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Poke Sallet Festival continues tradition from a distance

The Poke Sallet Festival looks a little different on its 65th anniversary, with local officials helping to keep the tradition alive — from a distance, of course.

Harlan Tourism Director Brandon Pennington and his team at the Harlan Center have worked tirelessly in conjunction with the Harlan County Fiscal Court to ensure the 2020 PSF is still one for the books, airing some content virtually and hosting other in-person events in accordance with local, state and CDC guidelines.

With that being said, Pennington and his crew of passionate Harlan County lovers have also put together a competitively fun series of contests that you may find yourself winning.

Other than the Miss Harlan County Pageant and Poke Sallet Festival Scavenger Hunt, below are contests put together to help make this year something special:

Most creative mask competition

Join the fun by entering your own handmade facemask into competition! Add special touches to make your mask unique or pay homage to your favorite movie, team, place, etc. Submit your mask by Thursday, June 4, at 5 p.m. via mail to 201 S. Main St. Harlan, KY 40831, or by placing it in the information box beside the top doors of the Harlan Center (you may call 606-573-4495 to be sure someone is on hand to retrieve your mask from the box right away). Include your name and phone number with your entry.

Photos of the masks will be posted on the Poke Sallet Festival Facebook page for public viewing.

Awards will be given for first, second and third place. Following the competition, masks will be donated to local first responders.

The Poke Sallet Festival Committee reserves the right to exclude any mask it considers to be obscene or inappropriate. There is no cost to enter.

Virtual pet show

The Annual Pet Show is a highlight of the Poke Sallet Festival. This year, locals are invited to submit photos of their pets to compete in the first ever PSF Virtual Pet Show.

Entries must be received by Thursday, June 4, at 5 p.m. You can submit your contact information, pet’s name and type of pet (breed, species, etc.) to pokesalletpets@gmail.com.

Photos will be posted for online voting on Saturday, June 6, from 4 p.m. to 4:50 p.m., with awards announced at 5:55 p.m. There is no cost to enter.

Digital car show

Locals will have the opportunity to show off their hotrods at the 2020 Poke Sallet Festival via an online car show.

Participants can submit their contact information, make/model/year of the car and photos of the car to pokesalletcars@gmail.com.

Photos must be submitted by Thursday, June 4, at 5 p.m. The photos will be featured on the Poke Sallet Festival Page on Saturday, June 6, beginning at 11 a.m.

Online voting for awards will take place on Saturday, June 6, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded at 12:55 p.m. There is no cost to enter.

Photography show

Photographers help document the history of our community. Officials are helping celebrate this important role photography plays in our lives with a Poke Sallet Festival Virtual Photo Competition.

PSF officials will be presenting awards in three categories: Best Poke Sallet Festival Memory Photo (photos from past festivals), Best Harlan County Spirit Photo and Best Quarantine Photo (documenting our community during this unusual time).

Photos are due by Thursday, June 4, at 5 p.m. Email your photo, as well as your contact information, to pokesalletphotos@gmail.com. Photos will be posted on Saturday, June 6, at 5 p.m., with online voting taking place until 5:50 p.m. Winners will be announced at 6 p.m.  There is no cost to enter.