Livermore Becomes Kentucky Trail’s 25th Town | News
Livermore is officially a Kentucky Trail town and now one of 25 in the state.
The city officially celebrated its recognition Friday at the McLean County Public Library, 116 E. Second St. in Livermore, with a certification presentation and reception.
“I was really looking forward to this moment. Believe me, I really did it,” said Ralph Thacker, co-director of Livermore’s Kentucky Trail Town Task Force. “What a journey we had to take to finally get here, to be certified Kentucky Trail Town. It was always a dream…”
On December 3, Thacker, along with co-director John “Sonny” Renfrow and Mark Melloy, the chairman of the task force’s merchant committee, met with Seth Wheat, director of tourism development for the Kentucky Department of Tourism, to find out that Livermore has received all certification requirements to be recognized as a Trail Town.
“…You should all be extremely proud of what you’ve all done,” Wheat said during the presentation. “…But it’s not just about being proud of what tourism says or what tourism does — it’s about making (Livermore) a better place to live and work. In the end, it’s not about tourism; …it’s about the people who live here, the people who inhabit this place, the children who grew up here and who may one day want to come back here. That’s what it’s all about.”
According to the Kentucky Tourism website, Kentucky Trail Towns are statewide designated communities that feature trails and waterways, while also serving as a place for visitors to find food, fellowship, entertainment , accommodation, small businesses and shops, and a place for people. create memories and make cities a better place to live while providing more economic opportunities for the community.
Certification has been ongoing since June 2017.
The town has made many strides towards certification such as hosting its first Livermore Trails Day in June 2021, finding paddle boarding access points along the Rough River, hosting a Trail Town lunch Merchant and Leader in November 2021, the opening of a local Airbnb—River Trails Inn, and the announcement of the opening of RiverTown Market, a gift shop that will sell Kentucky Proud products ranging from candles, crafts , honeys and jams.
“I’m going to quote…Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘Go not where the path may lead, rather go where there is no path and leave a trail,'” Thacker said. “So I think a lot of people who looked at Livermore and said, ‘Trails in Livermore? But we can understand Mr. Emerson in this journey (for) four and a half years. … We went down a sort of uncertain path. …Sometimes we had to make our way in the dark…But I think we left a mark…It’s a day of celebration for all of us….
In the future, certification may prove to be a great opportunity to be able to revitalize Livermore.
“…We’ve lost some of the economy we had with furniture manufacturing, but we’re looking to supplement with adventure tourism and other businesses that could support that,” Thacker said. “…I think Livermore’s future is bright, really.”
Thacker is already looking to the future, such as hosting the second annual Trails Day event in June, pursuing the acquisition of the former Livermore Furniture & Hardware Co. building, and planning to create a cafe that will offer state staples. , among other ideas.
Wheat said the challenge of getting certified and taking on the task is long, but admits the “benefits are many” when pursuing it.
“Congratulations to all of you on what you’ve done so far,” Wheat said. “…I’d like to (stand) here…and tell you that the 25 Trail Towns are doing well (and) exceeding all expectations, but they’re not. This is unfortunately not the case. The vast majority of them are, and I’m happy to say, but the ones who really succeed and really excel are the ones who keep working; they are the ones who understand that the work is not done today (and) that it is an endless process…. Be proud of what you have done, but be optimistic and motivated by what you are going to do.
As Kentucky Trail Town, Livermore joins Dawson Springs, Livingston, Morehead, Olive Hill, London, Stearns, Elkhorn City, Jamestown, Manchester, Berea, Columbia, Royalton, the three Harlan County towns of Cumberland, Benham and Lynch, McKee, Slade, Munfordville, Cave City & Horse Cave, Campbellsville, Irvine & Ravenna, Hazard, Elizabethtown, Morgantown and Park City.