Henry County Harvest Showcase

Annual event promotes food,
crafts, and agricultural heritage

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

NEW CASTLE, Ky. (July 2008) – Wendell Thomas has spent years perfecting his barbecue sauce. He has been a competitive cook traveling the barbecue circuit since 1998 and will bring his culinary expertise to the Henry County Harvest Showcase on July 26.
Wendell and his wife, Ernestine, will be among other local cooks displaying their mouth-watering local products. The Thomases are members of the National Barbecue Association and have been featured on Cable TV’s Food Network. They have won numerous awards in Chicken, Ribs, Pork Shoulder and Beef Brisket categories in cooking competitions.

Wendell Thomas

File photo

Wendell Thomas of Smithfield, Ky., will
bring his Falls City
Smokers barbecue
to the showcase.

Upon retiring and taking up barbecuing as a hobby, the couple has traveled hundreds of miles from their Smithfield, Ky., home to attend competitions. Traveling the Kansas City Barbeque Circuit, they have been to Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Illinois.
The Thomases’ were one of the first teams to compete in the Madison Ribberfest event and will compete in Madison again this year in August. “We love the travel and the people we have gotten to know over the years,” said Thomas.
The Thomases will prepare their special barbecue alongside the Henry County Cattleman’s Association, the Pleasureville Depot and chefs from the Louisville area in this showcase of the best agricultural resources Henry County has to offer.
“This event is a grassroots attempt to promote the agricultural economy to local residents and also an opportunity to reach out to our city neighbors and help them to reconnect with the land,” said Maryellen Garrison, Henry County Extension Agent.
The 9th annual Henry County Harvest Showcase and Lunch at the Farmer’s Market will be held from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Henry County Fairgrounds. Food, games, livestock, crafts, contests, music, fresh produce for sale, straw and flowers are just some of the offerings on the day’s schedule of events.
If attendance numbers prove that the public is interested in the future of agriculture, then the 4,000 people who visited the showcase last year left with a sense of satisfaction. Visitors came from the Kentucky counties of Oldham, Shelby, Trimble, Jefferson, Fayette, Owen, Franklin and Mercer counties.
This free family event provides fun for all ages. Of special interest to children are the old-time games and a visit to the Livestock Pavilion.
The day will begin at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast provided by the Henry County Chamber of Commerce for those setting up booths. Visitors can enjoy lunch made from locally grown produce under the shade of the “Big Tent.”
This event “takes you back 30 years,” said Barbara Gregory of Gregory Farms and president of the Henry County Farmer’s Market. The public is able to browse, eat and visit, getting a first-hand view of rural America, she said.
Many out-of town and even out-of-state people who are visiting relatives in Henry County actually schedule their visit around the showcase, said Gregory.
“There is something for everybody.”
Equine events, demonstrations, an Antique Tractor Show and children’s games will begin at 10 a.m., a broom making demonstration will be held at 11 a.m., a Husband Calling and Liar’s Contest at 12:30 p.m., and a Corn Hole Tournament at 2 p.m. (with registration at 1 p.m.). Music will be played throughout the day by the Henry County Band, Music ‘N a Box, Muddy Loafers and Unfinished.
The Henry County Ag Diversification group will meet at 2 p.m., and the Community Farm Alliance will hold a meeting at 2:30 p.m.
The Antique Tractor Show is a combination of display and operation. Last year 19 tractors participated, said organizer Mike Ray. “We hope for more this year.”
A display of a belt-driven rock crusher will return, said Ray, and stationary engines will be on hand in addition to the tractors.
At 1 p.m., Tractor Games will begin. Included will be a slow race, egg ‘n spoon race, standing start race and a log chain drag. The Salt River Antique Power Club is the local club that plays a major part in the tractor show, said Ray. Members hail from Spencer, Shelby, Henry and other surrounding counties.
An Antique Tractor Pull is a new addition to this year’s showcase lineup. Beginning at 4 p.m., antique engines will round out the day’s activities.

• For more information, contact the Henry County Extension Office at (502) 845-2811.

Back to July 2008 Articles.



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