By JAY COMPTON
GM / Editor
The 89th Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival certainly lived up to its theme of Live. Love. Laurel. as hundreds of guests came to visit Pineville over the weekend.
“Our theme was inspired by the happiness, love and beauty that surround Pineville every year during the festival and this year was no different,” said 2019 KMLF Chair Rebecca Combs Collett. “The weather turned out great so we had a beautiful weekend. Anyone who had a chance to come out to the cove was able to experience all of the beauty and tradition that the festival has to offer.
“A big thanks to all of my committee members, everyone on the local advisory board and foundation that helped to make this festival a success. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you.”
Crowned as the queen of this year’s festival is Lauren Bohl, representing Union College.
Lauren the daughter of Brian and Sherry Bohl of Heidrick, Ky. and recently graduated from Union with a degree in Elementary Education. She’s just the second queen ever from Union College and the first since Patricia Parsons in 1950.
“I am literally so honored. Union has not has a winner in over 50 years and I am just tickled pink,” Bohl said, adding just being around the other girls was the highlight of the weekend.
“I have had an experience of a lifetime, I am never going to forget this and it truly is the best girls in the state, in my opinion. I’m just honored to be able to do this festival with them.”
This year’s princess is Brooklyn Dawn Grigsby, representing Middlesboro High School.
Brooklyn is the daughter of Donny and Jessica Grigsby and sister of 2013 Princess Taylor Grigsby Bowling.
“It’s just a surreal feeling, honestly,” she said. “This has been a dream for me ever since I was a little girl and my sister was in the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival. To be able to do the exact same thing as she did is an amazing opportunity. Just to be here is awesome.”
Grigsby added that she was shocked to hear her name called. She grabbed escort Cory Evans and said, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this. What in the world am I doing?”
“It’s crazy because all of the girls are so sweet and genuine. Even being able to come to the cove, it’s just awesome.”