TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
This week, the streets of Barbourville have been filled with all kinds of people, activities and even some strange sights.
The Daniel Boone Festival represents or means to the youngsters in our families a time of fun that includes rides, fun foods and hanging out and playing with friends.
Teenagers who live here in Knox County might have a little different take on things. For teenagers familiar with the DBF, this time will include food and hanging out with friends but there is so much more to this event than their perception of things.
I realize sadly for some in Knox County they may not even be taking notice of the festival, its historical importance, or understand what it is all about. This fact saddens further when it is discovered that some of these are lifelong residents of Knox County and they have just never seen beyond the activities of the court square or perhaps the frustration of attempting to drive across town.
Barbourville-Knox County has a most rich history in the development of our Commonwealth and the United States. This is due in part to the geographic location and the discovery of the Cumberland Gap and in part due to what happened because of the travels of Dr. Thomas Walker and that pioneer Daniel Boone.
Bell County-Pineville/Middlesboro has a rich history and we have the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival as one of the “gems” of the mountains.
Harlan-Harlan County has The Polk Sallet Festival which is extremely unique and about as mountain as it gets.
Harlan County has the Black Bear Festival too.
Whitley County has Old Fashioned Days that is a reminder of the time when folks would come and trade their goods.
The City of Corbin has NIBROC, which is a great community event, and Laurel County has the World Chicken Festival.
If you ask anyone who has traveled away from home for any length of time, they will all nearly say that we have just as much history, unique facts and things to see and do as any other place in the world. Folks here at home will generally call your hand on such and say that this is not true, but I believe it is.
The Daniel Boone Festival is one of those facts.
Each of our counties and cities has local residents who have volunteered their time to develop museums that highlight this area we call home.
When you hear of an opportunity to watch an old film of the area, you should jump at the opportunity to go. This is history you need to see, worthy of being seen.
Events like this we should take our children to and, after viewing, share with them our personal memories of that time past.
I know and understand our children may not want to hear our old stories, but there will come a day and time they’ll wish they could hear them again, so I encourage you to go ahead and share. At least give them the opportunity to have remembered them and the memory of the time you did once share the stories with them.
I believe a visit to Dr. Thomas Walker State Park is always in line when talking about history. To think that this is as far as Dr. Walker and his explorers got because of the brush and thickets, is amazing as it relates to history.
A drive through Old Flat Lick and a stop at the markers of the Wilderness Trail are worthy of a family visit, too. Hundreds of thousands walked, rode a mule, rode a horse or traveled in a wagon from the Carolina’s over the Cumberland Gap and continued their travels here, which is plenty worthy of historical documentation so our children can pass on the story of our heritage as a people and the richness of our land in the development of America.
The Bible says that He created everything, and that He has a plan and a purpose for everything, too.
I am so thankful that we can let our minds run on the value of history as we dream about the future we are going to lead from this historic location.