Kentucky’s oldest running festival returns this weekend

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Kentucky’s oldest running festival is returning this year. Court Days will shut down downtown Mt. Sterling for four days.(WKYT)

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – Kentucky’s oldest running festival is returning this year.

Court Days will shut down downtown Mt. Sterling for four days.

Organizers canceled it last year because of COVID-19. Now, organizers are ready to bring the festival back and better than ever.

The festival started back in the early 1800s and has evolved since then. Tracy Pearce, the tourism director in Mt. Sterling, says, this year, it’ll take another step forward.

“We’ve got a lot more entertainment, just a lot more activities involved besides all the hundreds of vendors that will be selling everything,” Pearce said.

Last year, organizers tried to see if the pandemic would allow the festival to go on, but when it became apparent that it would not be safe, they decided to cancel and look forward to 2021.

“We knew when COVID hit and we knew that having this many people in this area was just not going to work.. But as soon as the vaccine was readily available, and anyone who wanted a vaccine could get a vaccine and we started seeing all the other events being held, we were totally in agreement.”

This year, the festival will include live music on two stages, along with plenty of food and shopping that festival-goers from across the country have come to expect when they make their way to downtown Mt. Sterling.

“We have two stages. We usually only have one and, this year, we said all day Saturday and all day Sunday we’re going to have live music and a lot of extra fun,” Pearce said. “We have a Court Day Express Train that will be driving through town.”

There are also some new twists that will come this weekend, one of the big ones being a mullet competition that will take place on Saturday.

Pearce says that this event is a huge boost for the local economy and it’s a chance for the city to show off.

“All of our hotels are full. All of our downtown shops and restaurants are open and do a lot more business than usual during a weekend, and we do have a lot of local organizations that set up tents and food booths and make a lot of money doing that as well and that funds their organizations,” Pearce said.

The festival starts this Friday and runs through Monday.

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