By Mike Steely

Are you interested in three days of free festival fun just 90 minutes north of Knoxville that includes two stages of music, a car and motorcycle show, a 2K run, street parties and carnival rides? If your answer is yes, you should check out the Nibroc Festival which will be celebrating 66 years of family fun this year.

But what is Nibroc and where is it?

“Nibroc” is Corbin  spelled backward and the festival takes place in that Kentucky town just off Exits 25 and 29 inside the Bluegrass State. The event this year is planned for August 9-11 and features a parade, crafts, and musical entertainment by Exile and J. J. Shelburne plus other bands. The event has been voted one of 10 best festivals in the state.

Corbin is a city in northern Whitley County but also extends to Knox and Laurel Counties. The community once was a hub for railroad transportation and was originally known as Lynn Camp Station and then known as Cummins for the founder Nelson Cummings. It became “Corbin” for the Rev. James Corbin Floyd, a local minister.  There’s about 8,000 residents but the population surges during the festival.

While visiting the Nibroc Festival you probably want to stop by the “Sander’s Café” the home of the original “Kentucky Fried Chicken” where Colonel Harland Sanders began in 1930. The restaurant also features a small museum. The “Colonel” in his title is from being named a “Kentucky Colonel” and Sanders adopted the southern-gentlemen persona as a successful advertising image.

Exit 25 leads to south Corbin and near that exit is the Arena at Southeastern Kentucky Ag and Expo Complex and the Baptist Regional Medical Center building  which also houses the Corbin Tourism office.

Just north of Corbin, between the city and its neighbor London, Ky, is the Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park. The park features several pioneer buildings and a mass grave of victims of a Cherokee attack there. Don’t miss the watermill there and lots of water wheels along the path to the mill. The park is located just off Highway 25W north of Corbin.

While you’re in the area for a day or more you may also want to drive over to Cumberland Falls and see what is known as the Niagara of the South. The state park there also features camping, horseback riding, dining at DuPont Lodge, hiking, and great overlooks of the massive falls.

You can get more information by calling 606-528-6390 or going on the internet at