Record Crowd Visits Square At Event
Madison Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Chamber of Commerce's first-ever Big Brownsville Bash was held over a three-day period this past weekend, which saw a record number of people at the courthouse square on Saturday during the event's biggest day.
Chamber President Darren Doyle said that the feedback from the community was extremely positive overall.
"We are very pleased with the community support and turnout for this event," Doyle said. "With basically an all-new Chamber board, we all came in after the initial planning for this event had already begun. Honestly, we didn't realize what we'd gotten ourselves into because of the amount of work we'd have to do to make it happen. After we saw that the initial plan was going to need a ton of work, some of the board stepped up, along with our Big Bash Committee, and, well I guess it worked."
The committee was comprised of Doyle, Mark Wardlow, Josh Casey (Vice President) and Daniel Bolton (Treasurer).
"There are two main reasons that this happened," Doyle said. "That's the work of this committee and our corporate sponsors. These guys did the heavy lifting and made things happen when it didn't seem like it was possible. Our corporate sponsors were able to financially support our ideas and they took a big gamble on this. They took a chance on us, hoping it would work. Thanks to this committee, they pulled it off and I think our Chamber and community is going to be stronger as a result. We felt like this would be a do-or-die situation for the Chamber. We're still here, so I guess that means it worked?" Doyle added with a laugh.
The corporate sponsors for the event were Rafferty's/Double Dogs, Patton Funeral Home, Bank of Edmonson County, Edmonson County Tourism Commission, A Plus Family Healthcare, and Alford's Pharmacy.
Doyle credited the committee for taking care of the most difficult part of the Bash during the final two weeks before the event while he was away on a family emergency.
"Most everyone knows the medical emergency that my family faced over the last couple weeks. When I told the guys (Wardlow, Casey, and Bolton) I was going to have to step away, they didn't blink. They said they would take care of everything and they did. Not only did they have to take care of their individual responsibilities, they took care of all mine, too. I want to specifically thank Mark Wardlow, the Chamber's newest board member, for what he did throughout this, especially the last two weeks. This festival wouldn't have happened without him and the rest of the committee. Mark took the lead on it and made it happen, despite some last-second problems that actually threatened the entire festival, but again, they were resolved."
The square was jam-packed on Saturday with the car show as the headlining attraction.
"Chamber board member Mike Stoyonovich organized the car show and we had decided that if we had 50 cars to register, it would be a success. We had all our spaces occupied before the registration was even supposed to start. We registered 117 cars and counted 132 on-site," Doyle added. "The food trucks, inflatables, and the Patton Funeral Home Arts, Crafts, and Vendor Event was a huge success inside the Community Center. Afterwards, we had our A Plus Family Health Cornhole Pro-Am in the Community Center as well. Local pro Damon Dennis and his wife, Kathy, took the lead on that and everyone had a great time. The Edmonson County Tourism Commission 5K that morning was also successful at Chalybeate Park and we even tried a Kayak and Canoe Challenge on the river, sponsored by Alford's Pharmacy. The Bank of Edmonson County Miss Brownsville Beauty Pageant drew a lot of attention through our media source and the Homemakers Baby Show filled up the Community Center."
The carnival was held at ECHS and got positive reviews overall, Doyle said.
"The fireworks finale was fantastic," Doyle added. "We want to thank Chamber board member Patrick Merritt for helping organize that with our fireworks supplier. We were told that the show could be seen from all over town. I also want to thank Chamber Board member Scott Lindsey for his help by announcing at our events and providing music all day on the square."
"One of the main reasons this type of thing hasn't been done here is nobody wants to take the risk of doing it and it's been very difficult in the past to get multiple organizations to come together in order to make it happen," Doyle said. "Something like this takes city and county governments working together, local businesses stepping up, and an overall willingness to bring people together. That's exactly what happened to make this work. One of the first people to offer a hand was Brian Alexander, Superintendent of Edmonson County Schools. After that, more people began to come on board, then our sponsors, and now we can look back and see how to improve things for next year."
"We also want to send a shout out to some other businesses and organizations within our Chamber community that also made this happen that include, and please forgive me if anyone is left out--Kayaks and More, Green River Canoeing, The Edmonson County Lions Club, A.B. Webb, Edmonson County Parks and Rec, Jacob's Home Furnishings, The Edmonson County Homemakers, The Edmonson Voice, C&C Firearms and Outdoors, Scott Skaggs Photography and the Hidden Homestead, Brownsville Missionary Baptist, St. John's Thrift Store, Graves Gilbert Clinic, The Edmonson County Public Library, Edmonson County Extension Office, Lori Alexander and Madison Hollis, The Edmonson County Rescue Squad, Edmonson EMS, The City of Brownsville, Edmonson County Judge Executive's Office, The KY Highway Transportation Office District 3, WRECC, 3B Inflatables, Paula Madison, and Damon and Kathy Dennis."
Got feedback? The Chamber wants to hear from you. Please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for your suggestions for next year's Bash.