The Ashland Beacon
Raceland Race Days will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with this year’s jam-packed three-day festival beginning Thursday, August 2. The festival, originally started to commemorate the old Raceland race track, will officially begin at 5 p.m. at the Raceland City Park until it wraps up on Saturday, August 4.
“A lot of people didn’t know how Raceland got its name, because it got it from the race track.” said Donald Sammons, Raceland Police Chief. “So, that’s why Race Days was started. It’s a family oriented three-day festival that has something for everybody and at a low cost. For example, all the concerts are free.”
Race Days will also be celebrating its 30th Anniversary with more big-name entertainment than ever before. Sammons added that while the festival usually doesn’t book very many names for entertainment, this year the event booked several in honor of its 30-year milestone. Bands performing include: Walker Montgomery, Confederate Railroad, Cletus T. Judd and Ronnie McDowell.
Sammons said that more than anything, Race Days is a way to bring the community together and get it involved as much as possible. “On opening night, we have the Raceland-Worthington High School Cross Country team hosting a 5K that is $20 to join. Every dollar raised by that goes to the track team. That’s their big fundraiser for the year.”
According to Sammons, food will also be a hot commodity this year, with one vendor who specializes in Greek food coming all the way from Florida. Additionally, vendors with Navajo tacos, hand-dipped ice cream, along with other staple festival food will be in attendance.
Other festivities spanning the festival include craft vendors, inflatables, free barrel train rides and The BARKer Farm petting zoo on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“It’s exciting to see how Race Days has grown,” said Sammons. “From a hometown event that only attracted a few hundred people to something that attracts thousands from all over the country. It’s wonderful.”
Race Days will officially kick off at 5 p.m. on Thursday followed by the first musical performance of the weekend by gospel band Looking Up at 6 p.m. and Written at 7. A 5K sponsored by the Raceland-Worthington Cross Country Team will also take place at 7 p.m. At 8 p.m. the festival will wrap up for the night with a performance by the Jason Lovins Band.
On Friday, the event will begin at 4 p.m. with an open microphone session followed by a performance by Gypsy Rose at 5 p.m., Dustin Burchett at 6 pm., Walker Montgomery at 7 p.m., and Confederate Railroad wrapping up the night at 8:30 p.m. Also on Friday night, the Huddle House Jeepsters will be putting on their Jeep Show at 6 p.m.
Saturday will close out the event beginning with another open microphone session at 10 a.m., preceding the dog show at 11 a.m. At 12 p.m., the beauty pageant will be underway until 3 p.m. when the watermelon eating contest begins. From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., the stick horse derby, lawn mower races, and the duck race will take place. At 5 p.m., the first musical performance of the night will begin with band CARRIER. At 6 p.m., Chad Stanley will perform. At 7 p.m., Cletus T. Judd will perform followed by the final concert of the festival by Ronnie McDowell at 8:30.