"Springtime in the Mountains"


Welcome to the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival Official Website. 

The town of Pineville opened its doors for the 86th Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival.  Shari Knuckles, Chairperson, and Amy Woolum, Co-Chairperson thank all our visitors and friends who came to enjoy the beauty of Pineville.  The Thursday night entertainment with Season 9 Winner of The Voice Jordan Smith was amazing.  Friday was filled with picnics, vendor booths, carnival rides, downtown entertainment and the crowning of a new KMLF Princess, Savannah Lee Slusher representing Middlesboro High School.  All wrapped up with a booming fireworks show.  Early Saturday morning in Pineville was a buzz with 5K runners and breakfast guest.  The downtown area filled up with those young and young at heart to enjoy the Kentucky Utilities Gala Parade.  A luncheon at Pine Mountain State Park Resort was held in honor of Gov. Matt Bevin prior to his 1st KMLF crowning.  At the Laurel Cove as we watched the young women representing many colleges and universities around the state glide across the grassy stage in their white gowns.  Connor Rose Cook, representing the University of Pikeville was crowned the 2016 KMLF Queen by Gov. Matt Bevin.  The celebrations continued with downtown events and a grand ball to celebrate the newly crowned queen.  Sunday morning a breakfast was held to close out the lovely weekend.  Please join us next year for the 87th KMLF! Our festival dates are May 25th-28th.


2016 Queen-Connor Rose Cook

University of Pikeville

 (photo by Ray Welch)



The Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival is one of Kentucky's oldest festivals, finding its start in 1931, when Mrs. Annie Walker Burns established the festival as a way to honor her famous ancestor, Dr. Thomas Walker, a pioneer explore. Since that time, the devotion and hospitality of so many, along with the resonant history of the festival, have enabled this beautiful event to thrive for eighty years.


We think you'll enjoy our quaint and historic town nestled in the Appalachian foothills of Bell County, Kentucky where Southern hospitality reigns throughout. The festival features many events including a Queen's Coronation. Many Queens have been celebrated in song, verse and festival for centuries, it's only suitable that our time honored festival garland a Queen with our native Mountain Laurel. We open our homes to these accomplished and lovely young Queen Candidates, selected by and to represent their Kentucky College or University in the annual pageant. During the Coronation, held at an exquisite outdoor amphitheater near the close of the weekend, each Queen curtseys to the Governor of Kentucky- and in turn he crowns the winning Queen.


We are certain that as you browse this site, you will be more encouraged to join us as we celebrate the 86th Annual Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival. All KMLF events are family oriented; many are free and open to the public; those requiring tickets are reasonably priced. For more information contact us the KMLF office at (606) 337-6103. Information is also available through the Bell County Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-988-1075 or (606) 248-1075.  Find us on Facebook & Twitter.


Photos can be viewed on our gallery. 


Donate to the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Foundation. The festival wouldn’t exist without your contributions.