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Carroll County Tobacco Festival

Elvis tribute artist will add
to Tobacco Festival fun

Bodenheimer is a popular performer
throughout the region

Carroll County
Tobacco Festival

• Sept. 26-29 in downtown Carrollton, Ky.
• Featuring a parade, silent auction, carnival rides, flea market, arts and crafts, food and live music.
• Free admission
• Information:
(502) 525-1583

CARROLLTON, Ky. – Music is a large part of the Carroll County  Tobacco Festival each year. The three-day festival has a diverse lineup for all musical tastes, which includes Elvis tribute artist Todd Bodenheimer.
Bodenheimer takes seriously his mission of keeping the spirit of Elvis alive as the greatest rock ’n roll singer of all times. For more than a decade he has performed as Elvis Presley.
Born and raised in Louisville, Ky., this performer enjoys keeping alive the memory of such a great entertainer. Bodenheimer has performed in cities all over the country and internationally, as far away as Japan. He has won multiple awards from entering numerous Elvis contests and competitions over the years.
Bodenheimer will be the featured performer from 8-10 p.m. on the opening night of the 71st annual Carrollton Tobacco Festival on Thursday, Sept. 26. Festival hours for that night will be from 4:30-10 p.m. A stage will be set up at the end of Fifth and Main streets, and events will also take place around the Carroll County Courthouse square.
Entertainment will kick off when the gates open at 4:30 p.m. with Amazed by Grace, a Christian-Gospel group from Carrollton. The band is made up of Randy Doll on lead guitar-vocals, Keith Westover on acoustic guitar-vocals, Chris Dukes on drums, Tommy Hollingsworth on keyboard-vocals, Jeremy Hunt on sound and Jim Sutherland on bass-vocals.
The free festival will run through Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28. Friday hours are 5-11 p.m.. Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to midnight. On Friday, live music kicks off with the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys from 4:30-6:30 p.m., followed by the Rackhouse Band from 7-11 p.m.

Photo by Don Ward

Elvis tribute artist Todd Bodenheimer likes getting the audience into the show.

On Saturday, entertainment begins with the County Kickers Line Dancers from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Louisville based band, The Monarchs, will close out the festival on Saturday night from 8-11 p.m. In 1960, the Blue Angels, a five-piece band, contained the core of what would in time become The Monarchs.
During their career, The Monarchs have performed all along the East Coast, appeared on radio and TV shows, and played concerts with some of the biggest national performers of the time, including Del Shannon, Jan and the Americans, the Beach Boys and Glen Campbell, Bo Diddley, Johnny Tillotson and Dee Dee Sharp.
They gained a large following for their 1964 recording of “Look Homeward Angel.” This single went to No. 47 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and also reached No. 1 on local and regional charts.
Saturday night is “our big night,” said Show Director Charlotte Snow. Last year’s Saturday headliner was country music star Ronnie McDowell, and the crowd size was “overwhelming,” she said. “Saturday night was the biggest night we’ve ever had, and he was also grand marshal of the parade.”
This year’s grand marshal will be the Carroll County High School Marching Band, football team and cheerleaders. The theme for the parade will be Autumn Days.
The festival will feature a flea market with arts and crafts. Kissel’s Miracle Midway will provide carnival rides. While it is free to get into the festival, there is a cost for rides and food.
Crowd goers will be able to bid on silent auction baskets every night and a raffle for a Polaris Ranger 900 to be given away at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 28. Tickets for the ranger are $20 each.
Snow has been involved in the festival for the last 17 years. She is part of the all-volunteer committee that “likes doing it for the community.”
One thing that is different about this year’s festival is that the pageants will all be held in one day, Sunday, Sept. 22, said Snow. The pageants will be held at the National Guard Armory, beginning with a 12:30 p.m. registration.
Snow said the festival’s focus has always been on the community and its heritage. “The community used to be big in tobacco,” she said. Even though tobacco is a dwindling crop, “people in the community want to continue this heritage so it won’t be forgotten.”

At one time, cities like Carrollton were thriving tobacco trade centers. Warehouses conducted sales daily and the entire downtown area was packed with farmers and others who came to town for the burley sales.

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