Summer is the peak time for vacation, but in a declining economy not everyone can afford the luxury of taking a vacation. Thankfully local events provide an alternative — a staycation.
Merriam-Webster added the word staycation to its vocabulary in 2005, defining it as a vacation spent at home or nearby.
Bell County offers numerous free and low cost events throughout the summer for those looking to stay close to home.
Holidays bring out the best of Bell County, with both Middlesboro and Pineville hosting a slew of poolside free events for the Fourth of July.
On a weekly schedule, both Mainstreet Pineville (MSP) and Discover Downtown Middlesboro (DDM) offer free entertainment via new events. MSP offers live local music every Thursday at the farmer’s market and DDM allows local artist to showcase their work on display on Saturdays at the Makers Market.
Local libraries are essential for staycation fun. Both Middlesboro and Pineville libraries have numerous free events scheduled throughout the summer. For a full schedule of events, the Middlesboro Library may be reached at 606-248-4812 and the Pineville Library may be reached at 606-337-3422.
The Middlesboro Mall also offers free and low cost events. The Children’s Reading Foundation of Appalchia-Ky gives away free books every Tuesday at their mall location beside J.C. Penney and and Cruisin the Craters is a free monthly car show in the parking lot.
Cinema 4, located inside the mall, offers two weekly low cost entertainment options for families. Super Stimulus Tuesdays allows patrons to purchase from a variety of popular combos at a discounted rate of $5 off per combo. Each Thursday the cinema offers the Summer Kid Series at 10 a.m. All seats are $4 and the price includes admission, a small popcorn and a small drink. Upcoming titles in the series are Despicable Me 1 and 2, The Nut Job, The Lego Movie, Rio 1 and 2 and Mr. Peabody and Sherman. For more information, visit www.carmike.com.
Reina P. Cunningham may be reached at 606-302-9100.