The 84th annual Laurel County Homecoming kicks off on Thursday evening at Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park. This time-honored tradition honors London and Laurel County in one of the most scenic and historic sites in the area.

Festivities will begin on Thursday at 5 p.m. with food and craft vendors lining the landing at the top of the hill overlooking the amphitheater. Inflatables will also be available. The Spotlight on Youth will begin at 5:30 p.m. on the amphitheater stage, with the Little Miss and Mister pageant starting at 7 p.m. This pageant is open to children from newborn to age 12, with registration and entry fees paid in cash or money order.

Bark in the Park will also offer activities throughout the weekend, with raffles, face painting and photo props opening at 5 p.m. Bring your well behaved leashed pet for photos and enjoy Yappy Hour for Pets with free puppy lattes from 5 to 8 p.m. The Kids Battery Operated Power Wheels Race registration is at 5:30 p.m., followed by the race at 6 p.m. Rock painting for adults and children will be held from 6 to 7 p.m.

Friday brings Rock Hunt for the painted rocks at the Bark in the Park site at 6 p.m., with raffles, face painting, photos and Yappy Hour from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The amphitheater stage will be sounding out with musical entertainment with My Finest Hour taking the stage at 6 p.m., followed by the National Comedian Company at 7 p.m. The Savannah Faith Band will perform at 8:30 p.m. with County Wide closing down the Friday night activities when they take the stage at 9:30 p.m.

The annual Honorees Banquet will be held in the Clubhouse at 6 p.m. on Friday. The 2019 Honorees are: Lifetime Award - Randal Brewer; Man of the Year - Jamie Mosley; Woman of the Year - Vicki Blair; Non-Profit - Kentucky Mutts Rescue; Business of the Year - Alexander and Associates; Humanitarian Award - Rev. Gene Greene; Out of Town Award - Jon Carloftis; and Rising Star Award - Amber Henson. Tickets are required for admission to the banquet and seats are limited.

Saturday brings a fun-filled day with the Homecoming Parade at 10 a.m. The parade will begin at North Main Kroger and continue through downtown London to Carnaby Square. Then the celebration returns to Levi Jackson State Park with the Pet Parade registration at 11 a.m. and the Pet Parade at noon at the amphitheater stage. Special programs will be conducted at Shelter House #1 at 1:30 and 2 p.m., with Paper Dolls sponsoring a Fashion Show at 2:30 p.m.

The annual Wiener Dog Race will be held at 3 p.m. near Bark in the Park site near Shelter House #2. Registration for the Wiener Dog Race begins at 2 p.m. and has a $10 registration fee. Prizes for the first-, second- and third-place winners will be awarded. Yappy Hour with free puppy lattes will continue all day, with dogs and cats from the animal shelter and rescue groups available for adoption. Raffles, face painting and photo props will continue from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday’s musical entertainment on the amphitheater stage begins at 3:30 p.m. with Gabby Wells, followed by Elijah Butler at 4 p.m. The afternoon winds down with Eight Daze Sober performing at 5 p.m., with Frontier Band playing from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The annual Miss and Teen Laurel County Homecoming pageant will begin at 8 p.m.

Sunday features the first element that launched the Laurel County Homecoming celebration in 1935 - the gospel singing. New Harvest Ministries open the final day of this year’s event at 1 p.m. at Shelter House #1, followed by Freedom Christian Fellowship Praise and Worship Team performing at 1:30 p.m. Soul’s Harbor Praise and Worship Team take the stage at 2:15 p.m., with Grace Fellowship Praise and Worship Team closing out the festival at 3 p.m. Food and craft vendors will remain open on Sunday so come out and enjoy a day in the park and support the local vendors for lunch.

In the event of rain, the acts scheduled for the amphitheater stage will be relocated to the South Laurel auditorium.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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