By Graham Pilotte | Out & About
The summer harvest is rolling in, and folks in Henry County are ready to share the bounty. They’re inviting you to the Henry County Harvest Showcase, an annual event designed to introduce guests to the area’s agricultural community. With everything from hayrides to a true farm-to-table lunch, this is one late-summer event you won’t want to miss.
Jakob Beckley, the event’s marketing coordinator, has grown up going to the fair. “We’re there to celebrate Henry County’s rich rural community and our deep agricultural roots,” he explains. “Everything is either made in Henry County or grown in Henry County. We have a farmers’ market, a craft market, some local businesses displayed – there’s just a lot of different things.”
Beckley is especially excited to welcome Louisvillians and others who aren’t from his immediate area. “It really is a farm-to-table event – we’re celebrating our roots,” he explains. “You’re seeing the farmers’ market and food, entertainment, machinery and equipment – getting the whole experience.”
As for what to expect? “When you get off the interstate, the very first thing you’ll see are the cows in our fields – our fairgrounds are surrounded by farmland,” he explains. “Admission is free; we don’t even charge our farmers. It’s totally an event for us to celebrate our farmers and give them a day for business.”
Many Louisvillians, he knows, will want to come check out the food. “Locally grown food is a big movement right now, healthy food without antibiotics or hormones. This is really one of those events,” Beckley asserts. “We have a lunch at the farmers’ market that’s really unique.” Local vendors are matched with farmers, so everything you’re eating is locally sourced. Visitors can explore the farmers’ market to create their own picnic – everything from barbecue and chicken salad sandwiches to homemade ice cream with flavors varied by the season’s harvest. “The food is the best part, for sure,” he says with a laugh.
The rest of the event, however, won’t disappoint. “Our local high school band comes out in the morning to kick everything off,” Beckley says, “and we have a ham and eggs breakfast from our Chamber of Commerce. There are kids’ games, local music all day in our entertainment tent, and animal exhibits up in our agricultural barn. There’s anything you can think of in the realm of crafts and art – some quilters, woodworking, a guy who makes his own leather belts.” The event also features hayrides and a petting zoo, a herding demonstration and an antique tractor parade.
More information is located on the event’s Facebook page, and interested guests can watch the live WHAS broadcast at 7 a.m. the day of the event. Or, you’re welcome to see it for yourself. “Just head out on I-71 North,” Beckley advises. “We’re easy to get to.” He’s excited for this year’s event: “We’re lucky we have so many great partners. That’s what has sustained us for 18 years,” he explains. “You don’t see many events that have been going on this long. We have about 3,000 people, but it grows every year.”
Beckley, and the others at the Henry County Harvest Showcase, are eager to welcome visitors to their area. For anyone who’s curious about exploring Kentucky’s agricultural roots, this farm-to-table fair is a great place to start. “We hope that people from Louisville will come out,” Beckley says genuinely, “that on July 29, instead of going to their local farmers’ market, they’ll come out to our farms.” VT
Henry County Harvest Showcase
Henry County Fairgrounds