Hey there. How you feeling after all that bourbon in Bardstown? Sunglasses and Advil. Well it’s time for another stop. Let’s jump on the Western Kentucky Parkway and head over to our next stop on the Tour de Kentucky … Hopkins County!
Formed in 1807, Hopkins County was named after Revolutionary War and War of 1812 General Samuel Hopkins. As part of the Western Coal fields, Hopkins County ranks second in the state in coal extracted and coal reserves remaining. Agriculture takes hold toward the northern part of the county, with corn, soybeans and tobacco as the major byproducts. The abundance of small lakes and ponds around the county give residents and visitors the opportunity to spend a day on the water, or sitting next to it.
The largest city in Hopkins County is Madisonville. With just around 20,000 residents, Madisonville’s signature motto is The Best Town On Earth. You can find TBTOE on billboards, t-shirts, license plates, koozies … everywhere. What makes Madisonville the best you ask? Well, a number of things. First and most importantly, they have the best Mexican restaurant in the world. No exaggeration. Go ahead and argue about it in the comments (Care Much), but El Bracero is second to none. Their queso is worth the drive across the state. Second reason Madisonville is TBTOE has to be Ferrell’s Diner. With that old school diner feel, friendly service and a burger so good your toes curl, this is one place you have to hit, but maybe not the same day as El Bracero. That can’t be healthy.
One thing that makes these small Kentucky towns so great is the sense of community, and no where exemplifies this more than Madisonville. This is one of those towns were everyone knows everyone. Seriously. And how can you not with this list of events? There are multiple events every month where you can head downtown and hang out with friends and family. There are car shows every month, racing down at the Western Kentucky Speedway, golf tournaments, fairs … you name it. There’s even a professional Disc Golf tournament each June at the immaculate Madisonville City Park. And heck, I think Conch Republic is playing on Friday before the fireworks show. There really is an endless list of events that give Madisonville that hometown feel. Get out and enjoy TBTOE!!
Of course we can’t visit Madisonville without talking about our favorite celebrity resident … Travis Ford. Born in Madisonville, Travis went on to become the point guard at UK that most people my age wanted to be like growing up. Ford went on to set single game records for assists (15) as well as hitting 101 three pointers in a single season. Most impressive, especially now-a-days was his 50 consecutive free throws made. Other basketball legends include 1951 National Champion and NBA Hall of Famer Frank Ramsey and Big Blue favorite, Jon Hood. I think that’s pretty much it. Oh yeah, can’t forget …. Governor Steve Beshear! Oh,and that Drew Franklin guy.
So there we have it, another stop in the books, another great town visited. Everyone safely enjoy your town’s 4th of July celebration and when we get back, we’ll be clear across the state, visiting our friends in Pike County!
Remember you can shoot any questions, comments, concerns my way at [email protected]