Corbin’s most famous citizen will be celebrated in his hometown on April 24 as the inaugural Colonel Fest kicks off in downtown Corbin.
Downtown Director Maggy Kriebel said the day-long event will feature music, vendors, games, contests and activities to celebrate Kentucky Fried Chicken Founder Col. Harland Sanders.
“It will all be focused on the Colonel,” Kriebel said.
The festival will take place on North Main Street between Second Street and Gordon Street from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Approximately 40 food and craft vendors have signed up for booth space.
Vendors will include funnel cakes and blooming onions, shaved ice, and a variety of handcrafted items including woodworking, leathercrafts, pottery, candles, handmade soaps and bath products.
“We still have more vendor space available,” Kriebel said.
There will be a number of all-day activities including an art exhibition by the Cumberland Arts Collective in the Corbin Tourism lot across from Sanders Park.
Video games and children’s games will be running at NIBROC Park.
“We will have a mobile video game unit and then games like putting a golf ball, knocking down milk bottles, ring toss and duck pond,” Kriebel said.
In addition, the Lily Fire Department will be bringing its inflatable fire simulator.
There will be a chainsaw carving exhibition, featuring chickens and other items.
“These are the same carvers that are currently carving the life-sized Colonel Sanders to be placed outside the tourism office,” Kriebel said.
At 11 a.m., the Secret Recipe Fried Chicken Contest will be held.
Participants are not required to preregister.
The entries are due at the railroad depot on Depot Street at between 10:30 and 11 a.m.
“We have a panel made up of local restaurant owners and a guest celebrity judge to determine the winner,” Kriebel said.
Entries must provide enough chicken for each judge to have two pieces arranged on three different plates, preferably one white meat and one dark meat. Entries must arrive in a disposable container.
Entries must be bone-in chicken with the skin on and must be prepared as a classic Southern-American fried chicken.
Entries will be judged on: flavor/overall taste, crispiness/texture of crust, tenderness, juiciness, and appearance.
Also at 11 a.m., the Spectacular Randy Roberts will be performing a magic show for the children at NIBROC Park.
At noon, the chicken clucking and strutting contest will take place on First Street.
At 12:30 p.m., the community egg toss game will take place on Main Street in front of Sanders Park.
At 1 p.m., L. Henry Dowell of Nicholasville will portray Colonel Sanders. Dowell is one of the Chatauqua performers who brings to lifefamous Kentuckians as part of the Kentucky Chautauqua through the Kentucky Humanities Council.
At 2 p.m., the Nuggets on Ice eating competition for children ages six through 12 will be held.
The event, involves eating a scoop of ice cream and five chicken nuggets.
Kriebel said the event is limited to 50 participants, so pre-registration is required. Registration may be completed at Eventbrite.com.
From 3 to 6 p.m., rock, country, blues band Bourbon Branch will take to the stage on First Street to perform.
At 3 p.m. the chicken costume contest that includes dogs will take place at Sanders Park.
At 3:30 p.m., the Finger Lickin’ Chicken .5K will begin.
That is not a typo!
“This race is designed for the rest of us,” Kriebel said explaining that contestants will be required to crawl, walk or run 820 feet, eat a piece of KFC chicken, and then complete the remainder of the 820 feet.
Prizes will be awarded courtesy of KFC
At 4:30 p.m., the Col. Sanders Look-Alike Contest will be held.
Kriebel said the event is starting to pick up steam as it draws closer.
“We are starting to get bites,” Kriebel said noting the event is featured on the Downtown Corbin Facebook page.
“The biggest response we have gotten so far is about the .5K,” Kriebel said.
The festival will go forward rain or shine.
Main Street will be closed to traffic beginning at 7 a.m. on April 24 along with First and Second Street between Depot and Kentucky Street.
“We are asking people not to park overnight on Main Street,” Kriebel said.
Event parking will be availing in the Depot Street parking lots and along Kentucky Street. “It is a pretty big, intense event,” Kriebel said. “There is a lot going on.”