Sixth Annual Pineville Gala set for Saturday
One of the largest events hosted at Pine Mountain State Resort Park is Saturday, and that is the Sixth Annual Pineville Gala.
“This is the sixth year of the gala,” explained Main Street Pineville Director Jacob Roan. “We started it as a fundraiser for Main Street Pineville and as a way to inform and bring awareness to the work that the program was planning to do and that the city was doing to revitalize downtown each year.”
Roan explained that they use the event to educate the citizens and supporters of what the program and the city are doing in the town, what they’ve done and accomplished over the last year, and what they plan to work toward in the year to come.
The event has become so popular that it is not even advertised and invitations aren’t even sent out.
“That first year we sent out invitations but after the first couple of years it just exploded,” he said. “We have 28 tables and there will be 280 people in there plus the band (and) the servers. So, there will be over 300 people in the room that night. It’s turned into one of the largest events that is at the state park each year.”
Roan said that each year they try to limit the event to 26 tables in order to keep the room comfortable to allow the guests to move around, but the popularity surrounding the event has led them to add the two tables bringing the total to 28.
The event is presented by sponsorships of the event and table sponsors.
“We have four platinum sponsors that have stuck with us for the past five years — that being Short Redmond Auto Group, First State Financial, Arnett and Steele Funeral Home and Air Evac LifeTeam,” explained Roan. “Those four give us sponsorships, and we have a host of other businesses that do silver level sponsorships. We have six of those and then we have plenty of people that sponsor tables.”
He explained that there is a good program planned for the night that includes an update from himself and Pineville Mayor Scott Madon, Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock and State Representative Adam Bowling. Also joining them will be Kentucky Main Street Director Kitty Dougoud. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is also expected to join the event via video.
There will also be videos showcasing what the program does and Roan explained that this year they are going to be light-hearted.
“They are usually pretty serious about the work that we’ve done, but we’ve had a fun year. It’s really also an opportunity just to celebrate the success that we are having in Pineville,” he said.
The event won the Main Street Event of the Year in 2017 and has been an event that has been talked about throughout the 40 Main Street Programs each year. Different cities and their directors visit the event to see what is going on in Pineville.
“It’s neat to look back at where this started and when the program really got turned around…six years ago,” he recalled. “ At that time, we were looking for information and learn for ourselves and now six years later, we are the ones helping other communities and they are coming to us for advice.”
At the event in 2015, the program presented a 2020 strategic plan.
“It’s cool to see how that’s worked over the past five years and to see that we’ve been able to accomplish a lot of the goal that we set forth five years ago,” Roan explained. “One of the main goals was to have our Courthouse Square bustling and have all the buildings full and redone downtown, and that has happened on the Courthouse Square.”
Roan explained that Courthouse Square is 100% full and that there may be a building here or there that the property owners are making extra room to move people in.
“They are working on their second floors all around courthouse square,” he said. “Now, we are working on side streets that we are hoping to let this trickle over into all over downtown business district.”
It’s not just residents of Pineville that come to the event but several guests from out of town that have come back to support the City.
“Our entertainment for the night will be the Momentum Party Band,” he said. “They joined us last year from Atlanta. It’s a nine piece band that everyone loved last year, so we are bringing them back. They were at the Mountain Laurel Festival this year as well, so they are quickly becoming Pineville’s house band for big events.”
The program solicits a lot of donations that night because guests see the work that has been done throughout the year and want to support the program.