Van Lear Festival In Full Swing In Paintsville

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

Celebration was in full swing at the 22nd Annual Van Lear Festival. Visitors from across the country made their way to Johnson County to attend the festivities.

Eastern Kentucky natives came back to their roots Saturday, celebrating a home town tradition.

"This is the 22nd Annual Van Lear Celebration. This is the time of year when people who have ever lived in Van Lear or had a connection with Van Lear come home," Nancy Price, Paintsville Tourism General Manager.

"I come back every year. I live in New Mexico now and it's a long ways away, but I always make sure I'm back here for the Van Lear days," Addie Schmidt said.

People enjoyed volleyball, dancing, music and more while remembering the history of their area. As a special treat to visitors here at Van Lear, they can even get a sneak peak inside of Loretta Lynn's own house.

Loretta's brother, Herman Webb, was in charge of making the house into a tour.

"I was the one that kinda fixed the old house up and started taking people through it. Then the state and the county got interested in seeing the tourism coming in," Webb said.

Webb was the grand marshall for Saturday's parade.

"This will be the first time, I've not even watched the parade, I'll be riding in it today," Webb said.

"Anybody who hasn't been here that lives in the area, come one time and see it. You'll always come back," Schmidt said.

Festivities should continue until at least ten o'clock Saturday.

The Van Lear Historical Society and Loretta Lynn's Homeplace are open year round for visitors.

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