This years theme has been entitled “Timeless Treasures”. KMLF Chairman, Scott Madon stated that this theme came from the idea that a lot of the things locally, such as the mountains, are treasures. He also stated that he felt like the festival is a tradition.
The official grand opening of the KMLF will be at 7:00 Thursday, May 24 with the introduction of the queen and princess candidates, and a cocnert. For the 2012 KMLF, Joe Diffie, Aaron Tippin and Sammy Kershaw will bring their “Roots and Boots” tour to Bell County High School for the festival’s official opening.
“I believe it’s one of the biggest events of the festival,” said Madon. “It sets the tone of the festival for the week, and I think it’s very important.”
Each performer has 14 number one hits. The group as a whole has more than 40 top ten hits. Madon stated that the entertainers are top of the line country singers. Ticket information has not been released.
For the queen pageant, colleges and universities across Kentucky are invited to send a representative to the festival. Private homes in Pineville open their doors to host the candidates and their escorts for the weekend.
There are picnics, receptions, dances, a parade, the queen’s coronation at Pine Mountain State Resort Laurel Cove Amphitheater, a grand ball, and a breakfast to honor the new queen. The queen’s coronation takes place on Saturday, May 26, along with the grand march and the grand ball.
The queen also wears a crown made of mountain laurel blooms. Last year’s winner was Jefra Kaysi Bland from the University of Kentucky.
The princess pageant consists of high school representatives from across Southeast Kentucky. These candidates are treated to a reception and a dinner ,and then compete for the crown at the Friday evening princess coronation at Pineville High School. The winner of the event last year was Carrie “Allison” Adelle Norris of Pulaski County High School.
The Governor’s Luncheon will take place on Saturday, and Governor Beshear will be at the event along with Kentucky Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo.
Several other events are also scheduled for Saturday. There will be a 5K run/walk. The entry fee for the event is $15 before Wednesday, May 23rd, or $20 on race day. The first 100 entries receive a free shirt. The race begins promptly at 8:45 a.m. at McDonalds, according to the KMLF website.
Trophies will be awarded to the overall male and female winners. Medals will be awarded to first, second, and third place in each age group.
The Mountain Laurel Golf Classic will also take place on Saturday at the Wasioto Winds Golf Course.
Saturday is also the date of the annual KMLF parade, which features all the queen candidates, the newly crowned KMLF princess and other beauty queens, along with clowns, floats, the Oleika Shriners and their mini vehicles, local high school bands and more.
The semi-finals and finals of the local Texaco Country Showdown will compete on Friday, May 25 and Saturday, May 26. The winner will represent Bell County in the state level of the Texaco Country Showdown.
The finalist of the Bell County competition are: Mikaela Robbins, Hillary Lowe, Phillip Wilson, Jr., Blake Branscom, Kayla Michele, Erica Baker Overbay, Jamie Capps, and Joe Coe.
In addition to these events, there will also be live entertainment on the festival grounds in downtown Pineville on Friday and Saturday, along with crafts and concessions each day of the festival. Over 70 vendors are scheduled to be at the 2012 KMLF.
Jules and Beck Carnival will also be set up in downtown Pineville throughout the festival.