Looking Back: 2009 – 2013

Ham Festivals through the years

This Chronological History was made available courtesy of the Cadiz Record.



Approximately 40,000 people attended this year’s Trigg County Country Ham Festival, a number that includes people who attended events at the Trigg County  Recreation Complex, said Cadiz-Trigg  County Tourism Director Bill Stevens. Stevens said this is lower than  the average of 50,000 visitors from previous years due to what he called the “wash out” on Friday.

Stevens said it wasn’t yet known how much money was made at the festival, as  that will likely be announced at the next Ham Festival Committee meeting Oct. 26, but most of the vendors he spoke to  told him they had a good time at the festival.

“I even talked to someone who came all the way from Pennsylvania, so the festival still had an impact,” Stevens said.

Although Friday was rather unsuccessful due to the rain, there were more people attending Saturday  than there have been during previous Ham Festival Saturdays, said Stevens.

Kevin Alexander won the annual ham contest, Robyn Wadlington won the 4-H  youth ham contest, and Megan Carneyhan was the top 4-H exhibitor of the  year. Brooke Allen was named the 2009 Miss Trigg County, and Ellie Jolly was first runner-up.


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 2010 Trigg County Ham Festival.

The economic impact of the festival on the Cadiz/Trigg County area is  estimated at $2.5 million. Bill Stevens, executive director of the  Cadiz/Trigg County Tourism Commission, said, adding that that is a  conservative estimate.

“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.”

A lot of people from out of town 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.

Underhill said, :It was 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 viewed it.

Ellen Jolly was named the 2010 Miss Trigg County.


At least 65,000 people over a three-day period attended this year’s Trigg County Ham Festival, including record or near-record crowds on Saturday, Cadiz Police Chief Hollis Alexander said Monday morning.

“It was a big, big crowd, as large as I’ve seen in the past few years,” said Trigg County Judge Executive Stan Humphries, who also said the weather was perfect. He thanked the Ham Festival Committee for their work in bringing the festival to fruition.

Alexander said that despite the large crowds, everything was relatively peaceful and went smoothly for the most part. Cadiz Renaissance Director Leida Underhill, who is also on the Ham Festival Committee, said the festival went well this year, and attributed it to the weather, the entertainment and the vendors, and also stated that it was one of the most well attended festivals they’ve had.

Bill Stevens, executive director of the Cadiz/Trigg County Tourist Commission, concurred, and added that there were a lot of out-of-state people there this year. He also said the festival will probably end up being a boon to local economic development.

The festival saw its share of returning attractions, contests, games and musicians. Among the new attractions this year was a pig-themed sand sculpture, which was sculpted in the Trigg County Justice Center parking lot over the course of a few days by Damon Fowler of Versailles, Ky., and gospel-based ventriloquist act Remy & Friends.
X’Zashea Mayes was named the 2011 Miss Trigg County, and Aubree Burcham was first runner-up.


With estimates as high as 65,000 people in attendance, downtown Cadiz was packed for the 36th Annual Trigg County Country Ham Festival. Trigg County Ham Festival Committee Chairwoman Thelma Fowler said it was, in her opinion, one of the largest Ham Fests, despite the storm on Saturday night, with people coming to the area from all over.

The petting zoo, organized by the Princeton Optimist Club, was one of the biggest draws, along with Saturday night’s concert on the Renaissance Stage featuring Tim Culpepper and headliners Confederate Railroad. Bill Stevens, executive director of the Cadiz/Trigg County Tourist Commission, estimated that the festival had an economic impact of a little more than $2 million for the county, as the large crowds ­ which he estimated at
65,000 ­ impacted the local businesses that were open, such as hotels and motels, restaurants, campgrounds and convenience stores and gas stations. Victoria Bryant won the Miss Trigg County Pageant, and Joyce Kotarek was the winner of the Mrs. Trigg County Pageant, which returned after not being featured for several years.


With pleasant weather, more than 50,000 people attended the 37th annual  Trigg County Country Ham Festival this past weekend, said Cadiz  Renaissance Director Leida Underhill.

It was really nice,€ Underhill said. There were lots of great vendors and entertainers.

Cadiz City Clerk Lisa Rogers said it’s the largest crowd she’s seen since the City of Cadiz took over organization of the event years ago.

This year, the festival ended on Renaissance Stage with a concert by Sammy  Kershaw the headliner this year. He performed at 7 p.m. on Saturday.  Afterwards, there was the traditional fireworks show at West Cadiz Park.

Trigg County Judge Executive Hollis Alexander, one of the ham  contest judges, said the weather was beautiful throughout the entire  festival, and added that a record number€ of people showed up for  Kershaw’s concert.


Despite steady rain most of the weekend, more than 30,000 people attended the 38th annual Ham Festival.

“Although the clouds and light rains hampered the crowds a little, many were still drawn to the variety of vendors, food choices, carnival rides and of course the entertainment, which was great,” said Bill Stevens, executive director of the Cadiz-Trigg County Tourist and Convention Commission.

Stevens estimated an economic impact of about $1.6 million to the area. The festival ended with a performance by country music star Collin Raye, and Austin Hart won coveted top honors during the annual Country Ham Competition. Ethan Nolcox won first place in the 4H Youth Division for country ham curing. Selling price for his ham was $4,000.

Hannah Futtrell was crowned Miss Trigg County 2014.

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