WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Representative Hal Rogers announced Phase II funding to 29 counties to continue the TOUR SEKY Tourism Information Gazebo Project at a ribbon-cutting at the London-Laurel County Tourism Office. Phase II funding makes available $1,000 to 29 counties to beautify and add landscaping to the gazebos. The ribbon-cutting also signifies completion of Phase I of the Gazebo Project - citing and constructing of the 29 gazebos throughout the region along scenic byways. Rogers was joined by TOUR SEKY President Vicki Kidd, Laurel County Judge Executive Lawrence Kuhl, London Mayor Ken Smith, and Miss Redbud 2006 Kelsey Marie Holcolm.
"The natural beauty, history, artistry, and heritage of our region make southern and eastern Kentucky a natural travel destination," stated Rogers. "Tourism already supports 20,000 jobs in our region. The gazebos not only provide a convenient and familiar rest-stop, but they give us one more venue to provide business travelers and vacationers with information on nearby restaurants, local hotels, and attractions."
Rogers also announced funding for regional festivals:
* $15,000 to the Redbud Trails Quilt Festival (April 2007)
* $20,000 to the "Pedals and Blooms" Bike Festival (June 2007)
* $1,000 to the Camp Wildcat Re-enactment Festival (October 2007)
A portion of these funds is made available through the National Scenic Byways program. Rogers was instrumental in obtaining the national designation for three roadways in Kentucky. Such a designation makes the highways eligible for federal grants and national recognition due to their important scenic, natural, historical, cultural, archaeological or recreational features. Kentucky's three National Scenic Byways are: the Country Music Highway, the Wilderness Road Heritage Highway, and the Red River Gorge Scenic Byway.