LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Each July comes anticipation of the annual Laurel County Fair, an event that offers sporting events, carnival rides, and various forms of entertainment ranging from music performances, contests, a petting zoo, and food vendors.
In September, downtown London transforms into a magical wonderland with the mixed aromas of blooming onions, grilled hamburgers, gyro sandwiches, entertainment, carnival rides, parade, and all the other aspects of the World Chicken Festival.
Sandwiched between those two popular events is the Laurel County Homecoming, an event often overlooked and overshadowed with the two festivals in the month prior and after.
The declining attendance of Homecoming was a concern for Laurel native Star Robbins, who has worked diligently to inject a renewed interest in a festival that is one of the oldest in the state. Its establishment in 1935, minus three separate years when the festival didn’t take place, the annual Homecoming event highlights and celebrates Laurel County’s history. Robbins’ dedication to the event earned her the Honoree award several years ago, and she continues to work with committee members to improve the event each year. Robbins does not do the event single-handedly. Instead, she surrounds herself with a group of people who appreciate and recognize the importance of our heritage.
This year, the Homecoming pageant for Teen and Miss have moved back to a preliminary for the Miss Kentucky scholarship pageant, and is closed to include only Laurel County contestants. Such a move is monumental for the community as it will ensure that Laurel County will be represented at the state contest. Thus far, only two of Laurel County’s talented young women have been worn the Miss Kentucky crown. Under the direction of Darrell and Susan Weaver, our county can hopefully look to seeing one of our own to continue the success of these two women.