Tribune-Courier News Reporter
Small towns nationwide are having fall-themed events of all sorts this month, but this weekend’s Aurora Country Festival is one of western Kentucky’s biggest and most successful, according to David Hardin, one of the festival’s coordinators.
The 38th annual festival runs from Friday through Sunday.
“Some people come for the food, some people come for the treasure hunting – digging around through all the vendors with their antiques,” Hardin said. “It’s a great big fair for this small town and it it’s great for our community.”
This year’s festival will feature artist Ken Holland, an antique car show, a parade, live music all weekend and games and rides, he said.
There will also be a flea market and honey and sorghum-tasting events.
Sue Festen, owner of the Hitching Post in Aurora and festival coordinator, said there will be more vendors at this year’s festival than ever before.
“The lot we use is totally full. We’ve had to find more room to put the vendors,” Festen said. “It’s going to be a big event that brings in a lot of people. It’s always our biggest event of the year and it brings in so many people, which really helps our area.”
Between 10,000 and 20,000 people visit during the weekend of the festival, Hardin said.
“It depends on the weather how many will come,” he said. “It’s been nice this year so we expect a great turnout.”
Planning the event, Hardin said, is no small feat.
He said he and other festival coordinators start planning for the festival the day after the previous one has finished.
Hardin says the appearance of Holland, an artist and painter from Benton, will be a highlight. “He’s a really well-known artist and people from all over have purchased his paintings and prints,” Hardin said.
Hardin believes people return for the festival year after year for the friendly, small-town atmosphere.
Aurora is an unincorporated community within Marshall County with no clear population estimates, but Hardin said the community is a popular tourist attraction year-round because it is located close to Kentucky Lake and the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
Aurora’s two annual festivals – the Hot August Blues Festival and the Aurora Country Festival – make up a bulk of the community’s tourism season.
For more information about the vendors call (270) 519-6393 and for information about performing live music call (270) 519-0066.