When Harland Sanders opened the first KFC back in 1952, he likely had no idea how successful his finger-lickin' chicken would become. Since then, his secret recipe has brought joy to generations upon generations of loyal fried chicken lovers across the country. One southern town decided to celebrate this legacy of fast food with a festival this past week. Colonel Fest in Corbin, Kentucky honored former resident Colonel Harland Sanders, who created the amazing recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken!
Sanders' history of providing delectable fried chicken dates back to 1930, when he opened a roadside motel in Corbin and began serving his southern style chicken. Almost ten year later, he perfected his famous, secret combo of 11 spices and herbs that makes his chicken so darn delicious.
At some point in 1950, Sanders first wore his distinctive white suit in public. From that moment on, he always wore his spiffy suit out, and it soon became part of his iconic persona. He then opened the first KFC in 1937 near Salt Lake City, Utah, changing the world of fried chicken forever.
Colonel Sanders eventually sold his beloved KFC Company to investors after deciding that it was time to slow down. However, even after this decision, he was named the 2nd most recognizable celebrity in the mid '70s! Although Sanders passed away in 1980, his memory lives on through his world-renowned fried chicken.
The Inaugural Colonel Fest was on Saturday, April 24, and it featured scrumptious food and a wide range of entertainment, activities and kids games to celebrate Colonel Sanders. Set along Main Street in downtown Corbin, this food-centered event included a .5K race called Finger Lickin' Chicken. This ridiculous contest involved running 820 feet, eating a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and then racing another 820 feet to the finish line.
Along with this, there was a Colonel Sanders look-alike contest, in which participants compete to appear the most similar to the famous colonel. There was also a chicken costume contest, a nugget eating contest and a cooking fried chicken contest (of course). Throughout the day, attendants competed in an egg toss and a Chicken Cluckin and Struttin contest as well. Corbin Tourism Director Maggy Kriebel stated that she was excited and hopeful for the event and its many competitions.
Colonel Fest occurred in various spots in downtown Corbin along with its central Main Street location, including Sanders park, 1st street, Railroad Depot, and Nibroc Park. For those who haven't had the pleasure of visiting this small Southern city, Corbin is in Whitley, Knox and Laurel counties, about 2.5 hours south of Louisville. Although we can never fully repay Colonel Sanders for his generous contribution to the world of food, one can only hope that this fried chicken-themed festival would have made him proud!