The 86th Annual Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival is under way in Downtown Pineville with the Forever Young Amusements carnival opening from 5 to 10 p.m. The festivities are nonstop until Sunday, with a full schedule every day promising something for everyone.
The official opening of the KMLF took place at Bell County High School Thursday night, with the introduction of queen and princess candidates followed by Harlan County native and current ‘The Voice’ winner Jordan Smith who headlined the concert. Local favorite group Wilson, Gambrel, Goodwin and Sowby were the openers for Smith.
Saturday slated fun includes the continuation of crafts and concessions all day at the Courthouse Square and the Bell County Homemakers Quilt Show wrapping up in the Bell County Courthouse basement from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Children’s Reading Foundation of Appalachia – KY will be in on the square again giving away free books from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The KMLF 5K begins at 8 a.m. and the Gala Parade is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Carnival rides open at noon, coinciding with the Governor’s Luncheon honoring Gov. Matt Bevin at Pine Mountain State Resort Park. The luncheon is open to the public and admission is $25.
The 2016 Queen Coronation begins at 2 p.m. at the Laurel Cove Amphitheater at Pine Mountain State Resort Park. General admission is $5 and reserved seating is available for $10. Pre-ball entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Pineville High School Orville Engle Gymnasium and the Grand Ball honoring the 2016 KMLF queen begins at 8 p.m.with music provided by Lipstick Blonde. Spectator admission is $3. The finale will be a street dance beginning at 9:30 p.m. and lasting until midnight.
The festival wraps up on Sunday with a KMLF community worship at 8 a.m. in the Ray Harm Room at Pine Mountain State Resort Park followed by the Queen’s Breakfast honoring the 2016 KMLF queen at 9 a.m. The breakfast is open to the public and admission is $15.
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-302-9091 or on Twitter @ReinaDailyNews.