Welcome to the 4th Annual Louisville Loves Mountains Day! | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Welcome to the 4th Annual Louisville Loves Mountains Day!

Louisville Loves Mountains

Louisville Loves Mountains has officially kicked off, welcome y'all!

We're here in Louisville, KY to spread the word that our state and our people deserve better (and know better) than to destroy our biodiversity and sell our quality of life away to King Coal! Our mountains are precious and so are the people who inhabit them. It's not just our history, heritage, and environment at stake; it's our health, jobs, legislation, resources, and future energy solutions that we need to work to protect and grow. Please join us in a city-style hootenanny to raise awareness of the fact that we all live downstream!

Its a beautiful sunny day with plenty of good folk, good food, and of course, good activism! Gather your family and your pals and head down to Longest Ave. and Bardstown Road for an evening of fun and education! Here's a look at the line-up:

4:00: Festival Start
4:30: Americana Community Center Drum & Dance Crew
5:00: Potluck Ramblers
5:45: Our Earth Now: Connect the Dots Presentation
6:00: KEYNOTE: Erik Reece, author of Lost Mountain
6:25: River City Drum Corps
6:40: Sugar Tree
7:15: Appalatin
8:00: Joan Shelley and the June Brides
9:00: The 23 String Band
10:00 Festival End

The Potluck Ramblers just took the stage! Looking forward to seeing lots of smiling, mountain loving faces today! Please come find my blogger booth and let me know why YOU love mountains! I'll be here all night...

Blogger Booth

More early views of the festival:

Children's Corner

Coloring sheets are available for little mountain lovers, and right next to the coloring nook is a pile of sidewalk chalk just waiting for happy little fingers to draw mountain scenes up and down the street!


This year's t-shirts were designed by Cricket Press out of Lexington, KY... Aren't they awesome?! Belly up to the merch booth early if you'd like one -- they're sure to sell out quickly!


We are so fortunate this year to welcome WMMT FM Whitesburg to Louisville Loves Mountains! For all you Kentucky cityslickers, WMMT is broadcast from the Appalshop, a jewel and a beacon of Appalachian music, film, and theatre in Whitesburg.


The Americana Center Drum and Dance Crew was the perfect start to the festival! Their beats and dancing energized us all and reminded us that we all beat the drum of mountain love!


The Potluck Ramblers pickin' and grinnin' away as I type.. It's hard not to tap your toes to all these great old folk tunes! If you close your eyes and imagine yourself away from our urban environment they'll easily take you away to a breezy day in the mountains. 


The Potluck Ramblers are wrapping up their set up with a harmonica-laden version of "What a Wonderful World," and I can't help but feel overcome with gratitude to be part of a community that works to protect and support its land and its people. Taking a look at all the people engaged in activities and conversations with KFTC volunteers is a sweet sight to behold!


Between entertainment sets be sure to swing by the merch both to pick up a smattering of bumper stickers, books, and posters pertaining to the cause of ending mountaintop removal and finding new energy solutions! A bumper sticker or two ensures that you're spreading the word every time you hop in your car or on your bike!


Erik Reece, author of Lost Mountain, is about to take the stage! The book is such a powerful account of mountaintop removal, one that surely will convey to even to the most staunch skeptic the irreversibly destructive effect of this practice on Kentucky's biodiversity.


In an uplifting start to his address Reece affirmed for the audience that grassroots movements such as ours have a powerful voice in state and national politics as he relayed the statistic that 36 out of 48 applications for mountaintop removal permits were revoked by the EPA last year. That's 36 mountains saved, but the fight doesn't end there. Reece was also quick to point out that Kentucky's highest cancer rates occur in regions effected by mountaintop removal. In addition to being susceptible to health problems, the people of Appalachia are in danger of a crashing economy. Reece pointed out that natural gas is fast encroaching on the coal industry, and if coal were to become too expensive (or obsolete altogether) that region would be completely destitute. Drawing on an example of how solar energy has saved a Cleveland community, Reece emphasized the importance of transitioning Appalachia to a clean energy economy; not just for the environment, but for the stability of the people.

In that vein, Reece outlined three principles by which all economic structures should be measured; integrity, sustainability, and beauty. He furthered the discussion of these principles by using the metaphor of a coal mine vs. a natural watershed. While a mine is destructive and finite, a watershed is a natural source of energy and sustenance. If we follow the watershed principle when designing energy and economic policies, we are sure to meet sound ends.


The River City Drum Corp. is always a huge highlight of the festival! 


There's an overwhelming pulse taking over the streets, and it's not just our determination to raise awareness, it's the resounding talent these guys possess.

Following the River City Drum Corp. were the sweet melodies of Sugar Tree.

Sugar Tree



Can y'all hear the dinner bell?! There are so many good food options to indulge in before Appalatin takes the stage! The Grind food truck has delicious burger offerings, while Morels, the "Vegan Butcher," is serving up some animal friendly options!



On the subject of food, SPROUTS is here teaching children about the tragedy of "muffintop" removal. The realization that the savory of top a muffin can never be replaced is the only analogy kids need to understand how devastating mountaintop removal really is!


muffintop removal






Appalatin, 4 year veterans of the Louisville Loves Mountains stage, are sharing their Latin infused Appalachian tunes with a packed street crowd!


There's no better testament to the human spirit than the dancing and laughter of little ones. These childrens' spirits are as pure as the mountain landscape!




The honey sweet voice of Joan Shelley is flowin' down Longest Ave. as the sun sets. Her music draws from and stays true to traditional ballad-style folk.


Take a look at this dynamic duo!



We should all feel a lil' like super men and women after a jam-packed day of revelry and activism!


Boy, oh boy! The 23 String Band is sending off in style! There's nothing more rewarding than wading through hundreds of enthusiastic festival goers, answering honest questions about the ins and outs of mountaintop removal, and encountering dozens of friends, grinning ear to ear. 



Thanks to everyone who made this year's festival such a success! It's our hope that as the festival grows, folk from across the region come to share their stories and knowledge in the festive spirit of this event! If you have a song, a voice, a story, or an affinity for the beautifully unique mountainous regions of Kentucky, please get in touch and join us for future events!

As for now, there's nothing left to do but enjoy some fine fiddlin' and hand clappin'! To the left of me is a group of folk having a last minute hoedown in a circle around their dog. Such good times... Goodnight, friends!


You can also view more pictures of the day on KFTC's Flickr album Here


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