The Logan County Tobacco & Heritage Festival is Logan County’s largest community event, attended and participated in by an estimated 25,000 people. The festival had its beginning in 1941 and was a one-day event, coinciding with the opening of the Christmas shopping season. Early photographs document a parade with floats around the park that is centrally located within the town square.
Conceived as an annual event, the second festival was held in 1942. However, it ceased during World War II because of shortages of time, labor, and materials dedicated to the war effort.
In 1957, the festival was revived, and it has since continued uninterrupted for more than 60 years.
The purpose of the festival, at its conception, was to focus attention on Logan County’s chief crop and to pay tribute to Russellville, the largest one-sucker tobacco market in the world. Organized by the Logan County Chamber of Commerce, the festival celebrates our past by continuing some of the same activities that took place during the first years of the festival at the same location on the square,
Today, you will find many events taking place around the Carrico Park Square including a Tobacco Judging Contest and a reenactment of the 1868 Jesse James Robbery at the Southern Bank of Kentucky by the Jesse James Gang.
Other events are the Festival Queen’s Pageant, Historic Walking Tours, Cemetery Tours, Pet Show & Fair, Jesse James 5K Run/Walk, Bike Ride, Golf Scramble, Senior Stroll, Taster’s Luncheon, Harvest of the Arts Art Contest, Little Mr. & Miss Pageant, Road Rally, Historic Homes Tours, Hometown History Day, Red River Meeting House Primitive Revival and Rendezvous, Thunder on the Square Car Show, Community Singing, Senior Citizen’s Womanless Beauty Pageant, Historic Jail Tours, Emergency Services Awareness Event, Community Health Fair, Trolley Rides, Logan County Wine & Food Festival, Hope Starts at Home Festival Celebration, and the Red River Square Dancers.
The Tobacco & Heritage Festival grand finale, also known as “Festival Day” or “Parade Day,” is held on the second Saturday in October centrally located on the Carrico Park Square in Russellville. It is packed full of people from Logan County, as well as folks from all over the state of Kentucky and beyond.
One of the largest parades in the area kicks off the daily festivities, while food vendors circle the square with both unique and traditional foods. Arts and crafts vendors from all over the state sell their items on the Historic Courthouse lawn. Non-profit and local business vendors surround the square down each block. Free horse and carriage rides are a must and the Kid’s Zone is ready for your family with games, bouncies and more. Karaoke, line dancing, and a few bands rock us through the night with “Entertainment on the Square” to end the festivities at 8 p.m.
The Tobacco & Heritage Festival is a homecoming event for people who have moved away from the community to return and celebrate with family and friends, as well as an exciting community event that Logan Countians look forward to attending annually.
Our 2018 theme is “Rooted in the Past: Branching Into The Future.”
The Logan County Chamber of Commerce board and staff would like to invite you and your family to join us in the many festivities this event brings for all to enjoy. Please visit us online at www.LoganChamber.com to see the line-up of events leading up to the festival day or call us at 270-726-2206 for more information. We look forward to seeing you there!