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Green River Catfish Festival up and running at city park; large crowd enjoys fireworks show

Mayor Billy Phelps, Robin Johnson and Deena Embry

Describing the Green River Catfish Festival as a “big deal for the city,” Morgantown Mayor Billy Phelps welcomed festival-goers on Wednesday night, July 4,  as the annual event officially got underway.  The mayor also expressed his appreciation to the Morgantown-Butler County Chamber of Commerce and to the Festival Committee for their hard work in organizing the Catfish Festival.  The festival, which features multiple beauty pageants, musical performances, food vendors,  carnival rides, etc. runs through Saturday.  

Green River Catfish Festival 2018 Platinum Sponsors


Chamber President Deena Embry and Festival Chairperson Robin Johnson each spoke briefly about the Catfish Festival, describing the various events that would be happening over the four days.  

“It’s going to be a hot one but we’re going to have a lot of fun,” said Embry.  She also took a moment to recognize long-time festival worker and supporter DeVaughn Cannon, who passed away a few months ago.


Scotty Simmons and Billy Brown

Johnson thanked everyone who has served on the Festival Committee and local business sponsors for their support.

“Everyone has worked hard to pull everything together and has done an awesome job,” said Johnson.  

Winners from last weekend’s Green River Catfish Festival Fishing Tournament were recognized and prizes were presented.  

Winners for biggest catfish of the day went to Scotty Simmons on Saturday and Monday (18.4 lbs. and 11.9 lbs.) and Billy Brown on Saturday.  Sponsors are Embry and Watts, Morgantown Utilities, and Butler County Farm Bureau. 

Debbie Carathers

Chad Cox

Tanner Shain

Fran Flener

Fran Flener won the $1,000 cash prize from the drawing for fishing tournament participants.  

Tagged fish winners were Tanner Shain - $100 fish (sponsored by MPD Chief Giles Taylor), Debbie Carathers - $300 fish (sponsored by Martha Franklin), Chad Cox - $150 fish (sponsored by County Clerk Sherry Johnson, PVA Suzanne Brosnan, and Circuit Clerk Melissa Cardwell).  

The biggest event of the opening night of the festival - July 4 Independence Day - was the fireworks show - billed as the largest in south-central Kentucky.  It was sponsored by the City of Morgantown. 

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Fireworks photos by John Embry; all other photos by Jeremy Hack.  


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