Carroll County Tobacco festivities include parade, carnival and more

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By Jeff Moore

The Carroll County Tobacco Festival returns to downtown Carrollton this week as the event marks its 61st year this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The 2009 festival includes music, food, a carnival, parade, beauty pageants, vendor booths and fun and games for the entire family. The three day festival also includes a look back at the community’s farming heritage and more in the agritourism tent.


The Carroll County Tobacco Festival Pageants continue on Wednesday and Thursday nights under the big tent on the front lawn at the Carroll County Courthouse. Wednesday night features the crowning of pre-teen 8-12 year-olds, beginning at 6 p.m.

On Thursday evening at 6 p.m., the girls baby and boys baby pageants will be held for age groups: 0-3 months; 4-6 months; 7-12 months; 13-18 months; and 19-23 months. The sweet peas contest for children ages 2, 3 and 4 will be held, along with the little miss and mister competition.

All competitions will have a western theme. For information, contact Charlotte Snow at (502) 347-5398 or (502) 525-1583.

Agritourism displays

Tobacco memorabilia and history of the area’s farming heritage will be on display throughout the three-day event. The displays will be housed under the agritourism tent on the front lawn of the Courthouse.

Committee member Garnet Worthington said everyone with displays has ties with the farming heritage of Carroll County and the region.

She noted that one display will include wishing wells and other attractive wooden items made by an area farmer. There’s another who makes knives from the horn of cattle who will be returning for his third year, Worthington said. Another farmer creates bird houses from old barn siding.

She said the tent demonstrates how farmers who can no longer make enough money from farming are using their resources and tools “to make it profitable.”

Worthing said Lawson Adcock will return with an antique tractor and tables of farming implements on display. He will also bring his antique hay baler and provide demonstrations on Friday afternoon and throughout the day on Saturday, she noted.

Bobby Giles and other members of the RiverView Farmers Market will have booths during the festival, she noted. Faith Kutnicki will have miniature horse and others will bring farm animals such as llamas and alpacas for the event.

Anyone with items to display is welcome to bring them or contact Worthington at (502) 732-9938.


Tickets for the annual Artic Cat raffle, sponsored by Paul’s Tires, are available during the event for $5 each or five for $20. The 2009 ArticCat 250 will be on display.

Tobacco festival committee member Hazel Willhoite said the drawing will take place Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. as the band on the stage takes a break.

A Golden Boy .44 caliber rifle will also be given away in a raffle. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.


Playland Amusements, carnival and inflatables will be open for fun and rides on Thursday, Sept. 25 from 5-11 p.m., Friday, Sept. 26 from 5 p.m.  to midnight and Saturday, Sept. 27 from noon to  midnight.

Musical entertainment

On Thursday, Sumtymers Band led by Everett Rucker perform bluegrass favorites on the tobacco festival stage in downtown from 5:30-730 p.m., committee member Charlotte Snow said. They will be followed by the Wild Horse Band, featuring B.W. Courtney and Joe Smith, with country and some classic rock music from 8-11 p.m. that evening.

Snow said that Friday begins with a Roy Orbison impersonator performing his greatest hits from 4:30-6 p.m. “He’s really good,” she noted. Indiana Boots and Jeans, a crowd favorite from the last several tobacco festivals, perform 6:30-7:30 p.m. in front of the stage from 8 p.m. to midnight, No Xcuses from Brandenburg will perform a variety of country, rock, dance and music from the 70s and 80s. Snow said this group’s lead singer has opened for country artists such as Vern Gosden.

On Saturday, Denny Wheeler opens the day with classic rock sounds on the stage from 10:30 p.m. to noon. Local band Dynamite Whiskey and Wood performs rock favorites from noon to 1 p.m. The Gold Cloggers perform from 6-7 p.m.; square dancers from 7-8 p.m.; and Young Country is featured from 8-12 p.m., she noted.

Magic Show

Magician Mark Comley returns to Carrollton for shows throughout the three days of the 2009 Tobacco Festival, according to committee member Daisy Hughes.

She said his stage will be setup on Main Street near the carnival. The shows are free to attend.


The 61st annual parade will step off at Cartmell Elementary School at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26. All those taking part in the parade need to enter at Cartmell off U.S. 42 to line up, which begins at 9 a.m.

Willhoite said those who want to be judged should arrive by 10:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for floats in business, schools, churches and youth organization categories. Other awards will be given for horse groups, tractors and old cars and trucks, Willhoite said.

This year’s theme is “Keep Farm Stories Alive in September 2009.”

Tobacco judging

Tobacco judging gets underway on Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m., Willhoite said.

To enter, bring a stick or two of green and cured tobacco to the front lawn of the courthouse, she explained. “We’d like to have as many (entries) as we can,” Whillhoite said.

Outhouse Race

Three teams, including defending champions the Carroll Public Works Department, are gearing up for the 2009 outhouse race on Saturday afternoon, Willhoite said. The event takes place immediately after the parade.

Teams are still welcome to join in the race. Entry forms and information is available from Ronnie Knight at (502) 732-4429.

Cornhole Tournament

A double elimination cornhole tournament will be held Saturday, Sept. 26 at 3 p.m.

Entry fee is $40 per two player team. Pay-backs, cash and trophies will be awarded for first, second and third places.

For information, call Rick’s Glass at (502) 732-4527 or (502) 732-8568.

Silent Auction

Bidding gets underway on the Tobacco Festival Silent Auction on Thursday afternoon and continues through 9 p.m., on Saturday evening.

Willhoite said there are many great items including tickets to Kentucky Horse Park, the Louisville Zoo and Churchill Downs, along with meals from Joe’s Crab Shack and most local restaurants. Many local businesses have donated gift cards or gift certificates for the auction.


On Saturday night, Willhoite said fireworks will light up the sky over the Ohio River and downtown beginning at dusk, probably around 9 p.m.

The show can be viewed from any spot in the downtown area, she noted.

The Carroll County Tobacco Festival is made possible through local sponsors and the support of Artic Cat, which provides funding for all the trophies awarded during the festival, Willhoite noted.

For more information on the Tobacco Festival, call Hughes at (502) 732-8568, Snow at (502) 525-1583 or Willhoite at (502) 525-0607.

 To allow for festivities with the 60th annual Carroll County Tobacco festival, several streets in downtown Carrollton will be closed during parts of the event.

Street closings approved by Carrollton City Council are as follows:

Tuesday: Court Street closes at midnight and remains closed through Saturday at midnight.

Wednesday: Fifth Street closes on the courthouse side at midnight  and reopens Saturday at midnight.

Thursday: All of Fifth Street closes from Highland Avenue to Main Street at 4 p.m., reopens at midnight and closes again at 5 p.m. Friday. Remains closed throughout the festival. Also on Thursday, Main Street will be closed from the old Mexican restaurant to Fifth Street. (This will reopen for proper bus routes.)

For Saturday’s parade, the route begins at Cartmell Elementary School parking lot at 1 p.m. and proceeds down Highland Avenue to Fifth Street, breaking up at Point Park.

Festival officials ask that all entries enter the parade line-up area at the U.S. Hwy. 42 entrance at Cartmell Elementary before 12:30 p.m.