Switzer Covered Bridge Day

By Philip Case Published:

Our annual community festivals are about finished for the year – Swallowfied Days kicked it all off a month ago and now Switzer Covered Bridge Days winds it up with Millville Hillbilly Daze last weekend and Midway’s festival concluding today.

As much as they are similar, each has something that makes it special and, of course, the unique draw of the community itself as people who have roots “come home” and visit for the day, telling the old stories, chatting with folks they haven’t seen for a while, catching up on the news.

At Switzer next weekend there’ll be arts and crafts, famous fish sandwiches with the trimmings, games for the kids, a handmade quilt to buy chances on, and all “in the shadow” of the famous bridge – if not literally as least figuratively. The day is sponsored and coordinated by the Switzer Ruritan Club and held in and around the club’s building.

Parking will be available at the North Fork Baptist Church and patrons will be shuttled to the site at the four-way stop via the church’s van.

If you’re a vendor of arts and crafts and would like information about a space, call 859-519-0416. The deadline to reserve a space is Wednesday, Sept. 19.

Canoe Kentucky will be back at the event, providing canoe rides beneath the historic bridge on Elkhorn Creek and there’ll be tours of the bridge.

Proceeds from the raffle of the quilt are used to support the Buddy Lewis Memorial Scholarship Fund to benefit a Franklin County High School senior headed for college.

“This is really important,” said Susan Lewis Sparrow, a longtime resident of Switzer. “For a dollar people can get a chance to own a beautiful quilt or six chances for five dollars. This money will help a young person go to college.”

There will also be a hay bale toss competition for the men and a skillet throw for the women.

Switzer Covered Bridge Day came into being a number of years ago to promote the restoration of the famous covered bridge that had fallen into disrepair. It continued on to celebrate the successful revitalization – and then the total rebuilding of the structure that spans the Elkhorn Creek after the flood of 1997 knocked it from its foundation.

In the fall of 1997, the bridge was absent from “its day.” The faithful, however, still gathered on the banks of the Elkhorn in northeastern Franklin County to remember its storied past – and to look forward to it being rebuilt.

It was back for Bridge Day in 1998, with practically a totally new structure since the other was crushed by the rampaging creek that early March weekend, but still on the same pilings and capturing the feel of a bygone era.

Since then Bridge Day has been held regularly toward the end of September. A few years ago it was moved from the privately owned field adjacent to the bridge for several reasons, muddy conditions after sudden fall deluges not the least among them.

While the community festivals conclude with Bridge Day next weekend, there are still plenty of activities going on in our community far into the fall. I don’t know why people ever say they get bored with nothing to do in Frankfort.

Here’s one to consider for Saturday and we’ll try to keep you apprised of what’s coming.

AVIATION DAY

Before going out to Covered Bridge Day, you might want to take the kids over to the Capital City Airport on Saturday for Aviation Day, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. There will be free airplane rides for children ages 8-19, civilian and military aircraft on display, breakfast and lunch available. For more information call 564-3714 or visit www.cca.ky.gov.

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