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2014 City Fair will have more of a BLAST

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By Mary Barczak

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - It’s going to be a blast. 

The Shepherdsville-Bullitt County Tourist & Convention Commission has voted to partner with the Zoneton Trowel Club to combine the Shepherdsville City Fair and Bullitt Blast into one event this summer.

Zoneton board member Tony Thompson said he thought the arrangement could benefit both parties and bring the community together for a three-day event at the Shepherdsville city park.

“We can showcase the county and we can showcase the river,” he said.

With the event being expanded, it could help draw more people to come to the county and stay in hotels, Thompson said.

For the commission’s part, he asked they continue to run their radio ads, take care of the fireworks and the famous 25-cent ice creams, which are done each year.

All commission members seemed to be receptive to the idea.

Paroquet Springs Conference Centre Director Vicki Downing said the event would fall either the weekend before or after July 4.

She said she was glad the event was on its way to becoming bigger. Depending on the weather, around 10,000 people attend the one-day event.

However, over the years, Downing said Bullitt Blast has become a lot of work for her seven-person staff to handle.

Not only does the conference centre host the event, it must also clean up after the day of festivities.

“We want to keep it in the heart of Shepherdsville,” she said. “I just see growth as a good thing for this event.”

Executive Tourism Director Troy Beam also supported the idea saying many festivals, such as the Kentucky Bourbon Festival and the Bardstown craft fair, started out as small events run by the tourism commission but then were passed off to other professionals to run when the time was right.

Thompson said he would like to invite as many organizations as possible to take part in the festivities and plans to have different sections in the park for arts, exhibitors and entertainment to set up.

"We want as many Bullitt County flavors in the park as possible," he said.

The council did raise some concern about what his plan was if the weather was rainy or too hot and he said they would have to deal with it but are looking into acquiring a tent.

Some also had concerns about parking if it got to be too out of control. Thompson said he would welcome that problem and that there was lots of land adjacent at football and soccer fields they could use.

In its first year in 2013, the Shepherdsville City Fair drew about 7,000 people, according to Thompson. It was a three-day event which included Civil War reenactments. Thompson hopes that will return this summer.