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Ironmaster Days kicks off this week

Ironmaster Days returns this week and will offer family entertainment in downtown Ironton from Wednesday until Sunday.

Activities include a carnival with games and rides, food vendors, an antique tractor and engine show, concerts and a car show.

The Ironmaster festival is sponsored by the Ironton Business Association and began in 1998, but wasn't held in 2000 because of all the planning involved, Betty Adams, secretary for the IBA, said.

Five years ago, Ironton City Council began designating an Ironmaster each year and the festival has grown from this honor. This is the second year back and the festival has been scaled down, but it was important to the city to keep it going, Adams said.

"The Ironmaster is a person that has spent a lot of time with the community and been unselfish with what they do," Mayor Bob Cleary said. "It is someone who is always there to help out."

The Ironmaster will be named Saturday at the opening ceremony and nominations will be accepted until today, Cleary said. Last year, local businessman Jim Staley was honored.

"The festival was named Ironmaster Days because of the town," Adams said. "It makes Ironton known for its heritage. We wanted to continue that tradition.I hope the festival will become a mainstay and will be recognized as a viable festival to promote community spirit. It is an event that really brings the spirit out in people.

"We had people call from Florida who loved it so much they wanted to schedule their vacation around it," she added. "It has always been a family festival."

Rick Lewis, owner of Galaxy Records and Promotions, has

organized the musical entertainment and is confident that the music will be great. The stage will be set up on Autozone's parking lot at 208 Washington St.

"It will be very energetic and one hell of a show," he said, referring to the predominantly country acts. "There will be a lot of excitement and electricity in the air. The entertainment will be second to none."

Lee McCormack and Rail City are the two headlining acts. A signed replica of McCormack's Rock Hill High School football jersey will be raffled on Friday.

The car show

will be Saturday at 6 p.m. on Third and Washington streets. The carnival and vendors will be on Bobby Bare Boulevard Wednesday through Sunday.

The Antique Tractor & Engine Show will be Saturday from 10 a.m until dark on Third Street between Vernon and Washington streets, said organizer Don Mootz.

The Greenup County, Ky. Tractor Association will be bringing many of the tractors and handling the games. There will be about 50 engines and tractors total.

Many of these were built in the early 1900s and "this is a good history lesson," Mootz said. Mootz will personally display a 1939 John Deere that belonged to his father and came off of the farm he was raised on.

Adams, the IBA and Galaxy Records wanted to thank the numerous sponsors and volunteers that have made the event possible.

Next year, the IBA hopes to make the event the biggest ever to go along with the Bicentennial celebration. Activities from the past -- like the beauty pageant, beautiful baby contest and craft displays -- will hopefully return, Adams said. Michael Caldwell/The Ironton Tribune

Schedule

Wednesday-Sunday

Carnival

Friday

6-6:30 p.m.--Mary Dillard

6:30-7 p.m.--Patty Howerton

7-8 p.m.--Rail City

8-9 p.m.--Samantha Dawn

9-11 p.m.-- Lee McCormack

Saturday

10 a.m.--Opening Ceremony

10:30 a.m.--Tractor and Engine Parade

11 a.m.--Kiddie Tractor Pull

Noon--Cook out for exhibitors

Noon-5 p.m.--D.J. Magic Matt- karaoke and a teen dance

1 p.m.--Tractor Events-Egg Carry, Barrel Roll, Blindfold Race, Slow Tractor Race, Oldest Running Tractor

3 p.m.--Engine Events-Oldest Running Engine, Longest Time Between Hits

4 p.m.--Ladies’ Contests-Skillet Throw and Rolling Pin Toss

5 p.m.--Awards Presentation by Mayor Bob Cleary including Oldest and Youngest Exhibitors, Longest Distance Traveled and Most Unusual

5:30 p.m.--Pizza for exhibitors

6-6:30 p.m.--Shawna McCown and Car Show

6:30-7 p.m.--Kelly Greco

7-8:30 p.m.--Kanyon

9-11 p.m.--Rail City

Sunday

Carnival and vendors