By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
Our nation’s 237th birthday is tomorrow, and Corbin plans to get a head start this evening by serving up some Hot Country sounds downtown, and a booming fireworks show at sunset.
Last year’s big bang was a bust as the fireworks were cancelled by city officials, due to the drought and dry conditions that plagued the region then.
Weatherwise, it’s a different story this July 4th holiday.
Too much rain is in the forecast from the National Weather Service office in Jackson, which calls for showers and thunderstorms likely during this afternoon and evening.
Still, the show must go on, and the Downtown Corbin organization will start the festivities first, with their Independence Day Block Party from 4-9 p.m. at Nibroc Park. The party will feature food, crafts vendors, inflatables for the kids and most of all, entertainment to kick off what organizers hope will be a “Glorious 4th.”
Three music events will be featured on the stage this evening.
Up-and-coming Country singer Tim Gore will start off the tunes at 5 p.m. A Corbin native, Gore’s been spending a lot of time lately in Nashville, where he’s working on a CD which will soon be released.
At 7 p.m. the Country stars of the future could be found in our own backyard, and the Texaco Country Showdown, sponsored by KD Country 99.5 FM, will find out just who this year’s winner is.
“It’s very, very popular and it’s been a big part of our station for years. It used to be called the ‘Colgate Country Showdown,’ but only the name’s been changed from Colgate to Texaco. From our auditions we’ve held, we pick 10 contestants for the show, and they’re from across the region. This year’s Country musicians, groups and singers are from Corbin, London, Manchester and Stearns,” said Monica Gambrel, Office Manager at KD Country.
During a phone interview Tuesday, Gambrel pointed out the competition’s winner will go on to the state competition in Owensboro on September 6. Should they take the state crown, the winner moves to regional competition, with the ultimate goal of being a contestant and winning the national finals.
“Last year’s local winner was Jimmy Rose from Manchester. He was the only contestant in the competition that got a standing ovation. Will this year’s winner get a standing ovation? I don’t know. I hope so,” Gambrel said.
Laurel Countian Travis Wayne will close out the songs and fun around 8 p.m. when he takes to the stage. Wayne, a recent contestant on the CMT reality show “Redneck Island,” will play some cuts from his new CD “I Like It Already,” which will feature his hit song, “I’m Still Dad.”
Downtown Corbin’s Director Andrew Salmons said Tuesday morning the idea for the block party is to bring people together to celebrate the 4th with music, and get them ready for the fireworks, which will be shot atop the hill where the Corbin Arena sits.
“The festivities will wind down in time so everyone can go down to the Corbin Technology Center to watch the fireworks go off at sunset,” he noted.
Salmons added the block party is part of a year-round schedule of events Downtown Corbin makes available to bring folks back to the city’s core.
“Downtown is full of unique, destination-type businesses, and we hope people will see what’s here. The business owners have a destination of their own. They’ve carved out a niche for themselves, and it’s a very unique area worth showcasing. People want to go somewhere with character and where they feel comfortable. Historically downtown Corbin is the meeting place of the community. We want to revive that notion. Getting together to celebrate the 4th is part of that,” he stated.