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Old Fort Harrod Events Are Back With A Bang: Settlement And Raid June 19-20

Picnic In The Park Live Entertainment Series Begins Friday, June 4

Historical reenactor Jesse Deesch fires a cannon during the 2016 Settlement And Raid at Old Fort Harrod State Park. (File photo).

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

rmoore@harrodsburgherald.com

Good news, pioneers! The 12th annual Old Fort Harrod Settlement and Raid happens Saturday, June 19, and Sunday, June 20, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Old Fort Harrod State Park. The raids are scheduled for 2 p.m. on both days.

“We’re glad to be back and hopefully we’ll have big crowds,” said Park Manager David Coleman.

Gov. Andy Beshear’s decision to lift all capacity restrictions related to COVID-19 on Friday, June 11, means the park can hold many of its regular events. While it’s too late for some events, such the Jazz Festival, which will be held at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill on Sept. 18-19 this year, other events will be held at Old Fort Harrod, Coleman said. Events include Pioneer Days in August, the Haunted Frontier in October and the Holiday Open House in November.

Starting on Friday, June 4, the Picnic in the Park live entertainment series will also return. Eat your lunch in the shade of the Osage orange tree and enjoy live entertainment every Friday at noon from June until August. First up: classic rock from B Squared on Friday, June 4.

One event that will not take place this year is the outdoor drama, “James Harrod: The Battle for Kentucky.” It was canceled for the second year in a row because they could not begin rehearsals and hold other preparations back in April, Coleman said.

The park is 15 acres of history and fun located in downtown Harrodsburg.Founded in 1934, the park features a recreation of Fort Harrod, the first settlement in Kentucky, as well as the Mansion Museum, the largest Osage Orange tree in the US., the Lincoln Marriage Temple and the Pioneer Cemetery, the oldest settler’s burial ground in Kentucky.

For anyone feeling a little stir crazy after the pandemic, Coleman has some succinct advice. Go to the park.

“Here’s something to do,” he said.

Park grounds are open to the public 8 a.m. until dusk, 7 days a week. The historic fort  is open Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The Mansion Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m.

Rates are $7 for adults. $6 for seniors, military and veterans and $4  for children aged 6 to 12.

The 12th annual Old Fort Harrod Settlement and Raid happens Saturday, June 19, and Sunday, June 20, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Old Fort Harrod State Park (100 South College Street). The raids are free and open to the public, but tickets are needed to tour the fort or the museum, call 734-3314 or visit parks.ky.gov/parks/recreationparks/fort-harrod.

Picnic In the Park Schedule

Royal Blue Bluegrass Band—Adam Hopkins and Karen and Ric Maxfield—are scheduled to play at Picnic In The Park on Friday, July 21. (File photo).

Mercer County’s oldest continuing live entertainment series resumes next Friday when Picnic In The Park returns to Old Fort Harrod State Park. The series started in 1985. At noon on every Friday for the next two months, you can enjoy your lunch in the shade of the Osage orange tree and enjoy some of the best live entertainment the area has to offer.

Here’s the schedule:

• June 4. B Squared, old Time rock-n-roll plus folks songs.

• June 11. David Stahl,  “the Piano Doctor.” Old time rock-n-roll and country.

• June 18. Dave Cottrell, magician.

• June 25. Dawn Osborn, singer-songwriter.

• July  2. Larry Sanders and Borderline.

• July 9. Ol’ ElkHorn Picker’s Club.

• July 16. Next of Kin.

• July 23.  Royal Blue, Bluegrass, county and gospel

• July 30. To be announced.

All shows are scheduled to begin at noon and are subject to cancellation depending on the weather. For more information, call 859-734-3314 or email fortharrod@ky.gov. Visit online at https://parks.ky.gov/harrodsburg/parks/historic/old-fort-harrod-state-park.

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