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  • Harlan Enterprise

    Summer kicks off in downtown Harlan

    By Joe Asher,


    The city of Harlan Tourism and Convention Commission recently partnered with The Harlan County Beer Company to kick off a summer full of events and activities with a live music show featuring a collection of local musicians performing at one of downtown Harlan’s favorite options for food and drink.

    The show took place on the Harlan County Beer Company’s outside stage on Saturday, June, 8. The weather cooperated for the most part, with a few raindrops making a short appearance during the first performance. However, the skies quickly cleared, bringing perfect weather for an outdoor performance for the duration of the event.

    Brooklyn Collins Burkhart kicked off the show, performing a collection of songs from a broad range of artists to the delight of the audience. Laci Deaton then took the stage, treating the crowd to an eclectic collection of songs featuring her clear, soprano voice and acoustic guitar accompaniment. Rounding out the bill was Shyla Raliegh, who performed several recent country hits, with a few classic tunes thrown in by a guest guitarist/vocalist. All three of the ladies included original songs in their sets, showcasing songwriting skills along with their impressive performance abilities.

    Brandon Pennington, Executive Director of the city of Harlan Tourism and Convention Commission, talked about the city of Harlan Tourism partnering with local businesses to present such events as this show and others throughout the summer.

    “We’re making more of an effort to partner up with our local restaurants and local venues to do some more events that aren’t only for our tourists and visitors but also are something fun for our local people to do as well,” Pennington said. “This is one example of us making a concerted effort to partner up with folks like the Harlan County Beer Company where we do a summer night concert.”

    Pennington added they are also partnering with another downtown hot spot, The Portal, for a different type of entertainment option for tourists and locals alike.

    “We’re doing a comedy night in The Portal’s After Hours Lounge,” Pennington said. “We’re trying to continue to activate spaces in downtown while providing more events and activities.”

    The comedy performance is set for June 22, with comedian Austin Rich taking the stage at The Portal.

    “In the month of June, we have quite a few events that are going to be taking place throughout the county,” Pennington said. “We’re doing a Make It Meet Up where we’re bringing in a local artist and local crafter and they’re going to teach a class for free where people can create a craft to take with them.”

    The first Gears and Beers Cruise In will be taking to First Street in downtown Harlan on Thursday, June 27. Additional installments of the Gears and Beers Cruise In will take place the fourth Thursday of each month throughout the summer.

    “You can enjoy the cars and music…there are door prizes, and you’ll also be entered into a contest to win $1,000 at the final Gears and Beers for the year in October,” Pennington said.

    Other events and activities coming to the area this summer include regular movie nights, a Fourth of July Parade, The Red White and Zoom 5K on July 4, The Run For Their Lives 5 and 10K run on June 22, and the Cornhole on the Square Cornhole Tournament on Saturday, June 15. Kingdom Come State Park will have the Warrior’s Challenge on June 15, an amphibian program on June 22, and a Bike Rally on June 29. Pine Mountain Settlement School is hosting a fly fishing retreat from June 21 – 23. Several other events and activities across Harlan County are in the planning stages.

    “We have events every single weekend until November,” Pennington said. “Everything we do, we have a tourist tie in to it, but that doesn’t mean our local people can’t enjoy the things we do for the tourists, so we always invite our locals out to take part in anything we put on.”

    For a full listing of events visit go or check out the Visit Harlan County Facebook page.

    The post Summer kicks off in downtown Harlan appeared first on Harlan Enterprise .

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