Hello again from Peach Blossom Hall overlooking beautiful Russellville and Logan County. What a time and a place to live in 2014. It seems like it was only yesterday when the new millennium began in 2000 or 2001 depending on when it started. I know I was a lot younger.
As past Chairman of the Logan County Tourism Commission and current active member I am very conscious of things that help and or hurt when it comes to promoting Logan County. Each fall the county tourism commission sponsors one of the best exhibits/booths at the state fair. The booth attracts thousands of would be tourist to see an exhibit promoting all the good things about our county. The booth highlights tourist attractions, fun things to see and do, our music, our outstanding businesses, our good food and several outstanding restaurants and many other aspects of Logan County. The one area we fall short in is a good county fair promoting our county.
At the state fair, in Louisville, almost every county booth proudly showcases their local county fairs and the best things that county has to offer. With over 600,000plus visitors to the fair and many of them visiting our booth our volunteers do their best to make our county shine. The one area where we come up short is our county fair.
Did you even know Logan County had an annual county fair. How many years has it been since you attended or even heard about it.? There is a Logan County Fair Board that is charged with putting on a good countywide fair. They are suppose to promote many aspects of our county but you ask a county citizen and they will say, “What County Fair? I did not know we even have one.”
In reality the fair board is a near non functioning and broken outfit. They have less than $3,000 in their treasury. They haven’t put on a real county fair in over 15 years. Four or five animal events and only one or two other events does not even begin to justify calling it a county fair. How many folks attended last year? How much did they charge at the gate? I know the answer to that. They did not even have a gate. I never heard of a county fair that did not even charge to get in. Of course few people would pay to get in if there were no exhibits, no food vendors, no competitions, no free entertainment and no rides for the young. Some of the fair board are so unconcerned that they will not even be in Logan County during much of the fair. They will be in Hawaii attending a cattleman’s convention. I think I would have set the fair at a different date or past up the convention rather than not be present for the very event I was responsible for.
In most counties there are several beauty pageants tied into the county fair. One for the little ones, one for the juniors and one for the senior girls. How long has it been since we had a Miss Logan County? Logan County use to always have a representative in the state contest and many of them placed in the final competition.
Last December I attended a meeting sponsored by the Kentucky County Fairs Association. To my surprise and actually shock I discovered that Logan County was not even a member of the very organization that could help them the most. Somebody in Logan County has really dropped the ball!
Logan County has a multi-million dollar agriculture complex sitting on the by-pass in Russellville. It has several professional staff and several support staff. Their salaries and benefits are well over $400,000 per year. In most counties these are the actual people that see that there is an outstanding county fair. They are paid full time and in most counties they see to it that the citizens have a very good county fair; but then it takes a little more time and little more work.
The folks on the appointed fair board seem to be nice people. They need guidance; training and it would not hurt if they attended other county fairs to see what is done there. A county fair should be one of the biggest events of the year in Logan County. Attendance is way up at county fairs all over America. Why not in Logan County? It will take dedication on the part of the fair board. They will need to meet all year long and start planning way ahead. Maybe as much as two to five years ahead. They need some vision. Actually a lot of vision!
BUSINESS OF THE WEEK - My business of the week is the AT&T Store in Russellville. It is just across the way from Wal-Mart. It has plenty of parking, is a very attractive store and has very helpful staff to assist you.
Kevin Ellis is the manager. He is from Elkton. Before becoming manager of the Logan County Store he was with the Franklin AT&T Store. He brings a lot of new ideas and a friendliness that makes one feel welcome to be in the store.
The top notch staff at the store includes three phone wise staffers – Travis Shemwell, Derrick Keaton and the lady Daniel Baker. Any of the three can help you. There are a lot of sales on just now so it is a good time to pay them a visit.
PERSON OF THE WEEK – Aaron C. Ashby of Russellville is the personality of the week. He serves on the Russellville Rural Fire Department and is on the Logan County Search & Rescue K-9 Unit. Aaron is a very nice 22 year old man who is married and is the father of one child. He is currently seeking a full time position in law-enforcement.
SHORT STORY – Sometime ago I was eating in the Hwy 431 Grill in Adairville. Two ladies who were at the next table started talking to me. They wanted to tell me about an act of kindness that occurred recently with them. They told me that they had run out of gas and were stranded on the side of the road. Who other than the Sheriff Wallace Whitaker pulled up behind them. Wallace helped them. He went and got the gas for them and since they were broke he actually paid for the gas. They offered to send him the gas money but he declined. Both women said Wallace was a true hero to them. They said they would never forget his kindness in their moment of need.
Time to go. Good night my friends and Mrs. Calabash where ever you are!