Tradition on Display

Jarrod E. Stephens

The Ashland Beacon


   The 54th annual Greenup Old Fashioned Days is officially in the books and the awesome fall weather brought folks out in droves to take part in the fun. People of all ages crowded the streets to shop and enjoy the free entertainment and games. Perhaps one of the most important parts of celebrations such as the Greenup Old Fashioned Days is the passing of traditions and lifestyles from one generation to another.

   Children were able to take part in simple games such as a cake walk and pumpkin toss. Each event was crowded with eager participants, which again proves that simple can be fun. Of course, the youngsters were also drawn to the stage during the talent show, and the annual costume contest, but the largest group was in attendance for the annual parade.

   Remember what it was like when you were a child waiting for the parade to start. Some things never change. Sitting alongside the street as the kids await the next heave of candy to come their way is a sight that can bring a smile to anyone. Again, it’s about the tradition of simply taking part in the annual family fun. The parade’s Grand Marshall, Pastor Tom Melvin, enjoyed his time in the spotlight as he led a parade that included Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin along its trek down Main Street.

   The Farm Bureau site also had a large draw for their annual GOTEM tractor and old-time machinery show. The young and the young at heart enjoyed the barrel car rides around the grounds where they could see the tractors that were on display. Others chose to watch the tractor pulls where farmers put their tractor’s pulling ability to the test.

   Tractors, both new and old, were on display along with some traditional trades. Doug Riley of Raven Hawk Custom Knives had his mobile forge on-site, where he displayed his blacksmithing skills. He no longer uses his coal-fired forge but has converted to a gas forge. “I just like to set up and make a few things while I’m here,” Riley said as he worked to pound a railroad spike into a steak turner. “Once I fire up the forge or begin hammering, a small group will usually come over and watch.” Riley only does the blacksmithing as a hobby but said, “Who knows, maybe there’ll be a kid come along and want to do this someday.”

   On the closing night musician Jason Carter who is a native of Greenup County and a member of the Grammy Award Winning group, the Travelin’ McCourys took the opportunity to celebrate with a group of young artists before his band took the stage. Appropriately, the group sang, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” which seemed to serve as the anthem to remind us of the importance of passing along our musical heritage to our youth.

   Lots of laughs and smiles filled the fall days along the streets in Greenup and tradition was on display. The fun may be old fashioned, but fun knows no age and clearly does span generations. The Greenup Old Fashion Days may have come to an end, but the memories that were created will last a lifetime.