TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
Word on the street is that in the event one of the vehicles at Thursday’s NIBROC Parade breaks down, they’ll have a mechanic on the premises to fix it.
But they’ll have to get Cooter Davenport out of “The General Lee” to do it. Which could be a little tricky, since Cooter’s the Grand Marshall of the parade.
It’s official. “Cooter” — played by actor Ben Jones in the popular early 80s TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard” — will be in Corbin as the NIBROC Parade’s Grand Marshall. He’ll be riding in the famed orange Dodge Charger “The General Lee” with the car’s owner, Chris McQueen, of Corbin.
“He will be there on Thursday for the parade, provided the parade isn’t washed out,” Tamara Malloy, the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s executive assistant, confirmed Tuesday.
The 2013 NIBROC Parade starts at 7 p.m. in downtown Corbin.
Unlike recent years when the parade was on Kentucky Avenue, this year’s parade will start at 19th Street, then roll downtown on Main Street.
Those participating in Thursday’s parade will line up at 6 p.m.
In case of rain, the parade will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday.
McQueen’s a longtime friend of Jones and his wife, Alma, who both live in Virginia. He’s also worked with Jones and some other “Dukes” cast members on shows along the eastern part of the country.
He said Tuesday the invite to Jones to come to Corbin worked out quite well.
“Ben has a show at Renfro Valley this Saturday. I told him that I’d be riding the General Lee in the NIBROC Parade, and we’d sure like to have some folks down from Hazzard County come ride in the parade. He and his wife both agreed to come down this Thursday,” McQueen pointed out in a phone interview.
Jones will also be at the Corbin parade to promote his appearance at Renfro Valley Entertainment Center in Rockcastle County this Saturday. As Cooter, he’ll perform on stage with “Cooter’s Garage Band,” as well as to meet and greet at Renfro Valley. Showtime there is at 8 p.m.
After the “Dukes” series left CBS in the mid-80s, Jones later began his political career, and served two terms in Congress as a member of the House of Representatives from Georgia from 1989-1993.
He and his wife are the proprietors of “Cooter’s Place,” the “Dukes of Hazzard” museum and shop in Gatlinburg and Nashville, Tenn. They also founded “Dukesfest,” a huge annual gathering of Dukes’ fans.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there’s a good chance for thunderstorms are in the forecast for Thursday’s parade. McQueen’s hoping the possible stormy weather will hold off by parade time.
“I am worried about the rain chances, but hoping and praying it won’t wash us out. People see the General Lee out and about in Corbin, but you never see Cooter riding in the General Lee in the middle of Corbin. This Thursday at the NIBROC Parade, he’ll be there as the Grand Marshall,” he said.