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Lebanon Junction Old Fashion Days Oct. 2-4: Festival has been important to this town for 60 years

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By Mallory Bilger

LEBANON JUNCTION — L&N Railroad Special Agent Elvin Doutaz knew that Lebanon Junction had been through a lot.

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By 1949, the town had weathered The Great Depression, the loss of the L&N Railroad terminal to Louisville and many businesses had went bust. But the town was still alive, and he wanted to prove it. He wanted his little railroad town to have an annual event that emphasized family, friends and community pride.

Thus the Lebanon Junction Homecoming — now known as the Old Fashion Days Festival — was born.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Lebanon Junction’s fall town festival. Although the name has changed, the community pride and the intentions of reuniting old family and friends haven’t.

“At what point it turned into the Old Fashion Days, I don’t know,” said festival committee president Tobee Taylor.

This year’s festival, themed “60 Years of Good Old Fashion American Pride” is scheduled for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Members of the festival’s planning committee are hoping this will be a very special year as the community celebrates its history and looks to the future.

“Everyone comes out of the woodwork for Old Fashion Days,” said committee chairman Michelle Puckett.

The festivities have changed over the years. According to the book “Railroad Town” by local historians Steve Masden and Burlyn Pike, the first festival included food, a pageant and group singing, but mostly was about old buddies getting together to talk about the railroad’s glory days.

According to the book, “Retired trainmen gathered at the depot, stood on the platform and watched the 100-car diesel-powered freights roll by and waved to the Pan-American as it roared past.”

Recent Old Fashion Days festivals haven’t focused as much on the railroad, but they’ve still paid homage to the town’s rich history. This year’s festival will include a model train exhibit and train rides on a trackless train for children.

Other attractions include carnival rides, live music and dancing, food, a cake walk, a bake-off contest, carriage rides, a silent auction, art contest exhibits, a parade, a horseshoe tournament, a beauty pageant, a corn hole tournament, and a non-denominational church service on Sunday morning.

This year’s festival will honor United States military members. Those attending and especially those planning to be in the parade are encouraged to dress patriotically.

Taylor said there are more reasons than ever for families to come out and enjoy the Old Fashion Days Festival.

“I think the (planning) committee that’s here now is providing a really good family atmosphere,” she said.

All of the festivities will be in the center of town around Main and Poplar Streets. The stage will be on N. Poplar Street in front of the Community Center. Vendor booths will be in the grassy area across from City Hall and on the blacktopped area across from the Community Center.

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SCHEDULE FOR FUN IN LEBANON JUNCTION

Friday, Oct. 2:

6 p.m. Festival begins

- Carnival Rides

- Booths, Food, Games, Carriage Rides, Silent Auction

- Model train and art exhibits

7 p.m.: Kentucky Home Cloggers

8 p.m. Music by Edgewood

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Saturday, Oct. 3:

10:30 a.m.: The Old Fashion Days Parade. Route begins at the Pilot Travel Plaza on Highway 61 going down S. Poplar to Thompson Ave. to Brook St. onto Main Street. Parade will end at the Baptist Church.

12 p.m.: Festival activities open

- Carnival Rides

- Booths, Food, Games, Car Show, Carriage Rides, Silent Auction

- Model train and art exhibits

1 p.m.: Horseshoe Tournament at Trackside

3 p.m.: Beauty Pageant at the stage

4 p.m.: Firehouse Dedication

5 p.m.: Tom Boone and Friends

- Corn Hole Tournament at Trackside

7 p.m: Highway 210 Hillbilly Stompers

8 p.m.: More music and entertainment

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Sunday, Oct. 4:

11 a.m.: Non-denominational morning church service for all

12 p.m.: Festival activities open

- Carnival Rides

- Booths, Food, Games, Carriage Rides

1 p.m.: Singing with Belmont Baptist Church

- Old Fashion Days Bake-off

2 p.m.: Cake walk in the Community Center

 - Local churches and singers perform throughout the afternoon.

***All entertainment will be at the stage area.