Labor Day celebration adds new events for 114th year

After more than 100 years, the Winchester Labor Day Committee is gearing up for another weekend-long celebration with a full schedule of new events and decades-long traditions culminating with the Labor Day parade Monday.

The celebration kicks off Friday with “A Night With Friends” at Leeds Center for the Arts. The new addition to the Labor Day celebration will feature comedian LaRonda “LC Funny” Clay and hip-hop artist and motivational speaker Devine Carama. The show will be from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $15.

“This is new to the line-up for us,” Labor Day Committee member Sherry Hampton said. “We hope this is the first of many of these types of show. It was a great opportunity for us to collaborate with our neighbors on Main Street.”

Saturday’s festivities kick off at 10 a.m. at Heritage Park, where there will be various vendors set up and DJ Snooki will provide music throughout the day.

There will be family fun throughout the weekend with youth activities from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Family Feud at 3 p.m. Sunday and a go-kart race at 6 p.m. Sunday. Hampton said there is still time for competitors to sign up for the race.

“We will have free popcorn, cotton candy, inflatables and a DJ going on during our family fun times,” Hampton said. “We want to encourage families to come together and celebrate this weekend.”

Along with the various activities, there will be live music from Encore of Lexington beginning at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Honey Child, a band featuring some Winchester natives, at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Hampton said.

“Encore has been to Winchester and performed at the Rock The Block concert this year,” Hampton said. “We are excited to have them back. But we are also excited to have Honey Child, which features a couple of people from Winchester, and we want to help get them exposure and would like to see them perform locally more.”

At 11:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Hypnotic, a Winchester-based motorcycle club, will have a motorcycle show and street dance on West Washington Street.

Monday’s activities begin at 10 a.m. with a gospel fest hosted by evangelist Pearl Gordon.

The crowning of the 2018 Labor Day queen will take place at 11 a.m. at Broadway Baptist Church and the parade will follow at noon on Main Street.

This year’s parade grand marshal is Clark County Circuit Clerk Martha Miller. Miller is a Clark County native and the daughter of the late Raymond and Jimmie Miller of Winchester.

According to her biography, she has called Winchester home since her early childhood. She is a 1975 graduate of GRC and attended two years at the University of Louisville.

She began her career at the Clark County Circuit Clerk’s office in November 1977. In February, Miller was sworn in as the first African-American circuit court clerk in Kentucky.

Martha Miller

“One of the gifts God gave me was a desire to serve others,” Miller said. “Being a ‘keeper of the record’ for the court, I have been able to serve many.”

She is a member of First Baptist Church on Highland Street, where she said she “enjoys being a servant for the kingdom in many, many ministries over the years.” She especially enjoys serving in the children’s ministry, she said.

Miller has served in the community in various ways including helping with black history plays, programs and choirs for the MLK Day Celebration, serving on the Morton Scholarship Committee, Operation Christmas Child, Big Brothers and Big Sister of Winchester, Girl Scouts leader, local NAACP Committee, Winchester-Clark County Human Rights Commission, Labor Day Committee and The Golden Link Temple No. 123.

Currently, she is the chairperson for the Hillcrest Cemetery Board, serves on the Clark County Fiscal Court Private Cemetery Board and the Clark County Preschool Board. She is also a member of the Democratic Women’s Club of Clark County.

Labor Day Committee member Susan Jones said Miller was selected by the committee not only because of her recent accomplishments but because of her decades of service to the community.

“Martha has had a big year,” she said. “But she has always been known as a servant to our community. She deserves to be recognized for that. She has a servant’s heart, and we are blessed to have her represent our community as the first African-American circuit court clerk in the state. To think a hometown girl has made such a historical accomplishment is worth recognizing.”

The weekend will culminate with music and fellowship at Heritage Park from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday.

For more information about the weekend’s activities, visit the Winchester Labor Day Celebration and Parade Facebook page.