The Festival on the Square, presented by Graves Gilbert Clinic, will be held Sept. 17 and 18 in Franklin.
The Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce Cruise-In will be held Friday, Sept. 17, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the downtown square.
The Franklin Car Show, sponsored by O’Reilly Auto Parts of Franklin and hosted by the Southern Kentucky Street Rods, along with the Gallery on the Square Arts and Crafts Show will be held Saturday, Sept. 18, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
This is the 58th edition of the car show now held on the third weekend in September, though it was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If the calls at the chamber are any indication this year is going to be a big year for the cars and the arts and crafts,” Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Steve Thurmond said during an interview with WFKN’s Brian Davis.
Thurmond said back by popular demand the band “Steve Jarrell and Sons of the Beach” is set to perform on the Simpson County Courthouse square from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the Cruise-In Friday night. The band primarily performs songs from the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
Kentucky Avenue and College Street on the downtown square will be closed for the Cruise-In beginning Friday afternoon at 5 p.m.
Cars will be let into the Cruise-In area beginning at 5:30 p.m. There is no charge to register a car for the Cruise-In, there is no advance registration and there are no prizes. T-shirts will be given away at registration while supplies last.
“It’s just a fun night,” Thurmond said.
Thurmond said cars will be parked for the Cruise-In differently this year than in past years in order to allow car owners to be able to leave if they want before 9 p.m. Cars will be backed by the drivers along the side of the street instead of in the middle of the street.
“The key to all this is, in not parking cars down the middle of the street, we will not have as many cars for the Cruise-In as we normally have….when its full, its full,” he said. “We’re just trying to go by what has been suggested to us by people who go to these things all the time. One of the main criticisms of our Cruise-In is they (car owners) are locked in and they can’t get out unless they wait until 9 p.m.”
Food vendors from nonprofit organizations will be set up at the Cruise-In.
Registration for vehicles in the car show on Saturday is from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. There is a $20 entry fee with t-shirts given to the first 200 entrants.
The car show awards ceremony begins at approximately 3 p.m. The Southern Kentucky Street Rods will judge the car show with 75 awards to be presented.
“The Southern Kentucky Street Rods do an outstanding job of putting on this car show,” Thurmond said.
“This is one of the smaller anticipated car shows in the area. People really look forward to this one,” Thurmond added. “It has to do with our downtown area that Renaissance does such a good job with. It has to do with our historic Courthouse. Its just a neat place to park a bunch of old cars and have people wondering around.”
“This has been a long standing event in Simpson County … everyone is looking forward to having it back this year,” Gallery on the Square Executive Director Lisa Deavers said during another interview with WFKN’s Brian Davis.
The Gallery on the Square began organizing the arts and crafts fair and food truck portions of the event in 2019.
“There will be some great shopping with some arts and crafts and market vendors,” Deavers said. “A lot of them are local vendors, some are from across the state and some regionally.”
Deavers said people can talk to the arts and crafts fair artists about how they make their products.
Food trucks will be set up at the intersection of Main Street and Kentucky Street. “Always some tasty foods,” Deavers said.
“You get a great opportunity to shop. It’s a great time to be thinking about Christmas, especially for those home made gifts,” she said. “Shopping, eating and looking at some amazing cars.”
A dee jay will also be on the square playing music.
A variety of cars, trucks, motorcycles and other vehicles will be entered in the car show.
Southern Kentucky Street Rods President Gary Cockriel, of Bowling Green, said car show entries “will come from near and far.”
The Southern Kentucky Street Rods have been organizing the car show for at least six years. The show was previously organized by the Antique Car Club of Kentucky, which turned the show over to the Street Rods.
“It’s a really good show,” Cockriel said. “The community turns out. They have the crafts going on. Everything going on down there at the same time which really brings a lot of to town.”
Cockriel talked about the return of the show after not having a show last year due to the pandemic.
“We’re excited to do it,” he said. “It’s a busy show. It’s a great place to have a show. We plan on doing it until we can’t do it anymore. We look forward to doing it. We look forward to being there. The county and city are really good about shutting the streets down for us and giving us plenty of room.”
Downtown area streets closed Saturday from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m. include College Street from Washington Street to Madison Street; however there will be access to the Regions Bank ATM; Cedar Street from High Street to Main Street; West Kentucky Avenue from High Street to Court Street and U.S. 31-W (Main Street) from Madison Street to Washington Street.
Detour signs will be posted along with signs warning motorists of difficulties traveling through Franklin on Saturday.