The 2023 Independence Bank Sorghum Festival will be held at the Hancock County Fairgrounds on Saturday, October 28th, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This is a FREE event for all to attend! There will be demonstrations, a Hancock County Homemakers Quilt Show, tractor show, inflatables for the children, live music and much more.
Market President for Hancock County at Independence Bank Wade Gaynor said, “Independence Bank puts this entire festival on with the help of the Hancock County Fair Board. This year, we have 3 additional sponsors that have helped.
GN Excavating & Trucking is providing our inflatables. Hancock County Farm Supply is providing the live band. And, Kentucky Farm Bureau Local Agent Kyle Culbreth is taking care of our tractor parade and the award.
I just really want to thank them for joining us. I think this year’s festival is going to be our best yet, and I’m really looking forward to it. We’re just hoping for great weather so that everybody can come out and enjoy an afternoon and celebrate the sorghum tradition here in Hancock County.”
Gaynor said he thinks there are more vendors for this year’s festival than ever before. “We’ve got 17 food vendors,” he said. “There will be food booths and food trucks; we have a little bit of everything. We are overflowing with craft vendors and booths. It’s just been tremendous to see the festival grow. We have both buildings full, and we’re going to have people with tents and their booths set up outside really lining the road out there at the fairgrounds.”
On-Site Sorghum Making
“Brody Cox will be cooking sorghum on-site and selling his sorghum,” Gaynor said. “He will cut the sorghum, juice it and then cook the juice into sorghum that day.
It’s a really cool way for patrons to be able to see the whole process, which is always exciting for the community and surrounding communities – we have a lot of patrons come from a few hours away because it’s such a unique festival.”
“Our pony pull is always a big draw as well,” he said. “Steve Brown leads that charge for us. He makes sure and gets the pony pulling teams there from all over this part of the country, and it’s always a fun event to watch.”
Music & Dance
The Hancock County High School Choir will be performing, as well as dancers from Dance Haven Studio in Tell City. And, Sweetwater Band will also be performing live.
“The whole point of the festival,” Gaynor added, “Independence Bank brought it back, because our team here in Hawesville and Lewisport really wanted to showcase the county and our heritage, and also provide a place for local craft vendors and food vendors to come out and showcase their talent.
In 2013, which was before my time with Independence Bank, Rick Embry and the staff here at Hawesville and Lewisport challenged each market to do something great in their community, to really make an impact in each community. The team here in Hancock County decided to bring back the sorghum festival, which had recently kind of fallen apart. They just took the bull by the horns and started the festival back up.
The really cool thing about the sorghum festival is – it’s completely free for everyone to enter the festival. We just ask that everyone bring in non-perishable items as a donation to our schools’ backpack program. Not only do we get to provide a festival where everybody can enjoy a Saturday together, but we’re also out there with the main focus of making sure our kids in Hancock County have food over the weekends. Food and security have become a passion of ours here in Hancock County at Independence Bank, and it’s something we’re really proud to help take a part in.”
Non-perishable food items will be accepted at the entrance of the fairgrounds, located at 1430 State Route 1389 in Hawesville, during the 2023 Sorghum Fest, and will benefit the Hancock County Backpack Buddies Program for HC Schools.
Some suggested items are: pudding cups, fruit cups, peanut butter crackers, mac & cheese cups, ramen noodles, spaghettios, granola bars, cereal cups, individual packs of chips, canned soups and canned ravioli.
By Jennifer Wimmer