Historic Washington, KY
In 1775 at 17, Simon heard about Kain-tuck-ee canelands 6 to 15 feet high. In 1784 he built his station, the first defense against Indians in northern Kentucky. The great frontiersman settled Washington and Maysville, saved Daniel Boone's life during a Shawnee attach and protected the settlers over 200 years ago.
Simon missed his niche in the Kentucky history books, probably due to the political power of his friend, Daniel Boone whose friend, Filson wrote about him. But it was Simon Kenton who opened up the dark and bloody ground, clipping off Shawnees with his long rifle as they tried to cross the Ohio River into their favorite hunting ground. He opened up the wilderness for hundreds of pioneers who settled in Kentucky between 1785 and 1800.
September 19-20, 2020 - 44th Annual Simon Kenton Festival..Cancelled this year because of Covid-19
Hope to see you next year.
Schedule - September 21-22, 2019 - 43th Annual Simon Kenton Festival
Saturday, September 21st
9:30 Opening Ceremony March with the Kenton Kin from the Old Visitor's Center to Paxton Inn
9:40 Flag Raising, 21 Gun Salute, Taps - Simon Kenton VFW
9:45 God Bless America - In front of Paxton Inn - Amber Williamson
10:00 Introduction to the Festival In front of Paxton Inn
10:00 Kenton Kin Executive Board Meeting - Public welcome at Old Church Museum
10:30 Carriage Rides Start 10:30-5:00
11:00 Appalachian Music - Jennifer Rose Escobar on stage 11:00-12:00
12:15 Bluegrass Music Royal Blue on stage 12:15-12:45
12:30 Simon Kenton - Mel Hankla at the Old Church Museum 12:30-1:30
1:00 Dulcimer Music - Morehead Mountain Strings Dulcimer Club 1:00-1:30
1:45 Appalachian Music - Jennifer Rose Escobar on stage 1:45-2:15
2:00 Principal Chief of the Shawnee Tribe - Gary Hunt 2:00-3:00 at Old Church Museum
2:30 Dulcimer Music - Morehead Mountain Strings Dulcimer Club 2:30-3:00 on stage
3:15 Flute Music - Soaring Raven 3:15-3:45 on stage
3:30 Daniel Boone - Mark Sage at the Old Church Museum 3:30-4:30
4:00 Bluegrass Music - Royal Blue on stage 4:00-4:45
Sunday, September 22nd
10:30 Music played through sound system
11:45 Appalachian Music - Jennifer Rose Escobar on stage 11:45-12:30
12:30 "The Faith of Daniel Boone" Mark Sage (Daniel Boone) at the Old Church Museum 12:30-1:30
12:45 Bluegrass Music - Royal Blue on stage 12:45-1:30
1:30 Carriage Rides start 1:30-5:00
1:45 Appalachian Music - Jennifer Rose Escobar on stage 1:45-2:30
2:00 Principal Chief of the Shawnee Tribe Gary Hunt at the Old Church Museum 2:00-3:00
2:45 Bluegrass Music - Royal Blue 2:45-3:30
3:30 Simon Kenton Mel Hankla at the Old Church Museum 3:30-4:30
5:00 Festival Ends
All Day - Saturday and Sunday
This annual festival was started in Washington to honor Simon Kenton, who through historical accounts has been named the "Father of Mason County".
Frontiersmen Simon Kenton and Thomas Williams arrived in Washington in 1775, discovering the rich cane lands Kenton had been seeking during four previous trips into the Kentucky wilderness. Ten years later, Kenton returned to the area, established his station and began recruiting families and individuals to Washington. Pioneer stations resembled military forts, with blockhouses overlooking the compound, homes were built in and around the stations as protection against Indian attacks during the period known as the Twenty Years' War (1775-1795). In the winter of 1786 a small stockade, built under heavy guard, was erected in the center of Washington.
Washington was once the second largest city in Kentucky, with 119 log cabins stretching for 1 mile. We are (now part of Maysville since the 2 towns merged) and are located 5 miles from the banks of the Ohio River on US 68, 51 miles east of Cincinnati, Ohio, 55 miles northeast of Lexington, 82 miles on AA Hwy from Ashland, Kentucky, 50 miles west of Portsmouth, Ohio, and 90 miles west of Huntington, WV.
Nearly everything about this quality event creates the illusion of time travel to the late 1700's and early 1800's. Our two-day historical adventure will begin with the Kenton Kin, Simon Kenton, Daniel Boone and other heroes of the frontier marching into the center of Washington where they are formally welcomed at the Opening Ceremonies. After the American flag is raised, and the last echo of the gun salute has finished, visitors are enticed to explore over 180 different booths. Antiques and unique crafts from all over the country are nestled along the vast main street of this historic village.
Visitors to the Simon Kenton Festival will have a hard time deciding what to do first. A wagon ride through the
festival is the perfect way to get a quick overview of the wide variety of attractions!
Explore the unique shops that Old Washington has to offer. You are sure to find special treasures. Pottery, herbs, dried flowers, handmade soaps, soy lotions, candles, lace linen, jewelry, books, lanterns, antiques, lamp shop, frame shops and so much more!
Entertainment can be found throughout the festival. The beautiful voice of Jennifer Rose Escobar and her family have captivated visitors over the years. Royal Blue Entertainment brings light comedy as they fill the streets with their Bluegrass music. Dulcimer musicians will be set up in various locations throughout the event.
There is even a bigger variety of food available this year - so do come hungry to the festival! We are sure there is something to delight even the pickiest eaters.
At various times during the day, Simon Kenton, his good friend, Daniel Boone, and the Chief of the Shawnee Tribe will meet t the Old Church Museum and on the stage, located in the middle of the festival, to tell about the life and times of our beloved pioneer heroes. Professional actors will portray each of the visiting frontier heroes. Simon Kenton will be portrayed by Mel Hankla, and Daniel Boone will be portrayed by Mark Sage. Both men have been recognized across the country for the accuracy of their performance. Bob Anderson, as a descendant member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition will portray his ancestor. Private Shannon. Having a photo taken with at least one of these frontier heroes will be a must!
But the fun doesn't stop there! On the Courthouse Lawn, children can play the same games that pioneer children played so many years ago. Take your children to the lawn behind the Harriet Beecher Stowe Museum and witness first hand pioneer life in a primitive encampment. Meet Gerry Barker of Frontier Resources, and his four oxen. Gerry will demonstrate how a wagon was driven 200 years ago, and you could be the volunteer chosen to assist him.
But you're not done yet. Sneak into any one of our wonderful museums. For a more personal experience, have one of our costumed tour guides escort you through your historical adventure. See where Harriet Beecher Stowe stayed, or where Albert Sidney Johnston was born to a prominent Washington doctor. This museum is located on South Court Street in the town Square beside the Courthouse lawn. Paxton House where the Visitor's Center is located and Paxton Inn offer much more!
You are guaranteed to walk away with historical knowledge, a treasured keepsake and memories that will last a
lifetime. Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 18 from 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday, September 19 from 10 am until 5 pm. If you can't attend this year keep it in mind for next year - always the 3rd weekend in September.
Admission is FREE - Vender Spaces - Low Set Up Fee
For more information or for Vendor Set up please contact:
Barbara White, President of the Kenton Kin Association sent me the following information she wanted on our website:
We have Kathy Cummings as our Web page owner and her web number to contact is WWW.KENTONKINASSOCIATION.ORG
The pictures below are from previous Simon Kenton Festivals which started 36 years ago by Phyllis Helphenstine, the Originator and Coordinator for 25 years. The City has graciously taken over this festival
the contact information for this festival is above.
Annual Simon Kenton Festival
SIMON KENTON FESTIVAL 34th Annual Event
2010 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Over 80 Booths line the vast main street of this historic village.
Saturday - September 18, 2010 on stage
9:30 Opening Ceremony - March with the Kenton Kin from the Old Log Visitor's Center to Paxton Inn.
9:40 Flag Raising, 21 Gun Salute, Taps - Simon Kenton VFW
9:45 God Bless America - Mike Huff - In front of Paxton Inn
10:00 Introduction to the Festival - In front of Paxton Inn
10:00 Kenton Kin Executive Board Meeting - Public welcome at Old Church Museum
10:30-5:00 Wagon Rides Start 10:30
11:00-12:00 Jennifer Rose Escobar Appalachian Music -Town Square - on stage
11:00 Kenton Kin Annual Meeting Public welcome at Old Church Museum
12:15-12:45 Royal Blue - Bluegrass Music on stage
1:00-1:30 Morehead Mountain Strings Dulcimer Club - Dulcimer Music
1:00-2:00 Daniel Boone - Portrayed by Mark Sage - In the Old Church Museum
1:30-2:30 Mountain Mist on the CPA front porch - Dulcimer Music
1:45-2:15 Jennifer Rose Escobar Appalachian Music -Town Square on stage
2:00-3:00 Principal Chief of the Piqua Shawnee Tribe - Gary Hunt - In the Old Church Museum
2:30-3:00 Cloggers - In front of Stage - Town Square
3:00-3:30 Morehead Mountain Strings Dulcimer Club - Dulcimer Music
3:30-4:30 Simon Kenton - Portrayed by Mel Hankla - In the Old Church Museum
3:45-4:30 Grandma Kept a Buckeye in her Purse - John Tierney on stage in Town Square
4:45-5:45 Royal Blue - Bluegrass Music on stage in Town Square
Sunday - September 19, 2010
10:30 Church - Public welcome to services at any Washington Church
11:45-12:30 Jennifer Rose Escobar Appalachian Music -Town Square on stage
12:45-1:30 Christianity on the Frontier - Mark Sage - In the Old Church Museum
1:30-5:00 Wagon Rides
1:30-2:15 Royal Blue - Bluegrass Music - Town Square on stage
2:30-3:15 Principal Chief of the Piqua Shawnee Tribe - Gary Hunt
3:15-4:15 Simon Kenton - Portrayed by Mel Hankla - On stage - Town Square
4:15-5:00 Jennifer Rose Escobar Appalachian Music -Town Square
All Day - Saturday and Sunday
Permanent Antique, Craft & Specialty Shops in Historic Buildings line Old Main Street
Over 80 Antique, Craft & Food Vendors on Street
Children's games on the Courthouse Lawn
Face Painting at the tent on the Courthouse Lawn
Pumpkin Painting at the tent on the Courthouse Lawn
Oxen Pulled Wagon Demonstration behind Harriet Beecher Stowe Museum
Museums open to the public
Pioneer Artifacts and demonstrations throughout the festival
Children's bike giveaway at Tourism Booth
Re-enactors throughout the festival answering questions on pioneer life
Meet the Kenton Kin
Washington shops open
Depending on the weather; Hot Air Balloons will be set up on the grass parking area across from the old Log Visitors Center
Visitor's Center: Costumed Guides, Video, Souvenirs & Books
Albert Sidney Johnston Museum on South Court Street
Simon Kenton Store
Old Church Museum
Paxton House Visitor's Center
The Historic Washington Shopkeepers Association were the original sponsors of this event.
The City of Maysville now sponsors the Simon Kenton Festival.
33rd Annual Simon Kenton Festival - September 19 & 20, 2009
For information on 2009 Festival contact Suzie Pratt
Phone 606-564-9419 Extension 308
Come enjoy the 1700s village of Washington, Kentucky, during our 33rd annual Simon Kenton Festival. Listen to Dulcimers and eat authentic period foods. Festivities begin on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The festival will kick off with the Welcome Ceremony and Flag Raising at Paxton House, followed by the Simon Kenton Kin Executive Board meeting in the Old Church Museum with the public welcome to attend. The Kenton Kin gather from several states each year for their family reunion. Shops usually open at 10:00 a.m. during festivals.
New this year are the Vendor Contest such as the Best Hamburger, Best Drink, Best Overall Food, Best Craft, etc. Always popular is the Pet Contest at 3:30 on Saturday. Be sure to enter your pet. Also new will be Wagon Rides pulled by oxen in addition to the Carriage Rides.
During the weekend experience first person presentations when Mel Hankla, will portray the festival's namesake, Simon Kenton, on both Saturday and Sunday. Daniel Boone will be portrayed by Mark Sage at 1:00 p.m. Saturday in the Old Church Museum. Other presenters include: John Tierney's "Grandma Kept a Buckeye in Her Purse" and hear stories he shares from the frontier days. Principal Chief Gary Hunt will speak about the Piqua Shawnee Indians both Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday Mark Sage will tell about Christianity on the Frontier at 12:45 in the Old Church Museum. Entertainment includes Jennifer Rose Escabar both days, Pioneer Demonstrations, "Royal Blue" bluegrass band from 5:15 -6:00 Saturday and again from 4:15 until 5:15 on Sunday closing out the weekend activities. Be a guest at the 10:30 Sunday morning service at the New Beginnings Church on Main Street. The service will be held on the lawn weather permitting or inside the 1870 Gothic Revival church in case of rain. Their "Praise & Worship Team" will provide music on the church lawn
at 1:00 p.m.
And with all the activity taking place on the streets of Old Washington, one cannot forget the shops, the many museums and other features of the village. Visit Washington's antique and specialty shops, many of which are in historic buildings. Among the shops you will find antiques, furniture, estate jewelry, Antique Lustres, period cut glass, other glassware, Hadley and Bybee pottery. There are a lamp shop, brass shop and picture framing shops as well as juried crafters working on site many days in their shop. The Marshall Keys Tavern will be serving and street vendors will offer a variety of foods to satisfy everyone. Visitors can sit on one of the hay bales around the village and drink in the ambience of Washington. Make this a family event your children will remember to their grandchildren.
Washington which was settled by Simon Kenton in 1786 and still has many of the original log cabins that were here in 1790 when Washington was the second largest town in Kentucky, second only to Lexington, is nestled, 4 miles south of the banks of the Ohio River and Maysville, 50 miles northeast of Lexington, KY, 50 miles west of Portsmouth, Ohio, and 51 miles east of Cincinnati, Oh, (take the Wilder Exit #77 off I-275 onto Route #9 - also known as the AA Highway), then turn right at the light by Wendy's onto US 68, turn left at second light up into Old Washington. Washington is 1 mile south of the AA Highway on US 68. Plan a weekend in Washington, (now part of Maysville). You will be welcomed! Visit our website: www.washingtonky.com - Go to the Map link, there you can put in your address on Mapquest and print driving directions.
One may reach Washington by crossing over the Simon Kenton Bridge into Kentucky from Aberdeen, Ohio, or the new Harsha bridge just outside Aberdeen coming from Ripley, or travel US 68, now known as the Simon Kenton Highway from Lexington to Washington.
If you need directions you may call 606-759-7423 and we will guide you here.
Previous Year's Simon Kenton Festival Press Release
By: Phyllis Helphenstine
Once upon a time there was a great pioneer hero named Simon Kenton who opened the northern gateway into Kentucky for hundreds of settlers between 1785 and 1800. It is in his honor that the village known as the "Log Cabin Capital of the Area", Washington, Kentucky, has for the past 31 years has held the "Simon Kenton Harvest Festival". Kenton Kin from far and near converge on Old Washington located on US 68, 4 miles south of Maysville where they meet to exchange genealogy, dozens of Living Historians set up camps to represent the 18th century for the public, demonstrate frontier Kentucky life and skills of the pioneers including tomahawk and knife throwing competitions, blacksmithing, firepit ironware cooking, candle making, games and much more. There will be a 1786 Muzzleloader Rifle competition featuring the Kentucky Flintlock Longrifle that won Kentucky. During the weekend will be various reenactments and frontier street skits. On Saturday see Mel Hankla portray Simon Kenton for the presentation of a lifetime! The descendents will have an 18th century Frontier Church Service in the Log Cabin Church on new US 68 10:00 AM on Sunday morning. Combine these special activities with the hourly entertainment, festival food, antique and craft shops. In the atmosphere of the beautiful pioneer village of Historic Washington you are guaranteed a wonderful time! FREE admission.
One may reach Washington by crossing over the Simon Kenton Bridge into Kentucky from Aberdeen, Ohio, or the new bridge between Aberdeen and Ripley, or travel US 68, now known as the Simon Kenton Highway from Lexington to Washington.
Quality craft, antique, and food vendors will be set up in Washington.
This happy couple are previous winners of the Pet Contest.
Sunday: Trolley will leave the Log Visitor's Center for the Church Service at 9:30 for the Frontier Church Service at 10:00. The Historic Washington Shopkeepers Association sponsors this event, with the support of the, city of Maysville.
The carousel shop, Fiesta ware, jewelry, antique lamp shop, Civil War items, dollhouse shop, framing shops and galleries, pottery: Mary Hadley, Bybee and custom crocks, Cats Meow, graniteware, paper doll books, John Deere & Coca-Cola collectibles, paperweights, a good selection of antique and craft shops all flourish in the village most are open year round. There are several special events throughout the year with the next being the 40th annual Frontier Christmas December 1st and 2nd.
Today three of Washington's log cabins house museums: C1787 Mefford's Station, prior to C1790 Simon Kenton Store Shrine, and the prior to 1790 Log Visitor's Center (606)-759-7411, where books like "The Frontiersman" and Simon Kenton Scouts" are sold. Tour guides wearing long dresses, white aprons and dust caps and men in period costume conduct tours of the nine museums and throughout the village. The "Log Cabin Learning" tour taking place in 3 of the original log cabins and depicting a day in the life of a pioneer child is a very popular school field trip for schools in the tri-state area. Washington is also included on the "Underground Railroad" and "Covered Bridge" tours. Other museums on tour are: the Harriet Beecher Stowe Slavery to Freedom Museum, 1807, Paxton Inn C1800, the Albert Sidney Johnston Home c1797, the Old Church Museum 1848, and the Presbyterian Church 1870. Washington's newest museum, The Carriage House, has a wonderful display of horse-drawn carriages with admission of only $1.00 and everything the owners receive they give to the Alzheimer's Foundation.
Washington which was settled by Simon Kenton in 1786 and still has many of the original log cabins that were here in 1790 when Washington was the second largest town in Kentucky, second only to Lexington, is nestled, 4 miles south of the banks of the Ohio River and Maysville, 50 miles northeast of Lexington, KY, 50 miles west of Portsmouth, Ohio, and 51 miles east of Cincinnati, Oh, (take the Wilder Exit #77 off I-275 onto Route #9 - also known as the AA Highway), then turn right at the light by Wendy's onto US 68, turn left at second light up into Old Washington. Washington is 1 mile south of the AA Highway on US 68. Plan a weekend in Washington, (now part of Maysville). You will be welcomed!
Simon Kenton Kin
On the third weekend in September from near and far, the Kenton Kin converge on Washington to honor their ancestor, the Frontiersman, Simon Kenton. The Kenton family meets at 11am on Saturday to exchange genealogy and visit with family. Along with the Kenton family group, dozens of Living Historians will set up camps to represent the 18th century for the public. They will demonstrate frontier Kentucky life and skills of the pioneers including tomahawk and knife throwing competitions, blacksmithing, firepit ironware cooking, candle making, games and much more. Articles for sale include colonial clothing, antler knives and powder horns, children's games, jewelry and rock candy. There will be a 1790's black powder competition featuring the Kentucky Flintlock Longrifle that won Kentucky. During the weekend will be various reenactments and frontier street skits. See Mel Hankla portray Simon Kenton for the presentation of a lifetime! Our 18th century Log Cabin Church Service begins at 10 AM on Sunday morning. Combine these special activities with the hourly entertainment, festival food and colonial tavern, Sunday parade, antique and craft shops. In the atmosphere of the beautiful pioneer village of Historic Washington you are guaranteed a wonderful time!
Come join us on September 16th and 17st from 10 a.m. both days at the 30th annual Simon Kenton Frontier Festival. Free Admission to this Family Friendly Event. Contact person is Jon Hagee, (pictured on left) at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Web Sites: Simon Kenton Frontier Festival http://frontierfolk.org/festival.htm
Kenton Kin: http://frontierfolk.org/k-kin.htm
Simon Kenton Parade in Washington, Kentucky
Simon Kenton Festival Pet & COSTUME CONTESTS IN WASHINGTON, KY
No Entry Fee. All Classes.
1st Prize $10, 2nd Prize $5, 3rd Prize Ribbon.
There is a contest for "The Cutest Cat".
Dogs have more categories with winners for:
1. Smallest Dog
2. Largest Dog
3. Best Dog Trick
4. Cutest Dog
5. Any Animal in Cutest Costume
6. Exotic Pet (no snakes!)
1. CHILD UNDER 12 IN FRONTIER COSTUME
2. WOMAN IN FRONTIER COSTUME
3. MAN IN FRONTIER COSTUME
4. COUPLE IN FRONTIER COSTUME
5. INDIAN COSTUME