87th Annual Homecoming starts Friday

·4 min read

Aug. 17—The scenic and historic Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park will host the 87th Laurel County Homecoming this week, with a weekend chocked full of activities.

The Homecoming is the longest running such event in the state, originated in 1935. The history of the event comes from those days when transportation was primarily horse and buggy, with the celebration held at the park area during the full moon of August. The event evolved because farming was the primary industry for families in the area and the hard year's work was celebrated by gathering with friends and family when the harvest was done. The long trip home was often done by moonlight.

"The Light that Guides You Home" is the motto of the Laurel County Homecoming board with a focus on Moonlight to continue the tradition established in an era where hard work, family and friends were a cherished way of life.

Friday, Aug. 19

—6 p.m. The Moonlight Market, which features local crafters and artisans, small business retailers and food trucks

—7 p.m. Pops in the Park features The Tom Daugherty Orchestra, a nationally known 17 piece show and dance orchestra under the direction of Tom Daughterty. This show features Sinatra-style vocalist Jarrod Harrah and female vocalist Mindy Meltzer. Ranging from the Big Bands era of the 1930s and 1940s to the music of the 1950s and 1960s, this band brings its national tour to London for a special event that you don't want to miss!

—9 p.m. — 11 p.m. — Dancing in the Moonlight offers a street dance for youth of all ages. DJ'd by Oasis Music's Brad Jones.

Saturday, Aug. 20

—9 a.m. — 10 a.m. — Boone Trace 5K & 10K Trail Run. Blend history and wilderness in this run through the park property offering rolling wooded hills with historical sites along the way, including Boone's Trace and Wilderness Road between 1774 and 1796. This is the route that over 200,000 pioneers traveled.

—10 a.m. — The annual Laurel County Homecoming Parade will travel through downtown London and feature Grand Marshals, honorees, pageant contestants and other participants. Participants line up at North Main Kroger parking lot at 9 a.m.

* In the event of inclement weather, the parade may be delayed, cancelled or rescheduled. Notices on Facebook, Instagram and local radio and social media will announce delays or rescheduling.

—10 a.m. to 11 p.m. — Moonlight Market is open at Levi Jackson Park.

—11 a.m. — Putt Putt Scramble — The miniature golf course in the park's camping area will host the Laurel County Chamber of Commerce Putt Putt Scramble. Registration for a 4-person team is $200 and includes a performance by a live band and grilled lunch. Hole sponsorships are available for businesses or individuals. A portion of proceeds will be donated to eastern Kentucky flood victims. Register online at https://londonlaurelchamber.com/2022puttputtscramble/

—12 noon — Levi Corn Hole Tournament will be held under the Moonlight Tent for extra shade. To register, contact Steven Holt at (606) 330-2130.

—12 noon — Little Miss and Mister Pageant will be held on the amphitheater stage. Come watch Laurel County's youngest stars shine!

—12 noon — Doxie Derby Race for Dachshunds. Registration starts at 11:30 a.m. Fee is $10. Prizes presented to Top 3 finishers.

—2 p.m. to 5 p.m. — Play Truck moon themed community play with sensory play and art stations, moon sand, galaxy ice, moon dough. Children make a magical star wand. Free event.

—2:30 p.m. — Bark in the Park Pet Parade — Dress up your pet and put their best foot forward at the Pet Parade. Pup cups treats available from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Shelter 2 tent.

—4 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Petting Zoo, Pony Rides and Train Rides

—4:30 p.m. — Kids Power Wheel Race at Shelter House 2. Registration begins at 4 p.m. $10 entry fee.

—5:30 p.m. — Spotlight on Youth at amphitheater stage featuring today's local singing talent.

—6:45 p.m. — Shoot for the Moon Showcase — Emceed by London's American Idol contestant Brooks Kidd, this features local talents from ages 12 to 20. To enter, submit a brief videoclip of singing. Or upload video via Messenger on Laurel County Homecoming Facebook page.

—7:55 p.m. — Laurel County 2022 Honoree Award Presentation on amphitheater stage and recognizes outstanding contributions/achievements of local leaders, businesses, companies and non-profit organizations.

—8 p.m. — The traditional Miss and Teen Laurel County Homecoming pageant will showcase contestants paying tribute to the women who have influenced their lives as this year's theme. 2021 Miss and Teen will bid their farewell before handing the crown to this year's winners.

Sunday, Aug. 21

—The event that started the Homecoming — the Sunday gospel singing — continues with the Praise Team with Savannah Lewis and Company performing from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.