40th Annual Simon Kenton Festival
Old Washington, Maysville, Kentucky
September 17th & 18th 2016
Sat 9-6 Sun 10-5
This annual festival was started in Old Washington to honor Simon Kenton, who through historical accounts has been named the “Father of Mason County”.
Frontiersmen Simon Kenton and Thomas Williams arrived in Washington in 1775, discovering the rich cane lands Kenton had been seeking during four previous trips into the Kentucky wilderness. Ten years later, Kenton returned to the area, established his station and began recruiting families and individuals to the area.
Pioneer stations resembled military forts, with blockhouses overlooking the compound, homes were built in and around the stations as protection against Indian attack during the period known as the Twenty Years’ War (1775-1795). In the winter of 1786 a small stockade, built under heavy guard, was erected in the center of Washington. Washington was once the second largest city in Kentucky, with 119 log cabins stretching for 1 mile. Our historic village is now known as “Old Washington.”
We are located in Maysville Kentucky, 60 miles east of Cincinnati, Ohio and 60 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky.
Nearly everything about this quality event creates the illusion of time travel to the late 1700’s, early 1800’s. Our two-day historical adventure will begin with the Kenton Kin, Simon Kenton, Daniel Boone and other heroes of the frontier marching into the center of Old Washington where they are formally welcomed at the Opening Ceremonies. After the American flag is raised, and the last echo of the gun salute has finished, visitors are enticed to explore over 180 different booths. Antiques and unique crafts from all over the country are nestled along the vast main street of this historic village.
Visitors to the Simon Kenton Festival will have a hard time deciding what to do first. A wagon ride through the festival is the perfect way to get a quick overview of the wide variety of attractions!
Explore the unique shops that Old Washington has to offer. You are sure to find special treasures. Pottery, herbs, dried flowers, handmade soaps, lace, linen, jewelry, books, lanterns, antiques and much more!
Entertainment can be found throughout the festival. The beautiful voice of Jennifer Rose Escobar and her family have captivated visitors over the years. Royal Blue Entertainment brings light comedy as they fill the streets with their Bluegrass music. Dulcimer musicians will be set up in various locations throughout the event.
There is even a bigger variety of food available this year – so do come hungry to the festival! We are sure there is something to delight even the pickiest eaters.
At various times during the day, Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton, and the Chief of the Shawnee Tribe will meet at the Old Church Museum and on the stage, located in the middle of the festival, to tell about the life and times of our beloved pioneer heroes. Professional actors will portray each of the visiting frontier heroes. Simon Kenton will be portrayed by Mel Hankla, and Daniel Boone will be portrayed by Mark Sage. Both men have been recognized across the country for the accuracy of their performance.
But the fun doesn’t stop there! Take your children to the lawn behind the Harriet Beecher Stowe Museum and witness first hand pioneer life in a primitive encampment. Meet Gerry Barker of Frontier Resources, and his two oxen. Gerry will demonstrate how a wagon was driven two hundred years ago, and you could be the volunteer chosen to assist him.
But you’re not done yet. Sneak into any one of our wonderful museums. For a more personal experience, have one of our costumed tour guides escort you through your historical adventure. See where Harriet Beecher Stowe stayed, or where Albert Sidney Johnston was born, explore the Paxton house and Inn plus much more!
You are guaranteed to walk away with historical knowledge, a treasured keepsake and memories that will last a lifetime.
Interested in becoming a vendor, artisan or re-enactor at this event? please contact:
Maysville-Mason County Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Cox Building
2 East Third Street
Maysville, KY 41056