Cadiz Renaissance Director Leida Underhill, who is also a member of the Trigg County Ham Festival Committee, estimated that as many as 80,000 people attended the annual festival.
It was estimated that about 40,000 people attended last year. Bill Stevens, executive director of the Cadiz/Trigg County Tourism Commission, has said that the average in previous years has been about 50,000.
The economic impact of the festival on the Cadiz/Trigg County area is estimated at $2.5 million, Stevens said, adding that that is a conservative estimate.
“Many visitors will come to the Ham Festival and then return for future visits to spend time around Lake Barkley and explore Cadiz and Trigg County,” said Stevens. “This is a great catalyst for Tourism in our County and with continued support and great volunteers it will continue to benefit our Economy for the City and the County.”
Thelma Fowler, also a member of the Trigg County Ham Festival Committee, said that overall, the festival went very well this, thanks in part to the economy, the weather, and some new events and more space to fill.
“It was a little warm, but the weather was much better than it was last year,” Fowler said. “I didn’t hear a single complaint about the festival, everyone sounded positive.”
Most of the people with booths did well, and most everyone involved has said they would like to come back next year, said Fowler.
A lot of people from out of time came to the festival, having seen it advertised, Fowler said. She also theorized that people from nearby, instead of taking a long trip, decided to vacation somewhere close due to tight budgets.
“I think it was just
fabulous this year, and everybody seemed to have a good time,” Underhill said. “It was a simply a good weekend for a festival.”
John Jordan, administrator for Lake Barkley State Resort Park, roasted a whole pig with an apple in its mouth at the new justice center parking lot on Saturday, and he said that more than 100 people looked at it.
Jordan said that on Saturday evening the pig was fed to the volunteers, and that it was successful enough that he would like to do it again if his schedule permits it.
“They’ve already asked me if I would do it again next year,” Jordan said.
The Ham Festival this year featured music by local artist Olivia Rose, Colgate Showdown winner Karla Davis, the Roys, Blaine Larsen, Buddy Jewell, Third Time Out and The Ridgerunners, among others.
The Roys, Blaine Larsen and Buddy Jewell played on Saturday night for Compassion Night, and there was barely standing room for their performances.
Among the new events were a pumpkin contest, which became a pumpkin decorating contest due to the lack of rain this summer, and a yard-decorating contest along U.S. 68, from Interstate 24 to the state park.