Was it really that long ago?

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By Tom Watson

Taylorsville has served as host for a variety of  festivals and special events over the years , including Court Days, Homecomings and Christmas celebrations.

The Gourd Festival and Farm Toy Show have grown by leaps and bounds over recent years.

Fiscal Court adopted an annual Spencer County Homecoming Festival project 30 years ago in 1980 in conjunction with the county’s Rural Development Committee.

For several years there have been outstanding Homecomings with grand marshals like former governor and baseball commissioner A.B. “Happy” Chandler, Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart, Randy Atcher, “Cactus” Tom Brooks and a myriad of popular radio and television personalities, including Bill Bailey and Byron Crawford.

Taylorsville’s own Junior Hardin has also been a grand marshal.

Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. helicoptered in unexpectedly and spoke in front of the courthouse during a homecoming.

Music has always been a big part of Homecomings with local musicians providing much of the toe-tapping performances. The Lawson family has entertained year after year and Jim Groves has appeared with his family band. Jim lived in Taylorsville when his father was pastor of the Assembly of God Church. He later moved to Missouri.

On Oct. 21-22, 1955, “Taylorsville Days” featured a pet parade in the morning and a “Coon Drag” in the afternoon with the dogs running on Main Street. On Oct. 13, 1979, the “First Annual Alumni Day” was held with a late afternoon parade featuring Dr. William K. Skaggs as grand marshal.

The Homecomings and other celebrations have featured some unique acts over the years, including Dr. Happy LaClair’s Medicine Show with Blaze, the balloon-blowing goat. There have been sky divers, hot air balloonists, foot races, canoe races and kayak races, horseshoe pitching, husband calling, rocking chair rocking contests, dirty sneakers, talent and beauty contests.