When your hometown is called “Fancy Farm,” people tend to remember the name.
Admittedly, it’s unusual….although it does sound a bit like a now defunct amusement park near Middletown, Ohio called “Fantasy Farm.” (When I attended the University of Kentucky, I got that joke a lot.)
But on the first Saturday in August, there’s no confusing Fancy Farm, Kentucky. Ask any local, state or national media outlet, and if they aren’t already there, they can certainly direct you.
The annual Fancy Farm Picnic is big news, and has been for 130 years. Politics, pork barbecue and great people, all gathered at the party of the year. Heck, it even made the Guinness Book of Records in 1978 as the Largest One-Day Barbecue in the World.
I was there.
Of course, I’ve been to a lot of picnics since I was five years old. Playing games and eating barbecue when I was little. Working in the ice cream booth that was my family’s responsibility. We’ve had class reunions around picnic time, and lots of family from out-of-town — the ‘city folk’ — coming to Fancy Farm in August for this one-of-a-kind experience.
It’s small town America at its best. Neighbors coming together, all as volunteers, working to raise money for the community church, proud of the tradition that generations of families have built.
And for the barbecue. And the politics.
That’s the heart of it all.