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Supplement to “Take the Road Less Traveled”

“The music drifting across the airport as the balloons glowed at sunset was a sight not to be missed,” says Rebecca Keith, Muhlenberg County Skyfest chairperson, describing the first annual Muhlenberg Skyfest—a celebration of aviation.

The first Skyfest, held in Greenville in June 2009, was such a success that plans for the 2010 Skyfest were under way only one week after the first event.

So how did the idea for Skyfest come about? “We have proudly, with the help of the state of Kentucky, been able to improve our airport with the addition of a new terminal building and a taxiway,” explains Keith. “As the completion neared, the (airport) board suggested that we have a dedication and appreciation ceremony and invite all those who made this happen.

“I volunteered to organize what was planned to be a dedication,” Keith continues, “but it soon blossomed into much more. The day’s activities included a fly-in, the dedication ceremony, military display, airplane parade and flyover by local pilots, and remote-control aircraft show with music.”

Keith, who also serves on the Greenville Tourism Commission, proposed the idea to them. “They had a vision,” Keith says, “to add a balloon glow, and as a sponsor, the commission decided to make it a celebration with music, a band, and tethered balloon rides for the children and the children at heart.”

As a family nurse practitioner, Keith wanted to encourage physical activities, as well. She says, “We were able to coordinate the Day of Play, which included many activities for the children, as well as a 5K run on the runway, followed by a cycling event to our Muhlenberg County Rail to Trail—a 6-mile paved trail, of which we are very proud and which was the longest in the state for a time.”

Many of the same activities are planned for the 2010 Skyfest, scheduled for Saturday, June 12. In addition, a hangar party has been added on June 11. “We also hope to have the balloonists stay for a Sunday morning fly-off,” says Keith.

With the entire community working together to make Muhlenberg Skyfest possible, this event will continue to soar to new heights. “Personally, I would love to see an annual event that reaches all of Kentucky and the surrounding states,” says Keith.

For more information about the Muhlenberg Skyfest, contact Greenville Tourism Director Beth Dukes at (270) 338-1895 or visit the Greenville tourism Web site at


Hot air balloons
According to Kathy Lee, pilot of SpiritWind—The Celebration of Life, hot air ballooning is the “safest form of aviation known to man today.”

Boat excursions
Dixie Belle riverboat Captain Bruce Herring says the Kentucky Palisades are “450 million years old.”

Train tours
Becki Egnew, director of Marketing and Passenger Operations at the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, says of the 13 “ghost structures” located along the self-guided tour at Blue Heron Coal Mining Camp, “It’s unique that all of the structures there have audio recordings of the people who lived and worked in the mining camp, telling their life experiences firsthand.”

Carriage rides
Around the Town Carriage offers an overnight package deal by appointment. Owner William “Jonesie” Jones says, “We take a stagecoach or covered wagon ride to Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto.”

Airplane rides
“ offers a wealth of information on learning how to fly and has a list of more than 3,500 flight schools nationwide,” says Andrew Broom, vice president of Communications with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Broom, who leads Let’s Go Flying, the learn-to-fly program sponsored by the AOPA, says, “Many schools offer discounted introductory flights for around $99.

”To read the Kentucky Living April 2010 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to Take the Road Less Traveled.

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