By Adam Black
The Ashland Beacon
Live entertainment, festival food, craft vendors and more will be in downtown Ashland as Poage Landing Days kicks off Friday and runs through the weekend.
The annual festival, which has been ranked as one of the Top 25 Downtown Festivals in the state of Kentucky by the Kentucky Main Street Program, will block off Winchester Avenue for three days of family-friendly events all starting at noon Friday.
"This year we will be bringing back many of our favorite events and adding a couple of new ones," Poage Landing Days President Christy Meade said. "Of course, we will have our block-long arts and craft tent, amusement rides, free children's Inflatables, numerous specialty street vendors, a block of food vendors and entertainment on two stages."
The two stages will host performers this year, with the main one located on 16th Street and the other on 15th Street. Artists will include some local musicians and nationally known. Saturday night's big lineup will feature country music stars Josh Gracin at 7:30 p.m. and Thompson Square at 9 p.m.
"We are excited the have National Recording artist Thompson Square with guest Josh Gracin Saturday," Meade said. "Come out, bring a chair and enjoy this exciting free show."
Along with live entertainment Saturday, Sunday will also host a variety of entertainment of local musicians and a church service starting at 10 a.m. with music, coffee and doughnuts at the 16th Street stage.
Other events throughout the three-day festival include, The Ashland Tourism and Convention Center hosting the "Jesse Stuart and Friends Quilt Show" opening at 2 p.m. Friday Sept. 20, On Saturday the Poage Family Reunion from 11:00 -2 p.m., the annual car show, located at 18th Street and Winchester, Free inflatables, amusement rides, Conefest, and a new addition to the festival, Mr. Puppet, a comedy and ventriloquist act for children.
"We have changed our car show this year, it will be a Cruise-In with lots of door prizes and a people's choice award," Meade said. "New for 2019, Mr. Puppet will be performing his comedy and ventriloquist act for children. He will have multiple shows throughout the day in the 17th Street area Saturday and Sunday."
Setup for the festival will begin Thursday and carry on through the evening, Meade said, while many only see the physical work happening just a few days out of the year. The committee works tirelessly year-round to make sure they can continue to bring the excellent reputation the festival has year after year.
"Many people don't realize the planning that goes into a festival, we started planning 2019 back in January by attending the Ohio Fair Manager's Convention in Columbus," Meade said. "This gave us new ideas that we hope to incorporate into our festival over the next few years."
Meade would also like to thank the community for their support of the festival and the City of Ashland and their sponsors.
"It takes a truly dedicated and fantastic team to make this event happen each year; I cannot thank everyone enough who spends countless hours planning and comes out and volunteer their time," Meade said. "We could never continue year after year if we didn't have the support of the City of Ashland and our generous sponsors. We appreciate the support our community shows for Poage Landing Days."
The festival will open at noon Friday, Sept. 20.