The 66th annual Daniel Boone Festival in Barbourville last week brought local attention to Union College’s parade float, a student initiative that garnered a first place award.
The float, sponsored by the Union College Ambassadors and Union College Student Government Association, won the Dr. Karl Bleyl Award, a top prize.
The theme of this year’s parade was “Honoring Daniel Boone.” In keeping with the theme, Union students featured on their float Daniel and Rebecca Boone with their small child. These characters were portrayed by a Union College student family: Eric and Robin Kinman, and their daughter, Iris.
The float represented the Boones as they made their trek across the wilderness trail. Along the sides and on the back of the float was a quote from Daniel Boone, which read, “Curiosity is natural to the soul of man, and interesting objects have a powerful influence on our affections.”
The college’s participation in the parade, along with the award they received, honors the Union College professor who was instrumental in creating the festival. Dr. Karl Bleyl helped establish the festival in 1948 as a way to celebrate the recently signed Cane Treaty between the people of Barbourville and the Cherokee Nation. According to the treaty, the Cherokee people could gather, without a fee, as much cane from the Barbourville area as they wanted.