By Jeff Noble
Instead of outdoor concerts, the 61st Annual NIBROC Festival in Corbin will focus on the carnival and local vendors this year, according to a board member of the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, no outdoor concerts will be held at this year’s festival, which is held in downtown Corbin on the second weekend in August.
Lynn Taylor of the Chamber spoke Tuesday with the Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission during their regular session about the changes coming to the festival this summer.
“This will provide local flavor to the event. We believe this will allow it to bring the local fun back,” Taylor added.
He told the Tourism Board the City of Corbin did not want Main Street closed this year. Last year and in previous years, Main Street had been the location for NIBROC food vendors and other vendors to set up shop, as well as the area for a smaller stage. Instead, Taylor said NIBROC will be set up along Depot Street.
“We had to confront infrastructure problems. … We had to eliminate the large scale vendor base. … We decided to allow as much space as possible on Depot Street for the carnival.”
Taylor told the Tourism Board meeting the lack of space for the large outdoor stage on Depot Street was one reason for not having concerts like last year’s, which featured the 70’s and 80’s classic rock band Styx.
“Because of lack of space, we didn’t have enough space for a stage for concerts. As a result, we decided not to have it. This is the best plan that we have.”
Taylor noted one of the questions raised about this year’s NIBROC was about moving the entertainment to The Arena, off Cumberland Falls Highway.
“It was cost-prohibitive to our plan. It would cost us $11,000 additionally, not including entertainment.”
Taylor added a second concern about having The Arena used for entertainment is that it would take people away from downtown Corbin.
He also extended an invitation for the Tourism Commission, Main Street Corbin and other groups to join the Chamber this year for NIBROC, “in the hope they can take over this event in 2014. We want to view this as a transition year,” and left moments later.
Before Taylor spoke, a request was made by Benny Hinkle of the Redhound Varsity Club for funding three events the club sponsors. He asked the Tourism Board for a $25,000 donation for funding the Cumberland Falls Invitational Boys Basketball Tournament, the Cumberland Falls Invitational Girls Basketball Tournament and the Pigskin Classic football game.
“That’s a big chunk, but I do think all of that will come back here, with people spending their money and staying in South Corbin,” he added.
A motion was made to take the request under advisement, which was approved by board members.
After Taylor spoke, Main Street Corbin director Andy Salmons said the new season for events his organization sponsors will begin on April 6 with the first City Yard Sale to be held along Depot Street. The second event is the second annual “Chili Bowl,” which takes place two weeks later on April 20. He said more events will be promoted in the upcoming weeks.
Salmons also said the Bike Trail Committee was working on a campaign with the theme “Cycle Corbin,” and showed off the campaign’s logo to board members.
“The goal is to foster a cycling culture in Corbin,” he stated.
Among other actions taken were approval of minutes from the meeting on Feb. 11, as was approval of the financial report.
Tuesday’s session was the first for the Tourism Commission at their new day and time, starting at 5 p.m. Last month they voted to make the change instead of meeting on the second Monday at noon, as in previous years.