Sip, Shop and Stroll, Headhunters Concert and the Barrenton Ball
By Jeff Jobe
It is an exciting time for our community as more and more people are pumping energy into the heart of Barren County, downtown Glasgow.
The three-year-old group known as the Glasgow Downtown Business Association (GDBA) kicked off the downtown season with their annual spring Sip, Shop and Stroll on May 13. And, oh, what a night.
They had what local photographer Marty Wooten described as being the largest crowd he had ever seen in his experience of photographing life around the square.
This is the only fundraising event for the organization, and they host one in the spring and another in the fall. They rent and promote booth space to local artists and coordinate them with businesses so as not to block their entrances or hurt them with unnecessary competition.
GDBA’s goal is to bring the community downtown to help their struggling members who own businesses in the downtown area. They picked up the reigns when another group had announced they would no longer host a popular and similar downtown event. Executive committee members Sherry Williams, Melissa Smith, Cherie Vaughan, Veronika Wells, and Duncan Cotton understand helping the local stores, restaurants, and bars stay open is very important to all of Barren County.
Last year they located, refurbished, and placed the cannon back in its spot at the downtown memorial wall park, and it was done with profits from their events. They will net around $4,000 annually and will announce another project soon.
Entertain Glasgow with co-chairs April Russell and Katie Hawks Billingsley seem to have come Into their own with the most recent success of hosting a free Headhunter concert with a pop-up stage, food trucks, and drinks. They are a play big and go big committee, with firm plans of doing it their way, and this one hit a homer. This was an amazing evening with friends from all over Kentucky coming to enjoy our beautiful downtown.
Just when you think the downtown square had the biggest crowd ever with the Sip, Shop and Stroll, the Headhunter concert smashed all records for attendance. Who knows how many people were here, but it was a fantastic time.
When it was all said and done, I’m told they spent a little less than $24,000 and had sponsors bringing the cost down to $1,250 for the City of Glasgow, $1,250 for Barren County Tourism, and $625 from Barren County Fiscal Court. Congrats to April, Katie, and their active members who made this possible.
Just this past week, Jamie Bewley Byrd did it again. She coordinated a massive undertaking by stepping up to save another Barren County tradition during a time of need.
She did it first in 2020 when government was encouraging all to shut down. She handled fundraising for fireworks at the Barren River State Park back then. Who would have thought it could have meant so much to simply come outside and share seeing fireworks celebrating our independence.
When most think of Glasgow, they know of our Scottish heritage and with this brings to mind the Highland Games. Due to Covid-19, this event has been canceled now for three years. Of course, the national travel of competitors make the games all but impossible, but there is no reason at all our local community shouldn’t continue to celebrate.
This year, Byrd quietly stepped up and coordinated an amazing list of corporate sponsors to not only revive a wonderful opportunity to break out our ball gowns and kilts, but she helped make the Barrenton Ball the classy place to be on the evening of June 11, right here on the square in downtown Glasgow.
It was another way to bring so many together in the name of tradition, independence, and honoring good causes.
Thanks, Jamie, for coordinating an event that spent $7,171.53 with only Barren County-owned vendors and securing enough community loving sponsors to net $9,400 to the great causes of Family Resource Youth Services Center and Reads and Feeds.
I sincerely believe Glasgow’s future rests in the hands of these types of individuals who do what they do because they love tradition and aren’t afraid of a little hard work and the effort needed to bring us all together.