With sunny skies and a high temperature in the upper 80s predicted, all systems are go for the inaugural FrankFest, which will mark the unofficial start of summer Sunday at Lakeview Park.
“We’re so excited about the fun activities that we’ve planned for this free community event celebrating the summer season and Memorial Day weekend,” Downtown Frankfort Inc. Executive Director Kelly Everman said, adding the first-time event is meant to highlight the variety of amenities at Lakeview, including golf, the splash pad, walking trails, dog park and the newly refurbished and rejuvenated skate park.
Friends for Skateparks and Hearts and Handrails, a local group of skateboarders who petitioned for much-needed repairs to the park’s ramps and structures, will put on a skate jam and provide information about the sport throughout FrankFest, which is slated to run from noon to 8 p.m.
The festivities will officially begin with the Franklin County High School ROTC Cadets presenting the color guard and a flag retirement ceremony.
At 12:15 p.m. in the horse ring, The Blue Crawdads will kick off the live music, performing for an hour before NewTown takes the stage from 2-3:15 p.m., followed by Bootsie & Funkability from 4-5:15 p.m. and The New Orleans Suspects from 6-7:30 p.m.
Everman advises folks to come hungry and thirsty as several local food and beverage vendors will be ready to serve. Beer and wine vendors include Sig Luscher Brewery; Goodwood Brewing; West Sixth Brewing; and Elk Creek Vineyards. For those seeking non-alcoholic refreshment, Ale-8-One, Taylor Belle’s and the Frankfort Plant Board water monster will have options.
Kentucky’s Best Burgoo, Sweet T’s Tasty Dog & Soul and Drop the Fork BBQ will offer fare for sale and there are several family-oriented activities to choose from as well.
Josephine Sculpture Park will host numerous interactive children’s activities in the Farm Bureau Pavilion, including chalk talk, bookbinding and nature journals, and build-your-own cardboard world. Dan Price will explore the night sky. Wild Birds Unlimited and Frankfort Audubon Society will present color feathered friends. Blacksmith Patrick Smith will give a hammer demonstration and artist Toby Penney will conduct a large paint. Stewart Home and School will also have art on display.
Art workshops will also be offered throughout the day. Jody Jaques, owner of Jaques Art Studio, will teach drawing 101 from 1-2 p.m. Lucy Azubuike will provide nature photography pointers from 2-3 p.m. Poet Tony Sexton will present a “Where I’m From” poetry writing workshop.
Also in the Farm Bureau Pavilion, county staff will issue child ID cards from noon to 5 p.m.
Kids can tackle the obstacle course in the play area and Foggy Bottom will sponsor a petting zoo of llamas, alpacas, miniature sheep and goats, turkey, silky chickens, English angora rabbit and a miniature “newboo” cow. Feeders will be available for a quarter.
“We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy this beautiful county park with your friends and families,” Everman said, urging folks to bring “loads” of sunscreen, blankets, chairs and canopies or tents.
Well-behaved dogs on leashes are permitted at FrankFest and Feeders Supply will provide a cooling pool and treats for the four-legged friends. Franklin County Emergency Management will host a cooling shelter near the art barn.
Canoe Kentucky will have information about Elkhorn Creek and Kentucky River adventure trips.
The Capital City Classic Auto Club and Frankfort Mustang Club are co-hosting a car cruise in the parking lot of the Franklin County Career and Technical Center. The cruise begins at 12:30 p.m. and the first 100 participants will receive dash plaques.
Talk of FrankFest began during last year’s budget talks, when Everman and DFI agreed to launch the signature event to showcase the amenities of the county’s only park.
While she concedes with first-time events it is difficult to speculate on the number of attendees and DFI has never hosted an event at Lakeview, Everman is hoping a couple thousand folks will partake in the inaugural FrankFest, which organizers believe will become an annual event.
“As (Judge-Executive Huston) Wells put it succinctly, ‘We’re starting a new tradition with title sponsor Traditional Bank,’” she added.
Other sponsors include DFI, Franklin County government, Feeders Supply and FRANK. magazine.
For more information, visit www.downtownfrankfort.com.