La Grange Railroad Festival
annual event to add
burgoo cook-off and tasting
events to take place
around the downtown area
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (October 2012) Long before
he took a job working for the L&N Railroad, Rick Able would wake
up every morning to the sound of a train running behind his house. As
a kid growing up in the Buechel area of Louisville, he was surrounded
by the sights, sounds and smells of the trains that chugged by frequently.
Years later, after retiring from the L&N Railroad, Able still has
a passion for trains, only now they are quite a bit smaller. As a member
of the Falls City Live Steamers, Able is one of several members who
collect model trains, attend swap meets and set up displays for others
Able is an original member of the group, which formed in 2004. The Falls
City Live Steamers will be conducting live steamer train rides for kids
and adults, and overseeing a model train swap meet and model train displays
for the annual La Grange Railroad Festival & Burgoo Cook-Off and
Tasting on Oct. 12-13 in La Grange.
Various events will be taking place all over town. Theres
something for everyone-from model trains set up in various shops to
a kids train parade to a burgoo cook-off and a cornhole tournament,
said Linda Goin, executive director of Discover Downtown La Grange.
Were hoping to build this event into a tourist attraction,
one that will encourage folks to book hotel rooms to enjoy both days
of the festival.
The festival will actually kick off Friday night, Oct. 12, with live
music. The festivities continue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct.
13, on the Oldham County Courthouse lawn. The local farmers market and
accompanying artisans will set up on the Courthouse lawn, said Goin.
Shoppers will not want to miss out on the All Aboard Shoppers Pass that
will allow them to win prizes and a chance to be drawn for a weekend
getaway package in Oldham County.
Saturdays festivities will begin with a kids cardboard train
sidewalk parade at 10 a.m., with awards presented at noon A model train
swap and model train displays will be held at the La Grange Community
Center, where visitors will also find hobby vendors, and railroad artifacts
and memorabilia A Train Art Show will take place at Gallery 104 as well
as a corn hole tournament on Walnut, between Jefferson and Main streets.
Start time for the corn hole tournament is 11:30 a.m. There is an entry
fee for each two-person team and cash prizes will be awarded for first,
second and third place.
At 1 p.m., TV personality Barry Bernson of WDRB in Louisville will hold
a book signing at Karens Book Barn & Java Stop on Main Street.
Bernson has written a memoir titled, Bernsons Corner
A Reporters Notebook. It features the extraordinary lives
of ordinary people throughout the Ohio Valley region.
Now in its third year, festival organizer Jim Zimmerman said, La
Grange is such a railroad community. There is so much history tied to
the railroad. We want to recognize that heritage and draw attention
to La Grange and what it has to offer.
Zimmerman said the festival was designed to benefit La Grange
and La Grange merchants. We want to develop it more and have larger
crowds. Our focus now is on building one big event.
A Burgoo Cook-Off and Tasting portion has been added to the La Grange
Railroad Festival. We added the burgoo cook-off for a couple of
reasons, said Kim Buckler, executive director for Oldham County
There are very few burgoo cook-offs in Kentucky, so we thought
this would be something fun to add both for home cooks and restaurants,
alike. It would really be great if a home cook won the Peoples
Choice Award, she said.
The Burgoo Cook-Off and Tasting will take place on the north side of
Main Street in front of the Courthouse from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Competitors
will be able to use the parking lots in this area to create their own
combination of spices and meats to whip up their favorite concoction
of burgoo. This event is registration only and an entry fee is required.
Judging will take place at 3:30 p.m., by Bernson and Chef Albert Schmid,
author of The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook. Cash awards will
be given for first and second place, and for the Peoples Choice
category. This latter award will also include a trophy.
The Cook-Off is a great way for our Oldham County restaurants
to showcase their talents and abilities in the kitchen with something
that isnt on their menu, said Buckler.
In the past, the La Grange Railroad Festival primarily drew more
local people than out-of-towners, Buckler said. It was tourisms
hope that if we could add some additional attractions to the festival
and advertise it around the state, we would attract some visitors from
out of town.
For more information, visit: www.LaGrangeRailroadFestival.com.
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