HENDERSON, Ky. For one weekend each April, beginning in 1987, Main Street is shutdown from Washington Street to Third Street and food booths and carnival rides take the place of where cars would typically be parked.
Henderson residents, along with many out-of-town folks, take the chance to break out of their winter cabin fever to enjoy food, carnival rides, and other entertainment with their families and neighbors.
The Henderson Breakfast Lions Club Tri-fest is a fundraiser that benefits local churches, schools, and other nonprofit organizations.
Over the past 32 years, the organization has donated more than $500,000 to local groups through the money raised during that one weekend each April.
You will have your chance to grab a lemon shake-up, brain sandwich, walking taco, or another Tri-fest favorite when the festival kicks off Friday, April 26 at 11 a.m. and continues through Sunday, April 28.
The events this year will include music in Central Park on Friday night with Heath & Molly at 5:30 p.m., then Brandon Maddox at 7:30 p.m.
For the second year, the City of Henderson Parks and Recreation Department and Downtown Henderson Partnership will team up to offer “Movie In The Park,” in Audubon Mill Park at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, followed by the annual fireworks display at 9 p.m.
On Saturday, Habitat for Humanity will host their annual 5K Walk/Run beginning at 8 a.m. followed by the boys and girls elementary competitions in Central Park at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Sunday will consist of a community church service at 10 a.m. and various musical acts in Central Park.
It takes a village – and certainly a City – to pull together this first big outdoor festival of the year in downtown Henderson.
The City of Henderson’s work with the Breakfast Lions starts in the City Manager’s office and eventually includes Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Police and Fire departments.
“Without question, they make it possible for us to have the Tri-Fest,” said Breakfast Lions Club member Bill Floyd, one of the festival’s organizers.
The Parks and Recreation Department’s work takes place before the festival even begins. The department moves trash barrels and 40 to 50 picnic tables to the Main Street vicinity.
Parks Director Trace Stevens said his staff makes sure the parks are mowed and checks all of the lighting in the parks to verify that things are working properly.
Public Works Director Brian Williams said sanitation crews bring a roll-off dumpster to the site and take care of keeping it emptied as the festival progresses.
By Sunday evening, everything is cleaned up and back to normal downtown.
“They all do a fantastic job,” Floyd said, noting that every night crews come down and pick up garbage and wash off the streets.
Floyd said his organization works closely with the Police Department on safety and security matters, and with the Fire Department on the fireworks show and setting up the carnival.
The Fire Department creates an emergency plan in case it’s needed during the three-day event, and they plan on responding to a handful of medical emergencies during the street festival.
Here’s the schedule for the 2019 Tri-Fest hosted by the Henderson Breakfast Lions Club. All music events take place on the Central Park Stage:
Friday, April 26
11 a.m.: Food booths open on Main Street
Noon: Carnival rides open
5-6:30 p.m.: Music by Heath & Molly
7:30-10 p.m.: Music by Brandon Maddox
7:30-9 p.m.: DHP/Parks and Recreation present “Movie in the Park” — “Bumblebee”
9-9:25 p.m.: Fireworks, Downtown Riverfront
Saturday, April 27
8 a.m.: Habitat for Humanity 27th Annual Classic Run & Walk (starts in Central Park)
8:30 –10 a.m.: Family Zumba in Central Park with YMCA Z Chicks
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Elementary School Pride Races (Central Park)
11 a.m.: Food booths open
11 a.m.-4 p.m.: Kruise-in Klassic Kruisers at Field & Main parking lot (Second Street)
2-2:45 p.m.: Magic show by International Brotherhood of Magicians, main stage
5-5:30 p.m.: Music by Annabel Whitledge
5:30 p.m.: Smile Dance Troupe from Evansville, main stage
5:45-6:30 p.m.: Music by Gary, Big B & the Other Guy
7:30-9:30 p.m.: Music by The Duke Boys
Sunday, April 28
10 a.m.: Community Church Service hosted by Niagara UMC
Noon: Food booths, carnival rides open
1-1:30 p.m.: Music by Maggie Hollis
1:30-2:30 p.m.: American Heart Association Jump Rope for Heart
1:45-2:15 p.m.: Music by Morgan Book
2:45-3:30 p.m.: Music by Jenny Mills Youth Worship Band