Hoping to help with the local economy, Harlan Center Executive Director Brandon Pennington told members of the Harlan Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday an outside front porch local artisans project will soon begin at the Harlan Center. The project will enable farmers and local artisans the opportunity to display and sell their wares.
“This will help our local economy,” said Pennington. “Local farmers or artisans can come in and rent a table for an inexpensive rate of about $10 and they can sell their wares once a month. We hope to begin in March with 15 to 20 vendors and hopefully grow from that. We’re really excited and think it will be very beneficial to the county, especially now.”
Pennington said he and Cumberland Tourism Director Tracey Bailey are currently working on the establishment of a motorcycle trail in the county.
“We have no official name at this time,” said Pennington. “We have partnered with Buzz Witt from Wise,Va., who helped work on the Dragon Motorcycle Trail in Tennessee and North Carolina. The trails we’re working on here in the county will be comparable or better than the Dragon. We’re almost positive we’ll have more mileage than the Dragon. These trails will go all throughout Harlan County, meeting up in Virginia, in Wise, Pennington Gap and Appalachia.”
Pennington said he will be meeting with Virginia representatives on Jan. 23 to discuss how to move forward with the trail and hopefully have the trails ready to ride within the spring.
“This is a street bike trail — not trail bikes,” said Pennington. “We’re looking for a name and designing a logo. If you have any ideas please get in touch with me at 573-4495 or 573-4156.”
Chamber and Harlan County Tourism Board member Roger Fannin offered praise for Pennington saying he is energetic and the county is lucky to have him working in his capacity.
Also speaking at the meeting was Delaney Stephens, community liaison and youth program coordinator for the Center for Rural Development, in Somerset. Stephens told chamber members about several programs available for the youth of Kentucky and Harlan County. He urged students to take advantage of programs such as Rogers Scholars, for high school sophomores, Rogers Explorers, for eighth grade students, and Eli, for freshmen, sophomores and junior high school students.
For more information on these programs you may go to their website at centertech.com or email Stephens at email@example.com.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org