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Small Town America Day set for Aug. 8


By Brianna Stephens
Advocate Associate Editor
Compared to the festival it has been in past years attended by those across the region, Small Town America Day, presented by Community Trust Bank, is expected to be a smaller community event Saturday, Aug. 8, due to the ongoing pandemic, Tracy Pearce, tourism director, said.
“We expect to have a safe event,” Pearce said. “We expect to have activities for the whole family to enjoy.”
“Spreading out” will be the key phrase during the event this year, Pearce said, and activities throughout the day will be spread apart to help encourage social distancing and to avoid large crowds in any one area.
The event was organized with guidance from the health dept. to ensure a safe plan was in place, Pearce said. With fewer expected to be in attendance, she added, organizers believe they will be able to continue with the event safely.
Those who attend are encouraged to bring a mask and their own chairs/blankets to sit on throughout the day during activities and are encouraged to practice social distancing and other guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health dept.’s. If you do not feel well, you are asked to stay home from the event, Pearce said.
Masks and hand sanitizer will also be offered during the day at a tent set up by Pearce, and signs will be posted to remind those attending to social distance.
This year there will be no vendor tents, arts festival or Paint the Small Town event, Peace noted. Gateway Children’s Services also previously canceled its annual cornhole tournament and silent auction due to concerns with the ongoing pandemic.
The day will begin with the Montgomery County Farmers’ Market at 7 a.m. Aug. 8 will be its Customer Appreciation Day at the Market Pavilion on South Maysville Street, Pearce said. The market will be open until noon.
Then beginning at 8 a.m. at Old Silo, Silver Creek, Montgomery County Parks and Recreation will host the Small Town America 5K run/walk. Registration for the event begins at 7 a.m. and sign ups can be done at www.msmcparks.com or by visiting or calling the parks and rec office, 3486 Indian Mound Drive, 498-8728.
Awards will be given to the top three finishers in each age group immediately following the end of the race.
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Mt. Sterling Lions Club will host a car show in the city lot behind Downtown Athletic Club. There will be food available in addition to door prizes and live music. Pre-registration is not required, Pearce said. The entry fee is $15, and the first 50 entries will receive a dash plaque.
The top three cars in each class will be recognized (classes including 1969 and before, 1970-1989, 1990-2009 and 2010 and after) and awards will be given for Best of Show, Best Motorcycle, Best Truck, Best Rat Rod, Best Specialty and Best Import.
For more information about the car show, call Lions Club member Stephen Willoughby at 404-8385 after 4:30 p.m.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Sterling Health Fair, hosted by Sterling Health Care, will be at the courthouse square, and downtown merchants will also host a sidewalk sale during that time, Pearce said. She added Small Town America Day is a great opportunity for the community to support local businesses and restaurants.
Also beginning at 10 a.m. will be Story Stage on the courthouse lawn. The activity will be hosted by Anna Kline and John Looney, who make up the Americana duo Grits and Soul. Pearce said the activity will feature story tellers/speakers and musicians who will discuss the history and the traditions of the area. One speaker will be Taunya Jones, president of the Dubois Community Center, who will discuss the history of Dubois, she added. The Story Stage will end at 1 p.m.
At 1 p.m., the Small Town America Day Talent Show will begin on the courthouse lawn. While in years past the talent show could have up to 20 contestants, Pearce said those interested in participating in the event are being asked to email a short video of their vocal performance to mtourism@mis.net by July 24. The top five contestants will be selected by July 31 to perform as part of the talent show for the chance to win a $500 prize.
Additional information on how to enter the talent contest and about other activities during Small Town America Day can be found on the Small Town America Day in Mt. Sterling, Ky. Facebook page.
The Gateway Regional Arts Center will also be open, and The Gate City Arts Guild will be exhibiting their work. Face masks are required to enter the building.
The arts center also intends to have some free community art projects available, and its Art Boxes are still available for purchase, $35, Jeanette Tesmer, executive director of the center, said. More information about the art center’s plans will be posted on social media and on its website, www.grackentucky.org, soon, she added.
While the event will be different and smaller than what it has been in the past, Pearce said she hopes Small Town America Day will give those in the community a chance to safely enjoy the downtown area and support local businesses. She also stressed the importance of social distancing and following other guidelines provided by the CDC and state and local officials for event attendees.
“We live in a great community and we want people to be able to enjoy themselves and enjoy the downtown,” Pearce said, “But the only reason we can have events like this is if we do the right thing, and that is to be responsible (social distance, wear a mask, etc.).”