PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Hillbilly Days is one of the largest festivals in the state, bringing close to 150,000 visitors to Pike County. Sunday, set up for the festival began.
Drive through downtown Pikeville and it is obvious the Hillbilly Days festival is just around the corner. From carnival rides being assembled, to signs outside of homes and businesses, there is an excitement in the air as folks prepare for the hillbilly invasion...which kicks off Wednesday evening with the opening of the carnival.
Jared Arnett with the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce says, "It gets Hillbilly Days started. They came in last night and started setting things up today."
Pam Guthrie, with Gold Medal Shows, says it will take them a couple days to get everything set up and go through inspections. Guthrie says, "We bring in close to 30 rides, and there will be games, exhibits, plenty of food, snow cones, cotton candy, funnel cakes."
Officials say in just a few short days the streets in downtown Pikeville will be filled with thousands of visitors not just from across the state but from across the country.
Landmark Inn manager, Joshua Huffman says, "It packs out the area here, all the hotels, restaurants, big boost for our economy."
Huffman says he has met people from all over the country and even from canada that visit the town for the festival, "We actually have a lot of repeat business, people that come back year after year and you get to know the people that come back year to year to enjoy the festivities here in Pikeville."
Huffman says it is easy to see why the festival attracts a large crowd year after year, "Best of all things country, great food, entertainment, in the middle of the wonderful beautiful mountains in the springtime."
Arnett adds, "Great time, great food, and it all goes to help a good cause." The festival benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children.
All of the vendors will begin setting up in the streets Wednesday evening, with the rest of the festival beginning thursday morning.