Poage Landing Days are here
Late September marks the beginning of the annual Poage Landing Days Festival on the streets of downtown Ashland.
The festival, celebrating Ashland’s founding, has grown over the years to include a wide range of activities and a full lineup of live music.
The events scheduled to take place Sept. 20-22 include antique car and bike shows, a beauty pageant, the sanctioned Southern Fried Cone Fest skateboard race, an arts and crafts tent and two performance stages on 15th and 16th streets. Headlining on Saturday evening will be Diamond Rio. Topping the bill on Sunday afternoon will be the award-winning bluegrass group The Steeldrivers.
Poage Landing Days will once again host the Ed Haley Fiddle Contest over the weekend. Named after the legendary fiddler Ed Haley, who resided in the Ashland area before dying in 1954, the 18th annual contest will take place at 1685 Winchester Ave. There is no charge for those wanting to be in the audience for the competition. A free fiddle concert will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The contest will begin at 12:30 p.m. Those wanting to participate and go for the prize money need to register on-site between 9 a.m. and noon. The entry fee for adults and seniors is $10 and $5 for teens.
For those wishing to enter the Poage Landing Days Beauty Pageant on Sept. 21, the entry fee is $45. Applications can be acquired at Mudpyz & Butterflyz Consignment and Boutique (in Ashland and Paintsville), Identity Salon, Pam’s Primitives in the Ashland Town Center and The Ashland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, or by contacting Kathy Hampton at 606-471-5210 and Cecilia Lambert at 740-533-7258.
The antique car show will be Saturday. Those wanting to enter a vehicle can register for $10 at 13th Street and Winchester Avenue until noon. For more information, call Denver Jobe at 606-465-0707 or 606-324-1040, Howard Rose at 606-922-1965 or Sam Hampton at 606-928-1510 or 606-928-1736.
The Southern Fried Cone Fest skateboard race is open to all comers over a two-day period. Practice runs begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, and the race begins at 10 a.m. For more information and to register online, go to tinyurl.com/lx268d6. The race is sanctioned by the Northern California Downhill Skateboarding Association.
Registration for the Poage Landing Days Motorcycle Cruise-In begins at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Paramount Arts Center parking lot. The fee is $10. For more information, call Curt Yates at 606-324-5012 or Kevin White at 606-922-5055.
As with all Poage Landing Days Festivals, there will be a host of activities geared towards kids at the children’s tent located at 17th Street and Winchester Avenue.
More information can be found at poagelandingdays.com.
“(Growing the event) is a ride that we never expected, but now it has turned into a lot of fun for us,” said Philip Stewart, president of Poage Landing Days Festival. “If it’s not fun, why do it? And, we all have a blast doing it. The preparation seems like it is never fun. But, when the events begin, we try to have fun, and we want the whole community to come out and have fun as well. That’s the best part about it.”
One aspect of Poage Landing Days that has helped to make it grow is the live acts that have been brought in to entertain the crowds.
“The music is something that we felt the festival really needed and because we have great sponsors, we’re able to make that happen,” said Stewart. “We’ve seen the difference in our crowds because of it, and the entertainment has been fantastic. Our committee does a wonderful job with that. It seems like there has been a heightened interest in the festival this year due to Diamond Rio and The Steeldrivers, so I think we’re going to have some good crowds.”
According to Stewart, there are other areas of the festival that are growing as well.
“This year, we will have more food vendors than we’ve ever had at the event,” he said. “We will have our BBQ Cook-off with at least five barbecue vendors participating, and they will be judged by a panel as well as the crowd, and we’ll have over 20 food vendors overall. Also, we’re the only festival that I know of in this area that has one large arts and crafts tent. The tent is 40-foot wide and takes up a whole city block, and we have actually added 40 feet to it this year to accommodate more arts and crafts vendors. And, one of the things we’re excited about is the Southern Fried Cone Fest skateboard race. It’s bigger than it’s ever been. The sanctioning body has increased the point levels of our race so participants will get more points when it comes to their national ranking. We have pro racers who have committed to the event from England, Canada and all over the United States.”
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