By Patricia Beech
Ghost rides, big-time wrestling, caramel corn, antique tractor displays, and the artistry of local quilters are just a few of the events and activities featured at the 2018 Winchester Homecoming Festival.
Festival-goers will enjoy three days of family-oriented fun beginning Friday, Aug. 24 when the Winchester Community Yard Sale kicks off at 8 a.m.
Opening ceremonies follow in the afternoon with the introduction of the festival’s Grand Marshals: Shirley Link, Kim Abbott, and Mary McMurray.
“All of our Grand Marshals have been great supporters of the festival for many years,” said festival organizer Patsy Roberts. “We’re pleased to be able to honor them in this way for all that they’ve done for our community.”
At 6 p.m. inflatable rides open for the kids, and Don Bowles of C103 Radio will emcee the selection of the Festival’s royal court in the 2018 Queen Contest.
A full slate of activities on Saturday kicks off with a 5K Run/Walk beginning at 8:45 a.m. The Baby Show (ages 0-3 years) follows at 10 a.m.; the Culinary Contest and Antique Tractor Show begin at 11 a.m.; and the new Farmers Market will open at noon.
Entertainment featured throughout the day includes: Amber Kasper at noon; the Winchester First Church of Christ Choir honoring the Fourth of July at 1 p.m.; Noreen’s School of Dance at 2 p.m.; the World’s Best Wrestling at 3 p.m.; the Good Time Cloggers at 5 p.m.; 3-on-3 Basketball Tournaments and a Duck Dump at 5 p.m.; the Culinary contest and auction at 6 p.m.; the Jukes, a mother and daughter ukulele and vocal duo at 6:45 p.m.; and the Historic Ghost Ride to the haunted Winchester Cemetery at 8 p.m. (rain date is Aug. 26).
A concert featuring one of Kentucky’s finest bluegrass bands, “Inside Out” begins at 8 p.m.
“They perfom some of the best music you’ll ever hear,” says Roberts. “They do country, classic rock, oldies, rock ‘n’ roll, and pop music – they’re a real crowd pleaser.”
A concert by gospel singer Mark Tolle will open Sunday’s festivities at noon. Willow Creek, a group performing a blend of country, old rock, bluegrass, gospel, and comedy will follow at 1:30 p.m.
The Grand Parade line up also begins at 1:30 p.m., and the parade follows at 3 p.m. A final raffle drawing is scheduled for 4:15 p.m., and the festival will officially close at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Roberts said the festival committee is hoping for a good turnout.
“It looks like we’re going to have nice weather this year,” she said. “That usually means we can expect a good size crowd for the festival.”