Now available at the Cumberland Tourist Commission office is a annual event calendar brochure available for anyone seeking information about the Tri-City area.
During a recent meeting of the Cumberland Tourist Commission, Director Tracy Bailey told members during the first week of September she and Suzanne Williams held a meeting with local entities and began gathering information for the brochure.
“This calendar gives the local communities the advantage of knowing what events are coming up ahead of time and hopefully brings people out to spend money in local businesses and restaurants,” said Bailey. “The brochure is completed and ready to be distributed to local businesses.”
Bailey also reported the tourist commission hosted their first “Bike Night Cruise In” event in August and “they had a pretty good turnout.”
“We had visitors from surrounding counties as well as Tennessee and Virginia,” Bailey said. “There were vehicles as well as motorcycles and it brought a better and different variety of spectators out to view them.
“On Aug. 28, I went to the Kentucky State Fair and spent two nights as well as helped at the booth and brought some of the stuff back. The turnout for the State Fair was really good this year and the Harlan County booth looked great. This upcoming year Harlan Tourist Commission Director Brandon Pennington and I discussed the possibility of doing a Tri-County booth if enough parties are interested to make it more economical for everyone.”
Bailey said the Kentucky Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus recently visited Harlan County and Cumberland Tourism hosted a dinner for them at the Benham School House Inn.
“We had about 20 directors, including the Secretary of Tourism Bob Stewart, who joined us and everyone had a great time,” said Bailey. “Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley greeted everyone one morning at the Harlan Center and did a great job. After that we had about 11 directors who came back to the Tri-City area and toured the Portal 31 and the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum. They had a great time and loved the hospitality.”
Discussing the recent Trail Town Trial Run and Black Mountain Madness event, Bailey said the Cumberland Tourist Commission hosted a lunch and music after the ride.
“Our trail town volunteers really did a great job helping set up, bringing food and cleaning up,” said Bailey. “It showed great community support. We learned some different ways to promote and advertise and look forward to next year’s event.
“During that weekend Lonnie Riley and Shikana Village hosted a horseback ride and approximately 18-20 riders participated. They did a wonderful job. All of our surveys have been collected and Suzie (Williams) has compiled the data and is ready to turn it into the State Adventure Tourism office. We do believe that the weekend was a success and brought in many visitors to our area.”
Bailey announced “Trick or Treat on Main” will be held in Cumberland on Oct. 30 from 3-5 p.m.
“We will also be working on getting our Christmas decorations ready and out, as well as the Tree Lighting that is set to take place on Nov. 20,” said Bailey. “The Christmas Parade will be held on Dec. 4. This year’s theme for the Christmas Parade is ‘Candy Canes and Christmas Carols.’ We are also trying to get more marching bands involved this year. Kelly Early made that suggestion last year and we thought it was a good one, but not sure how easy that the process is going to be, but we would love to see it happen.”
In ending, Bailey said she is looking into a SOAR grant application and is working with tourism chair Cleon Cornett about the grant possibly fitting the criteria for the Black Bear Habitat proposed at Kingdom Come State Park in Cumberland.
“We have not given up on the idea of establishing this habitat for the Tri-City area and Harlan County,” said Bailey. “We keep looking at ways to fund the project and hopefully one day we will see it happen.”
Black bear sightings are abundant in the Tri-City area, as well as across Harlan County.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde