• 64°

Harlan County celebrates 200 years

Harlan Tourism and the Harlan County Courthouse are gearing up to begin celebrating Harlan County’s Bicentennial this Friday at 11 a.m.

In 1819, Harlan was named a county after Major Silas Harlan, who came to Kentucky in 1774.

Harlan Countians are now in preparation to celebrate the county’s 200-year mark. The event will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. outside the Harlan County Courthouse.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley, joined by members of his staff, county officials, supporting local club members and residents, will read the proclamation for the Bicentennial outside the courthouse. If weather presents an issue, the ceremony will be done inside the building.

In a press release, Mosley said his office, as well as other local clubs and organizations, have already been making plans for the historic year through a series of meetings and event planning sessions, and he is looking forward to Friday’s public proclamation to officially kick off the Bicentennial year at one of Harlan County’s oldest and most valued buildings, as well as the county seat — the Harlan County Courthouse.

“We certainly do recognize that this is a significant milestone for Harlan County,” Mosley said. “Declaring a year of Bicentennial celebration is our way of applauding our distinguished history. The proclamation will be signed in recognition of Harlan County’s rich history, and celebratory events will be held throughout the year in honor of our past, our perseverance, our people and also our future.”

Following the proclamation, Harlan Tourism will hold a meeting to discuss calendar events being scheduled to celebrate the county’s 200 years.

Harlan Tourism encourages any and all organizations and citizens planning to host an event to come to the meeting. Brandon Pennington, executive director of Harlan Tourism, says the intention is to assemble a calendar of events for Harlan’s bicentennial leading up to a large culminating celebration in August.

An official unveiling of the Harlan County Bicentennial logo will also take place.

Mosley said he hoped 2019 will not only be a time of celebration, but also a time for promoting the strength and resolution of Harlan County’s people, as stated in the press release.

“This year will be more than a celebration of our Bicentennial and our history,” Mosley said. “It will be a celebration of our people, who survived generations of hard living and adversity to become the strong-willed, hard-working men and women of faith who are today’s proud Harlan County residents.

“This Bicentennial celebration is for our people, and that’s why it is important they attend Friday’s meeting to let us know what 200 years of Harlan County history and ancestry means to them.”

In other upcoming tourism events, the Sixth Annual Harlan County Run with Color 5k is set for April 13.

Harlan Tourism encourages those wanting to walk or run in the event to pre-register. Pre-registration is $25 due by April 1 for those wishing to participate. The first 250 participants to pre-register are guaranteed a Harlan County Run with Color 5k T-shirt and color packet on a first come, first serve basis.

Participants may still register for the race after April 1 for $30 up until the day of the race. However, those doing so may not be guaranteed a T-shirt and color packet.

The run will begin at 9 a.m. outside of the Harlan Civic Center in downtown Harlan. Participants are encouraged to wear white.

Harlan Tourism will also be offering guided hikes beginning in April. Harlan Tourism encourages people to sign up as soon as possible. Every hike will consist of 20 people, each receiving a limited edition T-shirt, only available to them.

This year’s hiking schedule is as follows:

• April 20: Knobby Rock/Blanton Forest at 9 a.m.;

• May 18: Kingdom Come State Park at 9 a.m.;

• June 29: Pine Mountain Settlement School at 9 a.m.;

• July 20: Sand Cave/Blanton Forest at 9 a.m.;

• Aug. 17: Cumberland Shadow Trail at 9 a.m.;

• Sept. 21: Little Shepherd Trail/Pine Mountain Trail at 9 a.m.

More information will be communicated to those who have signed up for the hikes as the dates approach.

For more information regarding Harlan Tourism events, contact Harlan Tourism at 606-573-4156 or find them on Facebook.