By LISA BICKNELL
CV&T News Editor
The weather was fantastic and spirits were high, as the Estill Action Group hosted a “Weekend on the Water.”
The event included a “Float Fest” on Saturday at the Kentucky River Recreation Park, and “Speedy Spore” paddling events on Sunday that began at the Irvine bridge.
The weekend activities were not only an opportunity for local folks and visitors to enjoy the river and the surrounding countryside, but they were part of a required trial run for the Trail Town application.
The next part of the application process includes compiling data from surveys, finishing up paperwork and submitting it to the state by September 5th. From there, it will be evaluated by the state, and after that, if all the requirements have been met, a certification ceremony will be planned when Irvine and Ravenna will be named an official “Twin City Trail Town,” which will put them on Kentucky tourism websites.
Around 250 people attended the Weekend on the Water but not all came to paddle. Some came for the food, to shop vendor booths and to simply hang out and visit with friends.
Estill County Judge-executive Kevin Williams said, “It was a great weekend to welcome our own and greet visitors to Estill County from all over… the chatter, the positives and the vision of ‘we can do this’ was in the air.”
Williams said that he is looking forward to seeing Irvine and Ravenna obtain Trail Town certification, as well as continued development of the county park and the promotion of the Kentucky River for fishing, boating, floating, and kayaking.
On Saturday, dozens floated a section of the river at the Kentucky River Recreation Park, and on Sunday there were 44 paddlers, mostly kayakers, who participated in the fun paddle, which began under the Irvine bridge.
Six chose to compete in the races. The winners were:
6 mile: 2 person canoe team: 1st place- Fred Tuttle & James Hill
Fast Sea Kayak: 1st place – Kris Davis 2nd
12 mile: Fast Sea Kayak 1st place – George Hall
High performance: 1st place Hollie Hall
2nd place – Will Burkhart
The Estill Action Group has been leading the process for becoming a trail town for about three and a half years.
Jessica Aldridge, president of the Estill Action Group, said, “We are so grateful for the support we received this weekend. It was the culmination of three and a half years of work, and we are thrilled that we got to see so many people come out!”
“Estill Action Group could not have done this without our board, volunteers and committee members, or our amazing sponsors. This truly was a community event. Judge Williams, the Estill County Fiscal Court, Estill County Fire Department, Emergency Management, and the Hargett Fire Department were all an incredible help both during the event and in working so hard to get the park in top shape for the event.”
“We heard so many comments about what an outstanding facility the park is, and how many other communities would love to have something like it. We definitely agree and are so happy to be able to use it. This is definitely an event we want to see grow each year and becoming bigger and better!”
EAG would like to thank the following sponsors: Big ‘E’ Insurance Services, Jackson Energy, Harvey R Little Jr Financial Services, The Skeeter Ranch Crew, Kentucky Utilities Co, Joyce Marcum Realty, Estill County Chiropractic, Snug Hollow Farm Bed and Breakfast, Rivertown Apparel, Estill County Fiscal Court, Hargett Volunteer Fire & Rescue, Anglers Outpost & Marine, Meades Do-It-Center, Ale-8-One, Ravenna Florist & Greenhouse, Ravenna Food Mart and Estill Development Alliance.