Sweet times: Annual festival returns to streets of Owenton Saturday

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By Molly Haines

Like many fall festivals across the state, Sweet Owen Day has served as a homecoming for many who have left the community.
This year is expected to be no different, as hundreds are expected to fill the courthouse square for a day of fellowship, food and fun.
The Sweet Owen Day committee, made up of members of the Owen County Chamber of Commerce, as well as county and city government began planning for the event in May.
Owen County Chamber of Commerce President Dallas Stafford said the committee strives to bring something new to its supporters each year.
“We’ve really beefed up our morning program for this year’s event,” Stafford said. “The morning is usually a little slower time after the run/walk, but this year, we’ll be doing a veteran’s recognition. We’ll have a color guard unit and a salute to the armed forces. The Owen County High School band is going to do a concert. We think this is going to bring our morning attendance up quite a bit.”
Along with the veteran’s recognition, Stafford said another new addition will be a group of cloggers from Mount Sterling.
The group, Studio One Steel Power, is made up of six dancers, two of which are granddaughters of Dr. Freddy Clements.
The cloggers will be part of the afternoon lineup of entertainment and will perform at 4:15 p.m.  
The theme for this year’s event is “Let the Stars and Stripes Shine,” which Stafford said the committee felt would be appropriate since the event is being during the same week as the 11th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
A competition will be held amongst the 40 plus vendors for the best decorated booth in accordance with the theme.
Along with the dozens of vendors that will open for business at 10 a.m., music will be provided beginning at 11:30 a.m. and continue into the evening.
This year’s lineup includes HWY 330 Band, Puddin’ Howell, Cross Tithes, Dave Stahl and Freddy Helm and Eddie Barber from 7-10 p.m.
Meagan Greenlee, an administrative assistant with the Owen County Judge’s Office has worked to sign up vendors, contestants for the talent show and pageant and contact bands for entertainment.
“It’s a free event,” Greenlee said. “There’s music, food, stuff for kids, vendors and it’s a full day of something for everyone.”
Greenlee said pageant, talent show and cornhole tournament sign-up sheets can still be picked up in the judge’s office at 100 North Thomas Street and should be returned by 4 p.m. Sept. 14.
The Little Miss and Master Sweet Owen Festival will begin at 2 p.m., followed by the talent show at 3 p.m.
Owenton Mayor Doug West, who will close the event at 10 p.m., said city police will supply security for the day, along with a sheriff’s deputy and the city and county will work together to keep trash picked up.
The city has also worked over the past few weeks to pour new sidewalks around the courthouse square and will be finished in time for the event.
Stafford said the event is a showcase of everything Owen County has to offer.
“This is our fall homecoming,” Stafford said. “It’s our festival, it belongs to Owen County. It’s an opportunity to see our neighbors. I can hear the chatter of people and the music and smell the food right now – this is just an experience that no one should miss.”
In case of bad weather Sweet Owen Day will be moved to the Owen County Fairgrounds.