Logan County Tobacco & Heritage Festival
CANCELLED FOR 2020
Karen Logan, Executive Director of the Logan County Chamber of Commerce, gave a brief report about the county’s annual Tobacco & Heritage Festival at Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting.
“It is unfortunate that this year’s festival has been canceled due to COVID-19,” said Logan explaining how the chamber board came to make that decision.
“The chamber board had to be the one to make the decision on this year’s festival since we are the ones who orchestrate it. Through the year, none of us knew the virus would last this long. We watched it and as the numbers grew, it was apparent that we had to really look hard at what the governor was putting out,” Logan said. “We met with the health department because we needed guidance interpreting the ‘healthy at work,’ which are guidelines we were supposed to go by in relation to festivals and carnivals. If we were to have the festival.”
Logan painted a picture for the court of how the festival would have looked like if it were to be held during this pandemic.
“We really had no choice,” said Logan explaining the changes.
“The chamber would have had to have had fencing and barriers completely all the way around the area so it would know how much square footage there was inside the area so there could be 50% capacity. Then, the organizers would have to collect names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone in attendance. Organizers would have to enforce social distancing within six feet and that includes booths, food lines, etc. Everyone in attendance would have to have their temperatures taken,” Logan said adding, “We felt like this was the best for our community. We did not want one sickness or one death linked back to Logan County in having this event.”
Instead of having the festival, Logan said the chamber would be hosting a virtual walking tour with Evelyn Richardson as well as compiling a video honoring the tradition and history of the festival.
“We are asking the community to send us photographs or video clips of past festivals,” said Logan.
Although the chamber has canceled the festival, a logo was created by the body reflective of the pandemic.
“It is called ‘Logan United — Stronger Together.’ We wanted to focus that even though we are in the middle of this, we are collectively stronger together and united through it,” said Logan.
This story and others regarding the festival cancelation can be found following the links below to News Democrat & Leader:
TOBACCO & HERITAGE FESTIVAL: AN ALL-COUNTY FESTIVAL
The Logan County Tobacco & Heritage Festival is Logan County, Kentucky’s largest community event, attended and participated in by an estimated 25,000 people. The festival had its beginning in 1941 and was a one-day event, coinciding with the opening of the Christmas shopping season. Photographs document a parade with floats around the park that is centrally located within the town square. Conceived as an annual event, the second festival was held in 1942. However, it ceased during World War II because of shortages of time, labor, and materials dedicated to the war effort. In 1957, the festival was revived and it has since continued uninterrupted for more than 60 years. The purpose of the festival, at its conception, was to focus attention on Logan County’s chief crop and to pay tribute to Russellville, the largest one-sucker tobacco market in the world. Organized by the Logan County Chamber of Commerce, the festival celebrates our past by continuing some of the same activities, and at the same location on the square, that took place during the first years of the festival.
Today, you will find many events taking place around the Carrico Park Square including a Tobacco Judging contest, a reenactment of the 1868 Jesse James Robbery at the Southern Bank of Kentucky by the Jesse James Gang. Other crowd favorites, starting us off on the last Thursday in September, are the Festival Queen’s Pageant, Historic Walking Tours, Cemetery Tours, Pet Show & Fair, Jesse James 5K Run/Walk, Bike Ride, Golf Scramble, Senior Stroll, Taster’s Luncheon, Harvest of the Arts Art Contest, Little Mr. & Miss Pageant, Road Rally, Historic Homes Tours, Hometown History Day, Red River Meeting House Primitive Revival and Rendezvous, Thunder on the Square Car Show, Community Singing, Senior Citizen’s Womanless Beauty Pageant, Historic Jail Tours, Emergency Services Awareness Event, Community Health Fair, Trolley Rides, Logan County Wine & Food Festival, Hope Starts at Home Festival Celebration, and the Red River Square Dancers. The Tobacco & Heritage Festival grand finale, also known as “Festival Day or Parade Day,” is held on the second Saturday in October centrally located on the Carrico Park Square in Russellville. It is packed full of people from Logan County, folks from all over the state of Kentucky and beyond. One of the largest parades in the area kicks off the daily festivities, while food vendors circle the square with both unique and traditional foods. Arts and crafts vendors from all over the state selling their items on the Historic Courthouse lawn. Non-profit and local business vendors surround the square down each block. Free horse and carriage rides are a must and the Kid’s Zone is ready for your family with games, bouncies and more. Karaoke, line dancing, and a few bands rock us through the night with “Entertainment on the Square” to end the festivities at 8 p.m.
This is a homecoming event for people who have moved away from the community, to return and celebrate with family and friends, as well as an exciting community event that Logan Countians look forward to attending annually. The Logan County Chamber of Commerce board and staff would like to invite you and your family to join us in the many festivities this event brings for all to enjoy. Please visit us online at www.LoganChamber.com to see the line-up of events leading up to the festival day or call us at 270-726-2206 for more information. We look forward to seeing you there!
FESTIVAL CALENDAR OF EVENTS BOOKLET
Download Your Calendar of Events Booklet by Clicking This Link!