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State OKs Blocking Lexington Street For Oktoberfest

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has tentatively agreed to close Lexington Street at the Main Street intersection during Oktoberfest, which will run from Friday, Oct. 13, through Sunday, Oct. 15.

Greg Souder, chairman of the board of directors of the Harrodsburg First Main Street Program, said the street closing was necessary because the stage being used for this year’s festival was too large to fit on Main Street.

As the festival—which attracted 8,000 visitors to the downtown business section last year—grows nearer, more plans are being finalized. A play area for children is being moved down to the Mercer County Judicial Center while the empty lot across from City Hall will hold a beer garden and a possible festhaus for adults pending approval from the property owner, said Julie Wagner, executive director of Harrodsburg First.

Wagner said at least 20 artists with the Arts Council of Mercer County will set up stands along on Main Street. She said eight food vendors have signed up. The planners are still working on selling sponsorships and recruiting volunteers. Planning meetings are being held at 5 p.m. every Tuesday at the Arts Council of Mercer County building (120 S. Main St.).

Another issue is finding family-friendly activities for Sunday, which was the slowest day at last year’s festival.

Oktoberfest planners want to hold a dachshund dash, a race for wiener dogs down Main Street Harrodsburg. “I feel like it could draw some decent crowds,” Souder said.

At their meeting last week, the Harrodsburg First board of directors got their first look at the new Oktoberfest poster. They are working with the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Tourist Commission to advertise the festival.

Harrodsburg First—whose budget is only $116,100—is investing $37,000 into this year’s festival, nearly twice what was spent last year.

“We’ve all got to pray for great weather,” Souder said.

October will be a busy month for Harrodsburg First. In addition to Oktoberfest, they will also hold the annual Spooktacular parade on Saturday, Oct. 28, and the Night of the Great Pumpkin on Tuesday, Oct. 31. There is also Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28 and the annual Christmas Parade on Dec. 1.

Vendors Diane and Robert Bullock prepare a funnel cake for visitors at last year’s Oktoberfest. Eight vendors have signed up for this year’s festival, organizers say.

The next meeting of the Harrodsburg First Main Street Program will be noon on Thursday, Sept. 21, at the Diamond Point Welcome Center.

To learn more, check out this week’s issue of The Harrodsburg Herald.

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