Oak Grove Butterfly Festival to host America's Got Talent finalists

New Era file photo

Oak Grove Tourism Executive Director Traci Cunningham helps release butterflies at the 2018 Butterfly Festival at Valor Hall.

The Oak Grove Tourism Commission has announced this year's lineup for the 11th annual Butterfly Festival for the end of September. Expectations are high for 2019 after last year's festival saw unfortunate weather.

This year's Butterfly Fest is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 28 at Valor Hall, with the live release of over 1,400 butterflies to culminate the festival.

"That's something you need to see," said Oak Grove Tourism Executive Director Traci Cunningham. "It's breathtaking and really beautiful. All the butterflies will release and it's really cool."

However, before the butterfly release, the tourism commission is hoping to catch people's interest with two live performances by a popular ventriloquist and an America's Got Talent finalist.

Cunningham is most excited about the dog show from the 2017 America's Got Talent fifth-place finalists, the Canine Stars Stunt Dog Show featuring Sara and Hero.

"They're doing three shows, which is really cool and something that we've never really done before," Cunningham said. "I think it's going to be really exciting."

At the same time, since the stunt dog show will be performing, Max's Hope Pet Rescue will be bringing some dogs available for adoption to the festival.

Cunningham shared that the dogs featured in the stunt dog show are rescues themselves and hopes that, after festival-goers watch the show, it may make them want to adopt their own rescue dog.

"I think it pulls at people's heartstrings and that's why we wanted to bring Max's Hope out," Cunningham said. "Maybe they are looking for a pet they want to rescue, so we're really looking forward to how that will work out."

Cunningham may be the most excited for the dog show, but they are the second show to perform during the festival.

The first show will be comic ventriloquist Steve Brogan. According to the commission, he has been featured on PBS, Good Morning America and the Today Show among others.

Both performers will do three shows each throughout the festival. While the two shows along with Max's Hope are what's new to the festival, the event will also see many returning booths, events and options for families to take part in.

Cunningham shared that the zipline from the previous years will be returning as well as train rides, gyroscope ride, photo booth and several arts and crafts booths for kids.

"I believe we've got five tents this year and that's where the kids will be able to go in and make whatever they want," Cunningham said. "From little ceramic bowls, masks they can color, sunglasses and all kinds of different crafts."

In the same vein, the festival is bringing back the 3-D coloring forest, where children will be able to color giant chalkboard bugs in the park.

The festival will also have several food vendors for families to stop and take a break and eat.

"It's the perfect day to bring your family out and just enjoy the day, doing all kinds of activities and just stick around for the release at the end," Cunningham said.

The festival is free and open to everyone of all ages. Oak Grove Tourism asks that no one bring any of their personal pets and no alcohol.

Reach Avery Seeger at 270-887-3236 or aseeger@kentuckynewera.com. Follow him on Twitter @AveryNewEra

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