HARRODSBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) — The City of Harrodsburg will celebrate its 250th anniversary in 2024, otherwise known as a Sestercentennial. With two years still to prepare for the milestone, there are already plans in motion. The Harrodsburg-Mercer County Tourism Commission has a large-scale vision of how they will celebrate 250 years of Harrodsburg.
Founded in 1774, Harrodsburg can claim it is the oldest city in the state; a remarkable heritage, and with that, comes pride.
"It's the 250th celebration of Harrodsburg. Harrodsburg is Kentucky's oldest city," says Daarik Gray, the Executive Director of the tourism commission.
The rich history is still on display around Harrodsburg, and you can even find it in places like the Historical Society. People and events are never to be forgotten, but the planners for the Sestercentennial celebration, like Gray, want to also highlight what's happening in the city now.
"We obviously want to showcase what we have in Mercer County and Harrodsburg," says Gray.
To put those ideas into action, the tourism commission formed a board of about a dozen people to coordinate everything from beautification to marketing. They're planning a four-day event in June of 2024.
"We're hoping that it's a huge festival all downtown. We'll block off from Main Street to historic Chiles Street all the way to Old Fort Harrod State Park, with live music, speakers, food trucks," says Gray.
Gray says events will be planned throughout the city, and he says more murals are in the works as well, to further showcase the stories--both old and new of Harrodsburg. He hopes the community not only plans to celebrate the Sestercentennial but also to get involved.
"We're always looking for people in the community to step up and help out. This is a community event. This isn't just a 13-person board that's doing this event. This is all for the community and, hopefully, for the state to showcase what we have," says Gray.
He knows well the feeling of love and pride in his hometown--in the City of Harrodsburg--now nearly 250 years old.
"I mean, it means everything to me," says Gray.