The 17th annual Heritage Festival in downtown Elizabethtown will return July 2nd with two of its popular events: the Duck Race on the River and the 1860s Street Play.
Each year numbered rubber ducks are released in front of the bluff at the Historic Rose Hotel and allowed to float toward the dock of the River Restaurant. The “leader” is picked up and made the grand prize. For the past several years, the grand prize has been $300. The rest of the ducks are gathered and various other prizes are given out by drawing out the ducks.
After picking out their ducks, spectators are given a pennant with their ducks’ numbers written on them to wave from the riverfront as the ducks race to the pick-up area. Occasionally the current has been too swift to release the ducks and all were drawn from a tub, but usually a large crowd is on hand to cheer the ducks to victory.
The 1860s street play has been a fixture of the Heritage Festival since the first celebration in 2000. Local talent present a three-act play set in 1860s Elizabethtown. Sets are placed in the street on the riverfront between the Rose Hotel and River Rose Inn portraying buildings such as the Sheriff’s Office, Livery Stable, Bank, General Store, Potts’ Inn and others. There’s always dancing, gunplay and comedic acting.
This year the play is titled “Outlaws on the Loose”. Seems a mysterious fortune teller has arrived off the mailboat and sent the town into a frenzy. The local outlaw gang is in trouble because their old partner has been released from jail and is returning seeking revenge. The townspeople end up getting caught in the middle and it’s up to the Sheriff to sort it all out.
The Hardin County Heritage Festival will begin with a memorial dedication to Capt. R.F. Taylor at noon. The afternoon’s events will include singing by local talent, the Duck Race, Street Play, and then Music from Statehouse Outlaws before and after the Elizabethtown Fire Department’s Fireworks display over the riverfront. Bring a lawnchair and enjoy the afternoon and evening in downtown Elizabethtown.