The upcoming 2021 SOAR Summit, which will take place Oct. 13-14, will be a great way for Corbin to showcase itself to leaders and VIPs, who are expected to attend from all over the country, including Washington, D.C.
SOAR, which stands for Shaping Our Appalachian Region, was established in 2013 as a non-profit, non-partisan organization that is championing regional opportunity, innovation and identity, enhanced quality of life, and job creation in eastern Kentucky. The decline of coal in the region was a driving force in its creation.
This is the first time that the summit has been held somewhere besides Pikeville.
Corbin is a great place to have it with The Corbin Arena located right off I-75.
Over 1,300 people attended the 2019 summit, which was the last time it was held in-person, and the virtual 2020 summit still drew over 800 participants.
Corbin Tourism Director Maggy Monhollen said that the attendance goal for this year’s summit is 3,000 people, which they are hoping to reach.
Much of the summit is expected to focus on broadband Internet access, which became a key concern during the pandemic as many people attempted to work and learn from home.
Kudos to Corbin leaders for working to get the summit here.
With any luck, some visitors will be impressed enough with our area to want to invest here, and why not.
The Tri-County area largely has good schools, two general aviation airports, close proximity to I-75, and rail access for any manufactures wanting to locate here.
Now to write about some good things are coming to Williamsburg this summer.
On Friday night, Williamsburg’s first block party since 2019 will take place at Bill Woods Park with the group HI-5 performing. Assuming that the weather cooperates, there should be a pretty good turnout.
After a year of COVID-19 restrictions and cancellations, I think I can speak for pretty much everyone when I say that I am glad to see regular events resuming this summer. It is good to go out again and see people and talk to people in person.
HI-5 is a band, which hasn’t played during the Williamsburg Main Street Program’s summer block parties before. Positive Movement on June 25, City Heat on July 2, Superfecta on July 16 and Usual Suspects on July 30 have all played at Williamsburg block parties before, and multiple times if memory serves me correctly.
I got into a conversation with some folks a few weeks ago, who made an interesting point that attendance for the block parties might increase if we got some more new bands to perform rather than many of the same bands year after year.
I don’t think attendance this summer with be an issue post pandemic since everyone is just happy to have an excuse to get out of the house, but next summer and the one after that might be a different story.
Perhaps mixing in one or two returning bands each summer with say two or three new ones might draw more interest in these block parties overall. I think it is something that the powers to be might want to consider.
Speaking of new things coming to Williamsburg this summer, there will be a regular monthly car show/cruise in that starts on July 17.
Given the size of the crowd that I saw last month at Corbin’s cruise-in and what I hear about Somerset’s cruise-ins, I think this is a good move on Williamsburg’s part.
A regular car show/cruise in should go over well there. I enjoy looking at classic automobiles, and they make great photographic subjects too for any photo buffs out there looking for interesting subjects to photograph.
Here’s a photo hint, sometimes you don’t always want to get wide shots on classic cars, and close-ups on certain parts of the vehicles can make for good subject matter. Hood ornaments are one thing that comes to mind, and something that you simply don’t see on newer vehicles.
Also, let me say good luck to new Williamsburg Main Street Manager Johnathan Wyatt.
Wyatt has some big shoes to fill taking the job previously held by Williamsburg icon Nannie Hays, who died at her home last month.
Nannie was one of those people, who you could never replace, but I can say without any hesitation that she would want Wyatt, who helped her on various projects, to be successful.