Fall is always full of local festivals and celebrations, and the annual traditions kick off this weekend with the 39th Annual Festival of the Horse in Georgetown.

The festival comes out of the starting gate Friday, Sept. 6 starting at 4 p.m. and continues through Sunday with events, parades, a carnival, food, vendors and live music all weekend.

The centerpiece will be the Toyota Grand Parade of Horses Saturday evening at 5 p.m. The Grand Marshal will be Oliver of the Kentucky Horse Park. Guests to the Horse Park have seen Oliver, a member of the KHP Mounted Police for six years, greeting guests and patrolling the grounds with his partner Capt. Lisa Rakes. He is an 11-year-old Shire Cross who stands out with his black and white pinto pattern.

“He loves people, loves being the center of attention and is a great ambassador of the Kentucky Horse Park,” Rakes said.

The parade features breeds as an educational part of the parade, and there are five judged categories with cash prizes: Individual Best Costume (ages 16-up), Individual Best Costume (16-under), Best Group Costume, Silver Stirrup Award and Non-Costume Group.

During the day, there will be plenty of live music on the Country Boy Brewing Live Music Stage featuring local musicians playing everything from classic oldies to today’s latest hits. Acts will play all weekend starting Friday night, and the schedule of performers on the Courthouse Square can be found in the special Festival of the Horse section inside.

Other activities will be the Colt and Filly Review Parade Friday at 6:30 p.m., which is always popular as the children take to the parade route.

There will also be activities at Brooking Park and the Fairgrounds starting Saturday at 9 a.m. with the Experience the Horse/Horse Games and the 2nd Annual Festival of the Horse Cornhole Tournament at the Blue Barn. On Sunday will be the Festival of the Horse Youth and Open Horse Show at 1:30 p.m.

Last year, more than 20,000 people flocked to Georgetown for the Festival, and organizers expect a record turnout this year. More than 80 vendors will line Main Street. Be advised that traffic will be rerouted around downtown for anyone driving.

More information can be found at

Steve McClain can be reached at

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