Some fresh ideas, and a new spin on some already popular events is the hallmark of the 2012 Corbin Main Street event schedule just released this week.
Corbin Main Street Manager Andrew Salmons unveiled the program’s event calendar and calls it a good mix of the present and past.
"We were trying to be balanced and realistic with what we could accomplish. We wanted an event schedule that was fun and executable and realistic," Salmons said. "But we are challenging ourselves. A lot of the things on there will be difficult to pull off and will take some organization and effort … Hopefully, many of these events will turn out to be really good and successful and if the community likes them, we will carry them on and make them even better. The stuff that doesn’t work, we will leave behind."
Kicking off the 2012 event schedule is a new event – the First Annual Corbin Chili Bowl, that will be held in NIBROC Park April 14. It will coincide with a "Spring Cleaning" sidewalk sale the same day for downtown merchants. The event will start at 4:00 p.m. Local chili cooks will compete to see who can cook the best chili. It will be judged and awards given.
"We’ve got some rules and there will be guidelines. It should be really fun," Salmons said. "This is something new, but we think people will be really interested in participating."
Anyone interested in being a contestant needs to sign up by April 7. Anyone seeking more information on the contest can email Salmons at firstname.lastname@example.org or by checking the Corbin Main Street program website at www.downtowncorbin.com.
On May 5, Moonbow Nights will be revived, and Salmons hopes to make it better than ever. The event was first conceived and carried through by former Main Street Manager Sharae Myers, along with help from downtown merchants. It will be held this year on May 5, June 2 and over two days Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.
Moonbow Nights will be an all day event that culminates in the viewing of the "moonbow" at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. On tap, Salmons said there would be special incentives by local merchants, vendors, games and other activities, free movies in NIBROC Park and even live bands playing throughout the night.
"We are hoping that Moonbow Nights is going to be huge," Salmons said. "We want lots of stuff going on from the afternoon all the way into the night. The moonbow is something that sets us apart from everyone else. No one else can claim they have a moonbow in their community so we want to capitalize on that."
A city yard sale will be held May 19. Everyone is invited to participate and sell items downtown.
On June 16, the Main Street Program will host a hobby festival at the Corbin Center for Technology and Community Activities. Salmons said the idea behind the event is to encourage networking between people who have hobbies, and to spark interest in others.
"A lot of people have interesting hobbies, but they don’t really have a way to connect with other people in the community who have the same hobby," Salmons said. "I just thought it would be fun to open that up and set up some booths and give everyone an opportunity to see what other people are into … to discover a new hobby and network with other people who have that same hobby."
On June 29, the program will collaborate with Saint Camillus Academy in hosting a performance by comedian Henry Cho. The performance will be held at the Corbin High School auditorium. Proceeds from the benefit event will all go to Saint Camillus.
In July, Main Street will sponsor two events. A block party to coincide with the city’s fireworks display that is traditionally held on July 3. On the 21st, the program is planning its first ever "water parade" downtown. The idea, Salmons said, is that both spectators and participants in the parade arm themselves with water balloon and squirt guns and do battle. No one will leave dry.
"I first saw this idea in Tybee Island, GA and thought it was great," Salmons said. "It’s a good time. It’s hot, right in the middle of the summer. It will be fun to try. We’ll see how it goes."
In Aug., the program is helping with planning for the NIBROC Festival, to be held the 9th through the 11th. The Final Moonbow Nights will also take place Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Salmons said the event would stretch across two days this time around because it will be coupled with an art festival where local artists and show off and sell their creations.
On Sept. 8, the program will sponsor the Dogs Days of Summer event. There will be an antique festival on Sept. 22.
Aside from the usual Octoberfest celebration on Oct. 8 and downtown trick-or-treating on Oct. 31, Main Street will sponsor a month-long scarecrow competition.
Salmons said individuals and businesses are encouraged to create their own scarecrow. A map will be produced that will show all the scarecrows around the city that are part of the competition. They will be judged and awards given for the best scarecrows.
"The idea is to just get people moving and circulating around Corbin and to encourage local creativity," Salmons said.
Main Street will sponsor Christmas Open House downtown on Nov. 18 and wrap up the schedule with themed extended shopping days Dec. 7, 14 and 21.
Salmons said Corbin Main Street also plans on partnering with the Cumberland Valley Cruise-In for a downtown car show. The date and location is still being negotiated.
Salmons said he met with the Main Street Programs revived Promotions Committee to craft the event calendar. Planning for events was done with four guiding principals: promoting the city, promoting tourism, providing opportunities for downtown merchants and engaging the community.