Plans for Sweet Owen Day, Chamber Marketplace taking shape
BY MOLLY HAINES
Sweet Owen Editor
Now in its 21st year, Sweet Owen Day has become a fall tradition for many throughout the region. While boasting a wide selection of activities and vendors, the one-day event draws visitors to glimpse the talents of Owen County’s residents and to experience downtown Owenton’s ever-growing business community.
The event began in 2001 under the direction of former Owen County Judge/Executive Billy O’Banion, and throughout the years, the festival has fluctuated between a one- and two-day event. Today, a special committee of the Owen County Chamber of Commerce handles planning. German American Bank will sponsor this year’s festivities, slated for Saturday, Sept. 17, around the Owen County courthouse square.
The day kicks off at 7 a.m. with the Owenton Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast, followed by a 5K run/walk and awards at 8 a.m. The opening ceremony begins at 10 a.m., with music by Cross Reign, a southern gospel group hailing from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. The vendor booths, health fair, and KidZone open for business at 10 a.m.
Music continues throughout the day with Blackbeard Gypsies from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Touting themselves as “American Alternative Country Outlaws,” the group is based out of Lexington and performs a mixture of original music and covers. Tom the Torpedoes, a group dedicated to the music of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, will take the stage from 1:30-3:30 p.m. The Kevin McCoy Band will round out the day from 4-6 p.m.
Sign-ups for the cornhole tournament begin at 12:30 p.m., with the tournament to follow. The KidZone, located on the backside of the Owen County Courthouse, will include bouncy houses, games, and face painting.
More than 30 vendors are expected to line the perimeter of the courthouse square. They will include a variety of artisans selling items such as jewelry, wreaths, Henna tattoos, pottery, and more.
Food vendors will be on hand throughout the day.
“Sweet Owen Day is like the unofficial start of fall in Owen County,” said Owen County Chamber of Commerce President Shadoe Perry. “It has become a tradition that the Chamber of Commerce is proud to participate in each year. We work hard to change up the music from year to year, to have a good variety of vendors, and ensure that there’s something for everyone in attendance. We would encourage non-locals to join us and see what it’s all about: great food, fun, and an excellent shopping experience between our vendors and the downtown businesses open for the day.”
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Chamber Marketplace event returns to Owen County High School from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 19.
The brainchild of Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jenni Duncan and past and present Chamber members Dave Jones, Sarah Cobb, and Dawn Davis, the first event was held in 2017 and welcomed more than 60 vendors.
The event is designed to give businesses without a storefront an opportunity to showcase items in front of holiday shoppers and features local and regional direct-sale vendors, ranging from handmade items to baked goods.
“This is the best opportunity around to support small and local businesses,” Duncan said. “When you spend $100 locally, studies show that $68 of that stays within the community. That money supports infrastructure, creates local jobs, sponsors activities, and continues to create a strong community.”
Food vendors will also be on-site throughout the day.
Vendor spots are still available. For more information, email email@example.com.