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Spotlight on Cynthiana: Bringing a community together

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Posted at 12:55 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 19:11:35-05

CYNTHIANA, Ky. (LEX 18) — Every morning at 9:10 a.m. on 101.3 Fm WCYN, Mayor James Smith gets on the mic and offers an escape from the hard reality his listeners have faced. And it's those local businesses and their fun events around town that he talks about on social media and on his radio show.

Smith says despite the pandemic, the city has made way for activities to still happen in a safe way.

"People came out for our ghost walk this year, which we limited to 25 people and required masks to be safe," he said. "We had over 1,000 people come. It was one of our best years ever. That just gives us hope and it makes me very, very proud of not just Cynthiana but and of Kentucky as well because a lot of those people were from outside of Cynthiana coming here to support us."

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Just 15 years ago, two things were open downtown -- a restaurant, and Rohs Opera House. But now almost every storefront is filled.

"I'm very proud of Cynthiana of how we've handled, not just this year, but how we've handled coming back from the great recession," Smith said. "We were the first community to have a case of COVID in Kentucky. I think that pulled us together more than anything else. We decided to take care of our own, not only of those who had lost jobs and needed food but take care of our local businesses too."

As for what's next for Cynthiana, the mayor says he wants the city to be known as the number one fall destination in Kentucky.

"We want to, after this pandemic is over, to come back stronger as a theater, become not just the local theater where you can go see movies, but a regional arts center where you can go see plays, live music," Smith said.