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The Merry Month Of May: A Preview

May has a little bit of everything: farmers markets, festivals, car shows and fun. (Compilation image).

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

Mercer County is preparing for a busy festival season starting in May, with a lot of returning favorites. May is a merry month starting with the Kentucky Derby and ending with the long Memorial Day weekend, with farmers markets, car shows, festivals and more.

Derby Day
May in Kentucky means Derby. The 2023 Kentucky Derby and Oaks happens Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, at Churchill Downs, with the Run for the Roses on Saturday. On the same day, Children and Family Counseling Associates will host their annual CAFCA Cares Spring Festival starting at noon at 122 West Lexington Street. CAFCA has a full day of events happening, including food trucks, a silent auction and raffles with a corn hole tournament starting at 1 p.m., Kids Derby races starting at 3 p.m., live music from 3 to 6 p.m., a car show from 5 to 8 p.m. and a showing of the Run for the Roses starting at 6:30 p.m. All proceeds for the event go towards providing children and families with access to mental health care. For more information, visit CAFCA’s Facebook page.

The Mercer County Farmers Market returns Saturday, May 6.

Farmers Markets
The Mercer County Farmers Market returns Saturday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mercer County Fairgrounds (560 Linden Avenue). The market will happen weekly into the fall, with Wednesday farmers markets starting in June. For more information, call 859-734-4378 or visit their Facebook page.

Another farm market, the Mercer County Farm Thangs Swap Meet, returned for another season to Southern States (1027 North College Street) on April 8. Farm Thangs will run every other Saturday into the fall from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 859-613-2297 or visit their Facebook page @triplecrossswap.

The Ol’ Iron Rundown moves to the warehouse district this year. (Image: Ol’ Iron Rundown Facebook page).

Car Shows
A feature of Mercer County life when the weather warms up is car shows. The Mercer County Senior High School Band is hosting a car show on Saturday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the high school (1124 Moberly Road). American rods, classics, customs, trucks, muscle cars and bikes will be on display. The FFA Greenhouse will also be holding a sale. The organizers are still accepting applications for food trucks. For more information, visit

The Ol’ Iron Rundown returns this year at a new location: Harrodsburg’s warehouse district between Lemons Mill Brewery and Rock Haven Bourbon Bar with events scheduled for various venues. The annual car show happens this year on Saturday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, they’ll be showing 1964 and older cars and 1966 and older trucks, with traditional hot rods, customs, drag cars and old school motorcycles. Trophies will be handed out at noon at the Local (322 East Office Street). There will also be a Little Greaser Contest starting at noon at the Local and the Miss Ol’ Iron Pinup Pageant at Rock Haven Bourbon Bar (East Office Street) starting at 3 p.m. There will also be live music by Jane Rose and the Deadends and Terry Lee Ridley. For more information, visit the Ol’ Iron Rundown Facebook page.

The monthly Salvisa Cruise-In happens at Old Bridge General Store No. 2 (5101 Dory Drive, Salvisa) on Saturday, May 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. There will be food, music and door prizes For more information, call David Sexton at 859-613-4310.

While the Ragged Edge Community Theatre’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” is not set to debut until June, you can get a special preview of the show at the Dinner On Main hosted by Harrodsburg First Main Street Program on Saturday, May 13, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Olde Town Park (126 South Main Street). Tickets are $25 per person and $150 for a table of eight, with proceeds benefiting Harrodsburg First and Ragged Edge. You’ll get a chance to meet the cast of “Cinderella” and enjoy small vignettes from the musical. There will also be a table decorating contest.

Dinner on Main is a picnic style event where patrons bring their own dinners. A cash bar is available and tables and chairs are provided. The event also kicks off Harrodsburg First’s season, with Friday Nights on Main scheduled for Friday, June 9, (rain date June 16); Friday, July 14, (rain date July 21); Friday, Aug. 11, (rain date Aug. 18); and Friday, Sept. 8. The events, which include live music, food and shopping, will run from 5 to 10 p.m. For more information or to buy tickets, contact Kaitlyn Harder of Harrodsburg First via email at or by texting or calling 859-734-6811.

Willow Wilson at the first A.T.O.M. Fest.

The third annual A.T.O.M. (A Thing On Main) Festival returns Saturday, May 20, to Main Street Harrodsburg from 2 to 11 p.m. While details are still being finalized, the organizers are inviting everyone to enjoy a cold drink, delicious food, live music and a great time. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Memorial Day
May ends with Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day is Monday, May 29. Old Fort Harrod State Park (100 South College Street) will host the Native Dawn Flute Gathering starting on Friday, May 26, at 5 p.m. and running until Sunday, May 28 at 6 p.m. Everyone is invited to enjoy the beauty of Native American cultures and the songs, stories and melodies. Three full days of activities have been planned with Native American flutes and traditional dancers as well food, crafts and Navajo Frybread. For more information, visit the Native Dawn Facebook page or call Fred and Angie Keams at 502-600-1895. For booth space call Tim Cordin at 937-626-5497.

That’s not all, folks. May is also when the marinas on Herrington Lake open up. The Herrington Lake Conservation League is hosting a Pancake Breakfast at the Oar House at Kamp Kennedy Marina (4646 Kennedy Bridge Road, Lancaster) on Saturday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to noon.

The conservation league is the only organization chartered to maintain the lake. Make a tax-deductible donation by mail to HLCL, P.O. Box 404, Burgin KY 40310 or online at

For more great stories, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald. Click here to subscribe.

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