This year’s Elizabethtown Founders’ Day will include a new attraction for families to enjoy — the first kids’ fishing derby — kicks off the July 4 Founders’ Day event at Freeman Lake Park.

The kids’ fishing derby is limited to the first 250 children to register. Registration is $5 per child (ages 0-15) and each registrant must be accompanied by an adult. Each participant must provide their own rod or reel, bait and stringer.

State approved bait are as follows: artificial bait, worms, crickets and minnows. The derby is from 9 to 11 a.m.

Prizes will be given away every 30 minutes. Free hot dogs also will be provided to participants and their caregivers.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife will be on-site with a limited number of rods and reels if an emergency arises and the child does not have one. They also will have free bait boxes for each registrant.

Children do not have to have a fishing license or a Freeman Lake Park fishing license for this particular event, according to a city news re­lease. Parents and caregivers assisting the children must have a Kentucky fishing license (per Kentucky law) if they plan to the hold the rod, reel or fish to assist the child. If a parent does not obtain a license, he or she may not touch the rod, reel or harvested fish.

Fishing must take place from the banks only. No boat fishing is permitted for the derby.

Interested parties should register online at and click on the Fishing Derby logo to get to the ticketing page. Caregivers do not have to sign up to assist.

On event day, participants need to be at Freeman Lake Park’s Rotary pavilion by 8:45 a.m. to confirm registration and to obtain a ticket for hot dogs and prize giveaways.

“WesBanco is honored to continue to partner with the City of Elizabethtown to sponsor the annual Founders’ Day Event,” said Marilyn Ford, WesBanco city president, Heartland region. “The city does an amazing job of orchestrating a great celebration of the common birthdays of both our city and nation.

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