Arts at the Park set for Kingdom Come Park

Published 4:03 pm Friday, January 13, 2023

Kingdom Come State Park is gearing up for the first-ever Arts at the Park Festival in May, lining up artists, vendors, and musicians to entertain folks in a uniquely Appalachian manner.

Kingdom Come State Park Manager Sherry Cornett explained the inaugural installment of the event was originally set for last Fall but had to be postponed due to severe flooding in the area.

“This will be our first annual event,” Cornett said. “It was originally scheduled for September of last year, be we had to cancel it due to the flooding in Letcher County. We had too many vendors that had lost everything.”

According to Cornett, there are already approximately 50 vendors lined up for the event.

“They’re all true Kentucky craft vendors,” Cornett said. “We only accept craftsmen that do actual handcrafts. Everything must be handmade.”

The event will also feature demonstrations of activities familiar to those who lived in the area decades, even centuries, ago.

“We’ll have woodworkers, broom makers, basket weavers, painters, book authors, blacksmiths, there will be a little bit of everything,” Cornett said.

Alongside the craftsmen and vendors, there will also be activities to keep all ages interested.

“We’ll have kid’s activities as well as family-friendly live music,” Cornett said.

The event is scheduled to happen Friday, May 12, through Saturday, May 13.

During the festival, Kingdom Come State Park’s annual bicycle rally will also be taking place at the park.

“We’ll have cyclists doing a 35-mile ride at the same time,” Cornett said.

The bicycle course will begin in the park, head down Little Shepherd Trial to US 119, following the road to the park entrance and back into the park.

“They’ll start and finish at the park,” Cornett said. “This is our sixth annual Kingdom Come Bike Rally. It is also being promoted by Boondoogle Events in London.”

Cornett said they are still accepting vendor and demonstrator applications for the event.

“The vendor fee is $50,” Cornett said. “We only take one food vendor for each item. For example, we only want one barbecue vendor, one hibachi vendor, etc., so we will have a good variety of food, and everyone does well and can make a profit.”

The festival’s activities will be spread throughout the park, with parking available either inside to park or at a designated parking area in town.

“People can park at the gift shop and walk through all the vendors, food booths, and demonstrators,” Cornett said. “We’re also going to have parking at the foot of the entrance road in Cumberland. We will be using a shuttle to bring guests up to the park and back down when they’re done. We’ll pick you up and drop you right off at the vendors, and when you’re ready to leave we’ll pick you back up and take you to the parking area.”

Anyone interested in becoming a vendor can find more information on the Arts at the Park Facebook page or call Kingdom Come State Park at 606-589-4138.