PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - A new festival that ties in with an old feud is being planned in Pikeville for later this year. It comes after a popular TV mini series brought folks to Eastern Kentucky from around the world.
It is a story that has captivated a widespread audience and has been dubbed the worlds most famous feud...the Hatfields and McCoys. Jesse Bowling with Pikeville Tourism says, "The purpose of the festival is to capitalize on the phenomenon that is going on all across the nation with the Hatfield and McCoy mini series that aired last May."
Interest in the feud has already boosted the area's tourism and officials want that trend to continue with a Labor Day weekend festival.
Local resident Dusty Layne says, "I ran in to so many families here and even from Canada that were retracing the steps and I can't believe it has created that kind of phenomenon in the area."
Officials say because of the national intrigue along with a team effort by the community this event will be a success. Bowling explains, "This festival brings a lot to our area and when you have the local partnerships like we have with the Pike County Government and the Tourism Office and the Chamber of Commerce...when we join forces this makes this thing bigger and better and stronger."
The event will create great opportunities for the City of Pikeville and local businesses as officials expect the area to be filled with tourists over the holiday weekend. Layne says, "it will give a boost for our stores our hotels our restaurants, it is going to be a great thing!"
Mike McCoy has a special interest in the festival... not just because he is a business owner, "Being a McCoy myself it is neat to see more of this coming in and give a little more about the Hatfield and McCoy feud and bring more history to our area. Get everybody to come see these beautiful mountains and region."
Officials say they plan to have vendors, concerts, fireworks, a parade, and live Hatfield and McCoy reenactments. As officials finalize plans more information will be released.