Labor Day festival, parade still growing after 100 years

Published 9:59 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Winchester Labor Day Parade and Celebration is about more than just the Monday afternoon parade.

For the three days prior, there will be a long roster of events and activities for all ages.

The event started in 1904 by Tom Shackelford, founder of Shackelford Lodge 66, as a community event and celebration.

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Through the decades, the tradition continued with the annual parade and surrounding events with contests, sports, games and national entertainment. Much of that spirit continues today, 113 years later.

Labor Day Committee director Flora Shelby said Broadway Street will be closed beginning Friday evening for karaoke and a DJ in Heritage Park, followed by a concert by Sheri Mogul, a Winchester native, who recently released her first album.

Saturday will be children’s fun day at Heritage Park, event public relations president Sherry Hampton said, beginning at 1 p.m. with inflatables, an air conditioned video game trailer and a DJ in the park, along with hot dogs, popcorn and drinks.

Throughout the day, there will also be kickball, three-on-three basketball and softball tournaments at Harmon Field. That evening, the music returns to Heritage Park with Encore beginning at 7:30 p.m. followed by a DJ at 11 p.m.

Racing also returns Sunday afternoon at Heritage Park.

“We’ll have an old school soap box race,” Hampton said.

The event is open to those 10 and older. Participants should build their own creation, as long as there’s no engine or motor, she said. Registration begins at 3:30 p.m. followed by the race itself at 4 p.m.

The Tim Talbert Band will perform beginning at 7 p.m., followed by a street dance at 11 p.m. sponsored by Hypnotic Motorcycle Club, she said.

Monday is marked by two events: the crowning of the Labor Day Parade Queen at 11:30 a.m. at Broadway Baptist Church followed by the parade itself at noon. Shelby and Hampton said they haven’t confirmed how many floats will participate, but the Kentucky State University and the George Rogers Clark High School marching bands will be among those filling the parade route through downtown Winchester.

For more about the Labor Day Parade and Celebration, go to

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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