Ky. lawmaker pushing to create a bluegrass trail

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Associated Press

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 6:03 AM

GRAYSON, Ky. (AP) — A state lawmaker is pushing for the creation of a bluegrass trail in Kentucky.

Democratic state Sen. Robin Webb of Grayson told The Independent (http://bit.ly/1hs8W87) that her proposal seeks to promote traditional Kentucky culture and would boost tourism.

"I grew up in it, so I'm a little partial," said Webb, noting her longtime association and support of local bluegrass festivals and events. "It was just a big part of my life growing up.

Webb says her resolution could be accomplished with little funding — mostly for signs.

"We can enhance what we have with technology, awareness, marketing and signage. Signage may be our most challenging thing right now," she said.

If the proposal gets legislative approval, the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet would create and promote the bluegrass trail, which would identify and locate venues, festivals, concerts, museums, schools and historic and noteworthy sites that feature bluegrass music.

Webb said she would like to see it begin in eastern Kentucky before it spreads to the rest of the state. She said she got the idea while driving along U.S. 23, also known as the County Music Highway.

"Tourism is one of Kentucky's top industries. In 2012, tourism had an economic impact of $12.2 billion," Webb said. "Bluegrass music is a big part of our culture and attracts visitors to our state. We need to build on the bluegrass music attraction and grow the opportunities for visitors to see and do more related to the bluegrass music industry. This would not only be good for our tourism industry, but would also promote our culture."

She said several bluegrass festivals are held around the state. In addition, the state is home to the International Bluegrass Museum in Owensboro and the Bill Monroe Museum in Rosine.

"Bluegrass music, as are bourbon and thoroughbred horse racing, is a fundamental and traditional component of Kentucky's cultural heritage that people from all regions of America and throughout the world readily identify and seek out as uniquely appealing," Webb said.

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Information from: The Independent, http://www.dailyindependent.com

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