Monday, June 25, 2018

Message from the Mayor: Midway turns blue

Crowds of people, many of them dressed in blue, gathered in Midway on Sunday
to meet men's basketball team and Coach John Calipari. (Photo by Sarah Ladd)
By Grayson Vandegrift
Mayor, City of Midway

On Sunday afternoon, starting around 3 p.m., I watched as downtown Midway slowly started turning blue. But it wasn’t the bad kind of turning blue – it was Big Blue Nation making its way to the United Bank parking lot where fans of all ages met the incoming team and Coach John Calipari.

It was a whirlwind whistle-stop tour. I was notified on Friday that the team was coming via RJ Corman Railroad Co. and was asked if I could help secure a location and spread the word. The post I made to my political Facebook page alerting the region to the impending Cat sighting was shared over 100 times – far and away more than any previous post I’ve made on that page. Whether you’re a true blue fan or a casual observer, this is what UK basketball does for us Kentuckians – it unites wide swaths of us from all parts of our commonwealth. Yesterday, folks from all walks of life met in Midway to meet some Cats.

Calipari signs a poster for a fan. (Photo by Sarah Ladd)
My initial estimate of the crowd size was around 750 people, but Coach Cal tweeted that it was more like 1,000. I don’t know if his calculations would meet the rigorous standards of the “McDaniel Density Equation,” but since the guys were nice enough to stay an hour later than planned so everyone could get an autograph and a picture, we’ll defer to the coach on this one.

Another Midway happenin’ is taking place downtown this Friday. Larry Corey & and the Passport Band will be performing at the kickoff of the third annual Midsummer Nights in Midway summer concert series. As in previous years, there will also be local vendors, food & drink, but this Friday we’re going to try a new set up. We’ll be closing the lower (north) side of East Main from 5:30 to 10 p.m. for increased safety and functionality. We’re hopeful this will make the event even better, but if unforeseen issues arise from it, we’ll go back to the drawing board. I hope to see you downtown this Friday night.

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