WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newsletter at 11 p.m. Saturday
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) – Loretta Lynn grew up in Butcher Hollow in the small community of Van Lear in Johnson County. On Saturday, people from across the region gathered at her home to celebrate the country music star’s 90th birthday.
Loretta Lynn told the stories of her youth through song and is the most awarded female artist in country music history.
“She brought coal mining and coal camp life and the struggles of Appalachia, and the riches of Appalachia, to the forefront,” said Paintsville Tourism executive director Jeremiah Parsons. “She is the most awarded female country music artist in the world. She is marvellous. She’s our hometown girl and we’re so happy to be able to celebrate her.
Johnson County, the community of Van Lear and many locals came out to celebrate Loretta Lynn’s birthday at her home in Butcher Hollow.
Johnson County Executive Judge Mark McKenzie declared April 9-14 “Loretta Lynn Week” throughout the county and encouraged people to celebrate Loretta Lynn, her life, her legacy and her Appalachian legacy.
“It allows us to recognize a native of Van Lear and Johnson County who has, you know, had a very successful life and career,” Judge McKenzie said.
Alongside tourism officials from across the region, local government officials, tourists and some of Loretta Lynn’s family members also came out to celebrate, who said Loretta Lynn was thrilled with the celebration.
“When we told Meemaw about it, she was in tears. I mean, you know, this is her house,” Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter Tayla Lynn said. of her, and I was leaving yesterday, she said, ‘Okay, are you going home? Are you going home? Tell everyone I love them and miss them.
On Saturday, the festivities began with a mountain bike ride. At noon, people began gathering at the home to await the unveiling of a proposed historical marker at the small cabin in Butcher Hollow.
“It will always be his home in his heart,” Tayla Lynn said, “and it means so much to our whole family.”
Saturday was just the start of Loretta Lynn’s 90th birthday celebrations. You can find a full list of events on the Paintsville Tourism Facebook page.
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