From the Glendale Crossing Festival to Vine Grove’s Autumn Daze, summer and fall in Hardin County are filled to the brim with community festivals for residents to enjoy.
Cecilia Days, which drew hundreds of people out this past weekend, kicked off a flurry of festivals to come over the next few months throughout the county.
Up next is the Heartland Homecoming Parade in Elizabethtown. Formerly the Kentucky Heartland Festival, the event celebrates the county with a parade and vendor events downtown.
The event is set for 10 a.m. Aug. 24 and the parade begins in downtown Elizabethtown. According to the event’s Facebook page, Disney characters will be part of this year’s parade and attendees are invited to be part of the festivities by dressing up as their favorite Disney character.
Then comes September — a month jam-packed with community festivals.
It kicks off with the West Point River Days Festival. The event, which celebrates the town’s tie to the Ohio River and has featured a Civil War re-enactment, parade, games, rides, music and fireworks in the past, is Sept. 13-14 at the Veterans Memorial Park.
The new Radcliff Cultural Festival, which features a parade, a variety of international food options and live entertainment, also is set for Sept. 14. The full day of festivities starts at 10 a.m. with a parade, which begins at Walmart and travels down Dixie Avenue to Radcliff Square Shopping Center, the hub of activity for the event.
Festival co-organizer Toshie Murrell said the event is designed to celebrate Radcliff’s diversity and brand the city as a place to experience the world. She referred to Radcliff as a “melting pot.”
Murrell said festivals such as this one bring unity.
“It brings excitement and it brings positivity,” she said.
For more information, people can visit the Radcliff Cultural Festival’s Facebook page or contact Murrell at 270-801-5224. She said they still are accepting parade, vendor, fashion show and musical act applicants.
On Sept. 21, people will have plenty of options with Upton Days, Autumn Daze in Vine Grove and the Toast to Kentucky Wine Festival in Elizabethtown.
Upton Days, in Hardin County’s southernmost city, usually features several events for young and old, including games and entertainment, and showcases Upton’s community spirit.
Autumn Daze at Vine Grove Optimist Park starts with an Autumn Daze 5K then continues throughout the day with the annual parade and magic shows, bounce houses and music. This year also will feature a softball fundraiser, which pits the Vine Grove Police Department and Fire Department against each other.
Money raised from that softball game and 5K goes to supporting Rachel’s Fun for Everyone’s splash pad project.
Continuing forward, the Vine Grove Bluegrass Music Festival is set for Sept. 26-28 at Vine Grove Optimist Park. It includes musicians and dancers from Kentucky and surrounding states who perform traditional and contemporary sounds of Kentucky’s own bluegrass music.
The festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and will have bluegrass legend and Kentucky native Ricky Skaggs headlining the event. He closes the festival Sept. 28 with a 90-minute show.
Vine Grove Mayor Pam Ogden said events such as Autumn Daze and the Bluegrass Music Festival bring the community together.
“The feeling behind this is a positive vibe for Vine Grove – camaraderie of everyone coming together just to have a fun day,” she said. “People you don’t normally see very often, you’ll see.”
Also that weekend, people will have the opportunity to head to Rineyville Days, which features a carnival-like atmosphere with a parade, inflatables, food and vendor booths at Rineyville Community Park. A crowd favorite at the event is burgoo.
October features the down-home craft Glendale Crossing Festival, set for Oct. 19, and Fright Night “In Lights,” a Halloween celebration in Radcliff.
Sheree Vance, chairwoman for the Crossing Festival, said the festival is a community effort and fundraiser for several organizations in the community, such as the Glendale Lions Club, local churches and school groups and helps commercial businesses.
“First and foremost, it is a community festival, like a homecoming, but also a major fundraiser for local organizations,” Vance said.
Festivals continue into late October and through the rest of the year with many holiday-themed events.