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Festival Is Beefed Up And Ready For Fun

James and Johnny Johnston got the lowdown on barbecue from Tommy Craig of the Chew Crew at the 2017 Beef Festival.

April Ellis

Herald Staff

A great way to kick off the summer is to follow your nose to the smell of charbroiled steak, burgers and brisket at Kentucky’s Fort Harrod Beef Festival Friday and Saturday, June 8-9 at the Mercer County Fairgrounds.

The festival is packed with free events to entertain the whole family. Events like The Ag-Citing Magic show will entertain the youngest family members, while new events like the antique tractor show will give the older generations something to enjoy.

“We strive to have activities for all different age ranges and interests. Admission in to the festival is free. Youth can enjoy playing games at the Carnival Corral, bounce on inflatables or watch the Ag-Citing Magic Show for free.

The whole family is welcome to attend our signature steak and egg breakfast with tickets $5 in advance or $6 at the door.

Kids of all ages can compete in our pageants on either Friday night or Saturday morning,” said Linda McClanahan, chairperson for the festival.

Along with the antique tractor show, another new event is the Farm-to-Table dinner. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and features a four course meal of locally produced Kentucky Proud meat and produce. The cost is $25 per person and tickets are available at the Mercer County Extension Office.

“I believe the Farm-to-Table dinner is going to be a great event highlighting our local farmers and is the newest event we are bringing to the festival,” said McClanahan.

While the grill-off sampling has always been a tried and true favorite of the festival, this year it will start at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Participants will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite team. Bracelets for the sampling are $5 and will go on sale around 4:45 p.m. Prizes will be awarded starting at 7 p.m.

Both days will feature pageants, live music, vendors and local offerings from Lemons Mill Brewery.

“We will have lots of Kentucky Proud, agricultural and home décor vendors to visit,” said McClanahan.

All day Saturday, there will be a family friendly magic show as well as demonstrations by professional chefs under the main tent.

The Lions Club Stampede will start at 7:30 a.m. on Main Street.

The Corning “Ride Your Butt Off for the United Way” bicycle ride will leave from the Haggin Hospital parking lot at 9 a.m. and the Poker Run registration begins at 9 a.m. at Olde Towne Distillery on Moberly Road.

So even those not tempted by the thought of beef brisket slowly turning on a grill have several opportunities to join in on the fun.

“There will be something to entertain everyone,” McClanahan said. “We hope all of Mercer County comes out to enjoy everything fun we have planned for the weekend.”

For a full schedule of the Beef Festival, pick up this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.


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