The weather was perfect Saturday, a little breezy, but it set the mood for a fall festival that exceeded numbers, as well as expectations. The 2016 Tobacco & Heritage Festival parade was a success by all measures. The few hiccups along the way, such as lags in the parade, did not overshadow the fun everyone seemed to have who attended the annual event.
“I was pleased with how the festival turned out,” said Tammy Tinsley, Executive Director of the Logan County Chamber of Commerce. Festival planning begins in January of each year and although Tinsley came aboard late in the game as Chamber director in June, that did not stop her from hitting the ground running in organizing Logan County’s largest event.
“There were a few hiccups along the way,” said Tinsley. “For the most part, however, I believe the event went off great.”
Tinsley said she heard a lot of compliments about the festival, but has also gotten a few ideas for change next time around.
“We really need volunteers in the community to step up and serve on the Tobacco & Heritage Festival Committee,” Tinsley said. “This event takes a great deal of planning and we would sure love anyone who is willing to help join us in organizing.”
This year’s parade was chalked full of entries and perhaps was one of the longest as well. There were a few breaks in the parade, but it didn’t seem to bother the thousands of onlookers who were very patient.
“I believe attendance at this year’s parade was much larger than last,” said Tinsley. Last year there were approximately 20,000 in attendance.
One of the most praised about Saturday’s events was the Kid’s Zone.
“I had so many parents come up to me saying that was the best $10 they ever spent. They liked the location of the Kid’s Zone and felt it was very safe,” said Tinsley praising both Logan Aluminum and McDonald’s for sponsoring the area.
A few things that were new to this year’s parade were the train that gave kids and their parents rides through the downtown area. Zippyland from Green County came and provided the train. It was such a success they have pledged to come back next year.
Hot coffee was passed out before the parade by employees from McDonald’s, who were walking around with coffee backpacks.
Lieutenant Commander James Yastrzemsky of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade out of Fort Campbell grabbed a ride with our very own Bert Knight of Bert’s Auto. Bert drove his Army Jeep in the parade again this year.
“The General said he was so proud to ride in the festival,” said Tinsley. “He said he could see the pride in everyone’s faces as he passed them. He told me we were one of the best hostesses he’s experienced in a long time,” Tinsley added.
Fort Campbell had another presence in the festival parade as well. Their band the “101st Screaming Eagles” were playing loud and proud Saturday, followed by the Logan County JROTC.
There were new food vendors as well including Shogun, who were so popular they ran out of food. Three vendors even stayed to the very end to serve.
Brent Summers of Summers, Kirby and Saunders Funeral Home was a huge part of the festivities. Brent served as MC for the day.
“There were so many who helped,” said Tinsley. “We thank them all for making this one of the best festivals ever.”
If you would be willing to help organize the 2017 Tobacco & Heritage Festival, please contact the Logan County Chamber of Commerce at 270-726-2206.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.