Prestonsburg will be bustling with activity this week, as the annual Jenny Wiley Festival begins Wednesday and last through Saturday.
The festival features live music and entertainment, a carnival, food and craft vendors and several contests this year.
Nationally-acclaimed country music band Restless Heart is headlining the festival in a free concert at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13. That concert will be preceded by droves of musicians who will perform live at the city stage this week.
Live music begins with performances by the Billie Jean Osborne Kentucky Opry Jr. Pros and Big Sandy Singers after the opening ceremony at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, and continues throughout the week.
Lunchtime entertainment starts at 11 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, featuring Big Sandy Idol participants.
On Thursday, the Gospel Night lineup begins at 5:30 p.m. and will feature Lee Collins, The Blanton Sisters, Little Paint Quartet, Heaven’s Sake and the Slone Family.
On Friday, music will start at 6 p.m., featuring Sons of FM, Moondogs, Bek & the Starlight Review and Luna and the Mountain Jets.
On Saturday, the lineup begins at 5 p.m. with Troy Burchett, followed by Clay Jamerson and Garland Rogers, who will take the stage prior to the Restless Heart concert.
The Richmond Powwow Association is returning for its fourth year at the festival, featuring demonstrations of traditional tribal dances, music and drumming.
Powwows will be held at 9 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12 and at noon and 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 in the vacant lot located near Prestonsburg City Hall.
Festival-goers will also find a new addition to this year’s festival in that location on Saturday.
Timberworks, a Wisconsin-based group, is bringing its competitive lumberjack events to the festival at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13. The show, sponsored by Layne’s Ace Hardware, will feature a “Hot Saw” event, an obstacle pole relay race, an ax throw, speed climb, log rolling and other contests.
The Jenny Wiley Festival arts and craft tent will be moved to the Richmond lot this year. For the first time, festival goers will be able to vote for their favorite booth space, and the winner will get a free booth space during the festival next year, city officials said.
There will also be prizes offered for the top three floats provided by business and the top three floats provided by nonprofit organizations during the parade, which begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13.
The parade route has flipped this year. The parade previously started at Prestonsburg High School and traveled down South Lake Drive.
This year, parade participants will start lining up on South Lake Drive, with specific groups assigned to various locations in the streets near the city-owned parking lot where the Floyd County Farmer’s Market is held.
That parade will be led by John Rosenberg as the grand marshal.
Rosenberg, the founding director of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, has been an advocate for the residents of Eastern Kentucky for decades.
Folks who attend the festival may also participate in several other activities and contests this year. They include:
•The third annual Jenny Wiley Festival Pet show is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the Arts & Craft tent. Prizes will be awarded for best costume and best small, medium and large pet. All proceeds go toward the Floyd County Animal Shelter. For more information, call, (606) 886-3189.
•Dwight Slone and his wife will also bring a giant pumpkin to the festival this year. He and his wife will offer photos with the giant pumpkin in exchange for donations to the animal shelter. They will be located in the arts and craft tent and will likely bring a few pets for adoption as well to this event.
•On Thursday, Oct. 11, Turning Point will host its annual “Speak my Name” domestic violence presentation at the city stage. The names of Kentucky residents who have died over the past year because of intimate partner violence will be read at this event. This year’s guest speaker is Chris Griffith of the Christian Appalachian Project, who serves on the board of director at Turning Point and Jennifer Haney will also be recognized for her service to Turning Point at the ceremony.
•The Jenny Wiley Quilt Show will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday at the historical Samuel May House, featuring handmade quilts of all varieties and demonstrations. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated at this event.
•The Jenny Wiley Festival Literary Pumpkin Carving Contest will also be in full swing at the festival. Contestants paint, carve and/or decorate pumpkins with literary themes for this event. Completed pumpkins must be dropped off at the library between 8:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, at the library. Judging will start at 7 p.m. Prizes include an iPad mini, Kindle Fire and a pair of Haunted Boat Ride tickets. For details, visit the library’s Facebook page.
•The Jenny Wiley Festival Cornhole Tournament will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, near city hall. For more information, call Michael Tussey at (606) 371-2967.
•The Floyd County Health Department is once again offering the Dr. Ron Leslie 5K Run/Walk for Diabetes at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, at the health department. All proceeds from this race will benefit the department’s diabetes education programs.
•The Jenny Wiley Festival Car show will be held from 9 a.m. at noon on Saturday, Oct. 13, at First Commonwealth Bank, with awards in numerous categories that will be presented at 1:30 p.m. Registration is $20 for this contest. For more information, call Michael Ellis at, (606) 886-2335.
•The “Beatin’ Down the ‘Burg Stereo Competition” is returning to Archer Park this year, with activities starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Archer Park.
•The Jenny Wiley Pumpkin Derby will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, on East Court Street. Contestants decorate pumpkins and suit them with wheels and prizes are awarded to those that make it to the finish line first. For more information, call (606) 874-7061.
For more information about these and other events, visit the festival Facebook page.