"Generations of Tradition"


Welcome to the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival Official Website. 

Currently we are ready to kick off this 88th KMLF with a wonderful concert performance from Scotty McCreery! We are also excited to announce a partnership with the Department of Agriculture’s Kentucky Proud program. As part of the partnership, we are pleased that the Commissioner of Agriculture, Ryan Quarles will have the honor of crowning the 2018 Queen. The partnership has allowed us to create unique menus that will be comprised of foods produced in Kentucky at many of our Director’s and public events. Extra efforts have been made to purchase locally and to use products made in the Commonwealth. We even hired a new carnival that is based in Kentucky. You will notice the Kentucky Proud logo on many of our materials this year. The 88th KMLF is excited to call ourselves “Kentucky Proud!”



Mr. Jacob Roan, Chairman and his Co-Chair Mrs. Becky Combs Collett invite you to visit with us. It will allow you to see the beauty of Southeastern Kentucky.  You'll have a chance to meet our reigning queen Ms. Hayley Leach from the University of Kentucky and many other KMLF celebrities.


2017 Queen-Hayley Frances Leach 

University of Kentucky




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 88th 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.  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.