestival.com. By ROBERT VILLANUEVA firstname.lastname@example.org ELIZABETHTOWN — A 200th birthday commemoration highlights this year’s Heartland Festival theme and will be reflected in the event’s parade Saturday. “Heartland: Where Lincoln’s Journey Began” is the theme for this year’s festival. It was inspired by the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. More than 100 participants will take part in the parade, which will proceed from Public Square downtown along Dixie Avenue to Helmwood Plaza Shopping Center. “About 100 or 120 is what we typically have,” Tim Asher, Elizabethtown/Hardin County Chamber of Commerce president, said. The parade will include floats and marching bands. Slated to attend are bands from Elizabethtown High School, Central Hardin High School, North Hardin High School and John Hardin High School as well as a military band. “We step off at 10 a.m.,” Asher said. This year’s grand marshal will be Fort Knox Commanding General Brig. Gen. Don Campbell. Campbell was installed as the 42nd Chief of Armor in January. In selecting this year’s grand marshal, Asher stressed the importance of recognizing the neighboring military installation. “Particularly with the changes of BRAC (base realignment and closure),” Asher said. “We’re at war. Our soldiers are under tremendous stress, and we want them to know our communities support them.” Because the event this year falls on the weekend before Labor Day, the potential for bigger attendance exists. People will be already traveling for holiday activities and could include the parade in their schedule, Asher said. “It’s a little different than most Heartland parades,” he said. Parade crowds in the past have numbered in the 10,000 range. And they get a major show. “It usually takes every bit of two hours,” Asher said. But the parade is just part of the festivities of the Heartland Festival. “We have things of interest all across the board,” Asher said. Things get started when Freeman Lake Park opens for festival activities 5 p.m. on Friday. Arts, crafts, food, games and exhibits are among the attractions that will be available. Children’s amusement rides will be available 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., and a concert by The Headstones will begin at 8 p.m. at the bandstand. A country ham breakfast at Pritchard Community Center kicks off Saturday’s activities at 6:30 a.m., and the Bluegrass Cellular 5k and Fun Run/Walk follow closely on its heels at 7:30 a.m. “I think that is the premier 5K event we have in the county,” Asher said. A new event this year is the Elizabethtown Fire Department Water Ball tournament, which is 1 - 4 p.m. Saturday. The activity consists of teams using water hoses to push an orange ball to the their opponents’ power pole. Asher described it as a sort of tug-of-war with water hoses. The Heartland Idol competition held in past festivals will be replaced this year by a concert given 6 - 8 p.m. by top finalists from previous Heartland Idol contests. Asher expects festival goers to respond well to the concert. “It’s gonna be great music,” he said. Other activities for both days include the balloon glow, canoe and kayak races, beauty and baby contests, a car show, a hot air balloon buck chase and sky divers. The festival culminates in a fireworks display at dusk on Saturday. “It should be just a fantastic day,” Asher said. Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743.