London Tourism Commission discusses upcoming events local news

The upcoming events were most of the issues discussed at last week’s meeting of the London Tourism Commission.

The commissioners agreed to sponsor a table for the Fireman’s Ball, which was held on Saturday, August 20. The ball was held as a fundraiser for the London Fire Department, which is celebrating its 100th year. The sponsorship was $500 – which passed unanimously.

The town center concerts will close next month – but with two concerts on September 3 and September 10. Local bands will headline those shows, which are held on Saturdays instead of the usual Friday night shows.

“We changed the date to Saturday since school started and it’s hard for people to come out on Friday,” said Chris Robinson, executive director of the city’s tourism commission.

Robinson also declared National Cleanliness Day on Saturday, September 20 – ironically the weekend before the annual World Poultry Festival begins. Robinson said teams and individuals can register for the event. The Downtown Festival will begin on September 22nd and continue through September 25th.

September 23 and 24 will bring an archery tournament to the fairgrounds property, with Union College requesting use of the area. Robinson said more than 350 competitors and spectators will come from eight states, and have requested to use the pavilion and bathrooms during their competition.

The Christmas tree in the town center park has also come into the limelight. Robinson said the tree needs a base to keep it in top notch shape — at a cost of between $14,000 and $16,000.

“We are asking for a drum base that will raise the tree four feet. It keeps people away from it (the tree) and away from the grass and mud,” he said.

Commissioners voted unanimously to purchase more for the tree.

Robinson also announced that he and other tourism members will attend the Kentucky State Fair to represent Laurel County. Delegates include Chamber of Commerce members and city and county tourism officials to showcase Laurel County’s many specialties. The Kentucky State Fair begins on August 18th and continues through August 28th. Robinson said the Laurel County performance will be the first since 2019.

Robinson also announced Honey Bun Day, set for Oct. 9 at the farmer’s market. Since Flowers Bakery is the largest producer of honey buns, the idea of ​​eating honey buns for the World Book of Records has been mooted for a long time but has never been successful. Robinson said there will be a run for the position this year. The Honey Bun Eating Contest will not be to see who can eat the most honey buns, but to break the record for the number of people who can eat honey buns at the same time.

Patriots’ Day, September 11, will also bring an event to the London area. Fall Sunday, honoring the nation’s first responders — with a focus on local employees — will pay tribute to the sacrifices of those who serve others despite the dangers involved. Robinson said the event will be held at the fairgrounds property off KY 229.

Last week’s meeting also discussed maintenance of the shelters at the bottom of Levi Jackson Park. Since designs for the new shelter area had already been submitted, commissioners voted to advertise the shelter project and bid separately for the playground area. The design offers two shelters with fire pits in each, bathrooms and additional parking while the playground area offers more modern and safe equipment.

Parks Director Mackie Williams announced that the Whitley Branch Veterans Park will host a disc golf tournament on November 5th. The establishment of the disc golf course has brought teams from across the region for the tournament, proving it to be a hit among those involved with the sport.

Williams also requested a pay raise for City Parks employee Glenn Chesnutt, who does excavation work for the park. Williams suggested raising wages from $18 an hour to $24.02 an hour. Commissioner Kelly Green questioned whether the suggested salary was consistent with the state’s suggested pay grade scale.

“We hope to keep him in a supervisory position. That way, Steven (Holt, park manager) and I can focus on other things with the park,” Williams replied.

Commissioners then voted to approve the new pay rate.

Holt then updated the commissioners on some of the activities and plans for the park area.

“We’ve got Camp Spook planned and we’re going to keep Treetop Adventures open until the fall,” Holt said. “We’re cutting back pool hours.”

Holt also said the reservation system for the campground is working successfully.

“We’ve made 246 reservations online, as recorded by park staff,” Holt said.

London Community Center director Brittany Craddick also reported that the facility was fully booked for weekends for the rest of the year. She said the interior of the community center will be painted in September.

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