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Sweet Owen vendors cut to single day

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Gospel sing to be held second day

By Molly Haines

For one day out of each year, the Owen County Courthouse square is transformed into a community-gathering place, filled with street vendors, local bands and lots of fun for all.

The ninth annual Sweet Owen Day festival will be held Sept. 19.

The event will kick off with the Owenton Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast at 7 a.m.

A 5-K run/walk will take place, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

This year’s run/walk will begin on Seminary Street where a full description of the course will be given. Registration for the run/walk is $15 per person or $60 for a team of five. Those who do not pre-register will have the chance to register from 7-8 a.m. the morning of the event.

Live music  begins at 10 a.m. with the Robinson Family and continues throughout the day. Other musical groups include Bandit Blues, No Tools Loaned, The Monterey River Band and The Downtown County Band.

Activities for kids will also be held throughout the day, including a magic show at 1:15 p.m., inflatables, a rock climbing wall and airbrush tattoos.

Vendors will be set up around the courthouse square with items such as crafts, pottery, jewelry, purses and homemade baskets for sale. Local merchants will have sidewalk sales during the event.

Food vendors will be on-site with a wide variety of foods ranging from frog legs to barbecue.

A booth with information concerning the 2010 Census will be set up, as well as the ambulance service for free blood pressure and heart rate checks.

Three Rivers Health Department will be giving free flu shots to residents of Owen County only.

Due to the large number of vendors attending the event, West Seminary Street will be closed to all traffic from 5  Saturday morning to 10:30 p.m. If traveling north, traffic will be detoured from Hwy. 22, where they will take Roland Avenue. Southbound traffic will be detoured from Madison Street to West Adair.

Owen County Judge-Executive Carolyn Keith said the Sweet Owen Day’s committee began planning the event in April.

“The committee is made up of mostly members of the Chamber of Commerce,” Keith said. “We started mailing letters to vendors in April and contacting some new vendors.”

Keith said although the economy is down, she thinks it will not affect this year’s festivities.

“I feel like because of the economy, local festivals are picking up in attendance,” Keith said. “Vendors were slower getting their applications in this year, but we’re hoping Sweet Owen Day will be well-attended due to the fact that people are not traveling outside the county quite as much because of the economy.”

This year’s event has 48 confirmed vendors, down from last year’s 60, Keith said.

“A lot of the local vendors wait until the last minute to call and let us know they’re coming,” Keith said. “We’re hoping to have close to 60 by the time everyone is signed up.”

Keith said the usual Sunday events will not be held this year due to a lack of interest from vendors.

“The committee felt there was not enough interest from vendors to stay for Sunday,” Keith said. “A few churches are going to come together for a gospel sing on the courthouse lawn that day.”

Keith said she thinks Sweet Owen Day shows the true spirit of Owen County.

“I think the event is a very positive representation of our county,” Keith said. “I think a lot of the people who have lived here for a number of years – and even those who have recently moved here – enjoy getting the opportunity to visit with their neighbors. I think most of our residents are very community-minded and want to be a part of the event and support the community.”