Today marks what should have been the opening of the 90th Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival, one of Kentucky’s oldest traditions. I write looking at what would normally be a downtown full of activity—with carnival rides, vendors and people—but today is a downtown that gently reminds us of the unprecedented times we live in. COVID-19 has seen many major events cancelled over the last few months, and while we are all disappointed to miss the 2020 KMLF, none are more disappointed than the locals in Pineville and Bell County.

I pledge to you that next year, the KMLF will be bigger and better than ever! The local KMLF Advisory Board met last week to help 2020 General Chairman Colby Slusher close the books and to tie up any loose ends on the 2020 KMLF. We wasted no time in choosing a new General Chairman to get things going for 2021. We chose Jacob Roan due to his recent work in the KMLF and the nature of his job as Main Street Pineville Director. Jacob and I, as well as many others, are already planning a spectacular celebration for 2021.

We are trying to do a few things this week in honor of the KMLF. Monday, we planted all of our spring flowers and hung all of our pink and green flags. We encourage everyone to spruce up their yards, hang your KMLF decorations out, and celebrate the blooming of the Mountain Laurel. The Mountain Lion Cannon Crew is preparing to shoot the cannon at 10:00 am Saturday, on Kentucky Ave. (weather permitting) as a reminder to residents, that we will be back in 2021.

During these trying times, lets remember the traditions and beauty that our scenic gem city holds. Wear your pink and green, treasure memories of past festivals, reconnect with friends, and look forward to the 2021 Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival.

Stay safe & healthy,

Mayor Scott Madon

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