Celebrating history at the Ravenna Railroad Festival

IRVINE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A town steeped in the railroad…celebrates that history during the Ravenna Railroad Festival.

Hundreds of people shared memories, train rides, and the 120 years the railroad has been a big part of life in Irvine, Ravenna and Estill County. The two-day festival ends Sunday and includes arts, crafts, antique cars, food and music.

But most of all, it’s about the railroad with rides available on trains of all sizes. Some lucky people even got to drive the steam engine. For railroad families, it’s a look at the past and the future.

“My son Jeremiah loves trains and he’s got his his great grandpa’s hat on today. Our family thinks it’s extra special so just knowing how much the railroad has been part of our lives. My pawpaw was actually born on a train car so railroads have been a special part of our family. It’s extra special to see trains moving in these yards again is really cool,” said Kim McGowan, an Estill County native who now lives in Harrodsburg.

Her great-grandfather and both grandfathers worked for the railroad. Her son’s hat belonged to Claud Miller.

The festival included a tribute to the 20th anniversary of 9-11, a salute to first responders in the community and the singing of the national anthem by Miss Kentucky Haley Wheeler of Powell County.

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