Third Colonel Fest in Corbin shows local creativity

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Apr. 22, 2023 at 6:49 PM EDT
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CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - Restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken has deep roots in Southeast Kentucky, leading one town to celebrate with a festival.

”Being home of the original Kentucky Fried Chicken, and always thinking about new ways that we can serve the community, we decided it was time to come up with something different,” Corbin Tourism Director Maggy Monhollen said.

Colonel Fest was the result. In its third year, the festival included a “cluckin-and-struttin” contest, “Colonel Sanders look-a-like” contest and more.

“Even a finger-lickin-chicken 5K race. So, participants run 800 feet, eat a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and run 800 feet to the finish line,” Maggy Monhollen said.

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday

The unique, KFC-based events have led to the festival growing in popularity.

“You know, I think the first year, we were just a couple blocks, and looking today, I think it’s four or five blocks. You know, it’s a great way to celebrate Colonel Sanders and everything that, being the hometown of the first ever KFC, what it means to us here in Corbin,” Chance Hendrickson, vendor and Hendrickson’s Kettle Corn owner, said.

For many locals, Colonel Fest gives them a chance to express their individuality within their community.

“There’s so many different qualities and talents, and everybody’s coming together, and just having a good time. We’re sharing, we’re making new friends,” Parkway Ministries volunteer Brock Allen said.

The event included more than 80 vendors with hundreds of participants walking through.