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Radcliff Summer Blast offers affordable family fun

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Rides, concert, food among attractions

By Marty Finley

Candace Hurley knew there was no turning back when her children spotted carnival rides spread across Radcliff City Hall parking lot.

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After spending the morning at a run on Fort Knox, Hurley, of Flaherty, didn’t put up a fight. 

“This is kind of their reward for doing the run this morning,” she said. 

Nine-year-old Jamie ran excitedly to Hurley with her 3-year-old sister, Melissa, trailing closely behind, proclaiming a desire for funnel cake. 

“I was dizzy, but it was awesome!” Jamie exclaimed, jumping up and down. 

Hurley said the rides were the main attraction for her family at Summer Blast, Radcliff’s annual summer festival, but she had set her sights on a nearby taco truck. 

“Finish it off with a night at the drag races,” Hurley said with a smile. 

Mayor J.J. Duvall’s vision of a low-cost festival attracted visitors in droves Saturday evening. Lines snaked around corners and formed into mounds of bodies as families took advantage of the cheap prices for the rides. Others heaped their plates full of nachos or barbecue while some sampled the alcohol assortments under a newly added beer tent. 

Near the beer tent, Heritage International Christian Church was distributing a five-question spiritual survey gauging the community’s interest and background in spiritual matters. Those who took the survey received a free hot dog and drink. 

A church official said the responses would help the Heritage evaluate its approach to evangelism while Pastor Aubrey Jackson said the survey allows the church to start conversations on spiritual issues and a create a forum for people to open up about different theories on spirituallity and the order of the universe, such as the individual who expressed a belief in reincarnation. 

Meanwhile, Christopher Sablan was watching his young son on one of the rides while he held his daughter. He said he heard about the festival inside his neighborhood and his natural curiosity kicked in. 

“It was just the entertainment,” he said. “We wanted to see what was going on.” 

Sablan said his son was loving the rides and he appreciated the availability of an inexpensive recreational outlet to enjoy with his family. 

“The price is really great and the food is awesome,” he said. 

Jessica Caito, camera around her neck, waded into the pool of festival-goers as her two daughters, Anna and Calista, considered tackling more rides. Most, she said, were a little too intimidating for the pair. 

Caito noticed signs for the festival and was primarily attracted to the fireworks show and the free concert by country artist David Lee Murphy. 

“(I’ve been a fan) for a long time,” she said.

Hardin County Property Valuation Administrator Danny Hutcherson gazed at the massive crowd and looked overhead at the picture perfect weather as music blared and groups began to form.

“It’s a good event here,” Hutcherson said. 

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.