Celebrating 25 Years with the Campbellsburg Country Festival

By Tiffany Cooke

When school lets out and summer unofficially begins, Washington County goes into celebration mode, hosting festivals for community members seeking a break with entertainment.

Though the County Farmer Merchant’s Fair happens in mid-June each year, Campbellsburg provides a taste of summer – and country – fun just as the summer season rolls around.

For now 25 years, the Campbellsburg Country Festival has claimed the first full weekend in June as its time to celebrate.

Though the weather throughout the weekend didn’t cooperate, as clouds covered the area threatening rain, the event still offered games, booths, music, and more for all ages. This festival, previously called the Campbellsburg All-American Hoedown Festival, expresses the small-town, country feel that the community embraces.

Donations from the community 25 years ago are what sparked the invention of this festival, and now it’s the community that keeps the celebration alive and growing. It began as a desire to purpose and furbish the community building, then became a two-day festival. Now, the three-day event revels in country and patriotic themes – a testimony to their heritage and homage.

This sign, posted in front of the Campbellsburg Community Building, displayed country slang and patriotic decorations – staples of the event.

Their website states that the occasion is “for renewing old acquaintances, building on new friendships, reunions, family fun, laughter, music, dancing, good old-fashioned country family fun.”  

Despite low attendance from the weather, some 15 stands lined the Campbellsburg streets while the stage featured a variety live music to fill the air as people explored what the event had to offer. Due to weather, some planned events – like the truck and tractor pull – were cancelled, some moved inside, and others opted to face the rain with jackets and tents.

Some of the highlighted happenings from the festival included a town-wide yard sale, food and vendor booths, many competitions like the Miss Country Girl, Cowboy/Cowgirl, and baking contest, a talent show, the historical cemetery walk, and pancake breakfast followed by a Relay for Life 5K run/walk.

A Sunday parade, which took a new route this year, closed the weekend’s celebrations.

One annual contest, the skillet throwing contest, took place late Saturday morning. It’s just as it sounds – a competition where willing attendees grab a skillet and use a combination of strength and skill to see how far they can toss it. People of all ages took their shot at it, while others stood around to watch, poking gentle fun and cheering towards their peers.

During this, it was announced that next year’s festival would add a similar event for just the men. Along with the regular skillet throwing contest, there will be a sledgehammer throwing contest added to the schedule.

Next year, the community can expect the first weekend in June to be booked with the annual celebration. After a quarter of a century in the making, it’s still not finished growing. Campbellsburg’s committee plans to continue to add and improve to the event, like turning the idea of the sledgehammer throwing contest into a reality.  

The Campbellsburg Country Festival kicked of summer celebrations in Washington County with music, vendors, contests, and fun – just as they have for the last 25 years.

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