Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

September 2, 2011

Catlettsburg’s Labor Day celebration set

Lorrie Morgan, lantern tours and butterflies new this year

CATLETTSBURG —  With a calendar filled with class reunions and a day specifically for reminiscing about old times, Catlettsburg’s Labor Day festivities have always been about remembering the city’s history.

This year, however, organizers will be adding even more events to the lineup that celebrate the history of Catlettsburg.

This year, organizers have planned a historic lantern tour of locations in Catlettsburg related to the Civil War in honor of the 150th anniversary of the start of that war.

They have also planned a release of between 60 and 65 Monarch butterflies residents were given the opportunity to purchase in honor of their loved ones.

Gail Sammons, who helped to organize the event, said the lantern tour is an opportunity to let people from Catlettsburg, as well a visitors, know about a part of Catlettsburg history with which many aren’t familiar.

The tour will take people to spots around the city where, for instance, Union soldiers had a headquarters and where those soldiers lived.

The tour will start at 8:30 p.m. tonight. The cost is $5 per ticket and those who want to attend should meet at the Russell Compton Museum Train Depot.

It will follow the kick-off event for Catlettsburg’s Labor Day festivities, the mayor’s reception at the Catlettsburg-Boyd County Senior Center from 6 to 8 p.m.

Frank Branham, director of Catlettsburg Main Street, said he hopes the walking tour will be a success and possibly create interest in doing more historic tours, as well as interest in preserving the historic buildings in downtown Catlettsburg.

“We’ve lost so many things in Catlettsburg that should have been preserved,” Branham said.

This year’s Labor Day celebration will also be the first in about 10 years that  Country Music Star George Jones will not perform. Instead the headline performer at 9 p.m. Monday will be Lorrie Morgan, whose hits include “What Part of No,” “Watch Me,” “Something in Red” and “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength.” She will be preceded by the duo Wilson Fairchild at 7 p.m. and by Daryle Singletary at 8 p.m.

All of the performances will take place on the main stage on 26th Street.

Sammons said Jones was glad to have a break from traveling on Labor Day and many people in Catlettsburg were excited about the opportunity to see a different performer. She said she’s had calls from out of state asking about Morgan’s performance.

Sammons said Jones may perform at future Catlettsburg Labor Day celebrations.

“He never will be replaced,” she said. “He’s a great country musician.”

The main event of the Labor Day celebration on Saturday will be the 5K run/walk, which begins at 8 a.m. at the Boyd County Courthouse, Sammons said.

There will also be events throughout Sunday, including a church service at the courthouse at 11 a.m.,  the C’Burg Auto/Moto Cruise-in from noon to 4 p.m. and the train depot reminisce day from 1 to 5 p.m.

The Labor Day parade will take place at 10 a.m. The theme this year is “Honoring Those Who Serve Us,” and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Ernie West will serve as the grand marshal.

Branham said a chance of rain and thunderstorms on Monday may impact the number of people who attend the parade, but many people will come out despite bad weather.

“They stay right there in the rain and enjoy themselves,” he said.

Sammons said Catlettsburg’s Labor Day celebration usually draws large crowds because it serves as a homecoming event for those who have moved from town.

“Once you’re from Catlettsburg, you’re always from Catlettsburg,” Sammons said.

KATIE BRANDENBURG can be reached at kbrandenburg@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

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