The council moved their regular monthly meeting to Tuesday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Leitchfield Tourism Director Ilsa Johnson approached the council to say the commission had met Tuesday morning and decided it would be best to combine the Freedom Festival and Twin Lakes National Fiddling Contest into one weekend in July instead of two back-to-back weekends.
Mayor William Thomason said the combining of the two events would keep both events free to the public – funded by the Tourism Commission – and cut down on the massive amounts of overtime paid to city employees and labor to staff two events. He said two events also strains the event coordinators and cuts into employee vacation time.
Councilman Billy Dallas was not as easy of a sell on the idea. He said the tourism division was created to provide activities to the citizens and he would like to see something be offered the second weekend in July to compensate for the missing Freedom Festival.
Ideas were tossed about, a possibility of having a free pool day that weekend was mentioned, as was having an event in June that would be new to the community. A heritage day – similar to the bicentennial event in 2010 – was mentioned. Most council members agreed they were interested in having a possible new event in June.
Johnson said once the splash pads are opened this spring and if the community theatre was opened, both of these would offer new activities for the public.
The two combined festivals will still be known as the Twin Lakes National Fiddlers Contest and will be setup on the Leitchfield Public Square. Carnival rides will consume West Main Street, a car show will be spotlighted on the north side of the square and the fiddlers’ stage will be placed on the east side of the square.
Johnson said the fireworks would be set-off from a new location. She got approval from Judge-Executive Gary Logsdon to use the land near the judicial complex, commonly referred to as the “holler” to be the launching site for the pyrotechnics.
The event will be completely free to the public.