The annual Rolling Fork Iron Horse Festival is described as a family-fun event that truly has something for everyone.
“There’s a good assortment of anything anybody wants,” said Linda Mattingly, secretary of the Iron Horse Festival committee.
The festival will be held Sept. 8 in downtown New Haven. A 5k Run/Fun Walk will be held at 8:30 a.m. Opening ceremonies will follow at 9:30 a.m. in the Town & Country Bank lot. Admission is free.
Mattingly said the core goal of the festival is to bring current and past residents of New Haven together for one night for a homecoming celebration.
“It’s a good opportunity (for the community) to get together,” she added.
A baby contest for children ages 0-8 months will be held 10-11:30 a.m. on stage 1. The little Miss/Mister New Haven pageant, for children ages 4-7, will follow at 11:30 a.m. Children ages 8-10 can compete in the Little Princess pageant at noon. Children ages 11-14 can compete in the Princess contest at 12:30 p.m.
The Iron Horse Festival Queen Contest, for teenagers ages 15-18, will follow at 1 p.m.
Pre-registration for all pageants is required.
Frank Hall will be the featured grand marshal for the parade at 2:15 p.m.
A contest will be held to determine the winning float, something the town has never done before, Mattingly added. The winner will receive $500.
Dance Pros Inc., will perform from 3-3:30 p.m. An Elvis and Meatloaf tribute will be held 3-5:30 p.m.
A car show and antique tractor display will be on display throughout the day. Prized judging will be at 3 p.m.
A Kidzone area featuring inflatables and children’s games will be located behind St. Catherine’s gym. A magic show, titled “The Magic of Wally Bell,” will be held at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Brown Brothers will close the evening with a concert at 7 p.m.
Mattingly said people have come to look forward to the yearly Iron Horse Festival since its inception in the early 1990s. During that time, the Kentucky Railway Museum set up in the area.
“Around that time people thought we should have a festival,” Mattingly said, noting the name “Iron Horse” is what Indians used to refer to trains as.
In terms of what she enjoys most about the festival, Mattingly said it’s simply catching up with people she doesn’t see often.
“I just like to see the people you don’t normally get to see,” she said.
She noted the Iron Horse Festival is also an opportunity to shine a spotlight on New Haven.
“We have a nice city here and we like to showcase it,” she said.