Story Walk coming to downtown Middlesboro

Published 10:10 am Friday, February 24, 2023

What’s up, Middlesboro? Where has this month gone?

It seems like I was just wishing you a Happy New Year, but here we are about to say goodbye to February. Before we do, we have some more fun happenings in downtown.

Saturday, Feb. 25 is the Grand Opening of Hometown Threads. At noon, I get to hand the huge scissors over to Riley Brock to mark the official opening of her business with the ribbon cutting. Hometown Threads is located at 2013 W Cumberland Ave. The shop is a newly renovated space done by building owners Chris Hendrickson and Jeff Moore. Chris has been the space designer and he has done an incredible job. The exposed brick, scorched shiplap and tin creates a space that has you feeling like you are in an urban fashion district. Riley Brock is the young business owner who has filled this amazing space with trendy clothing for ladies and children. She has mentioned that she would like to add a small section for the guys too. It is exciting to have another boutique downtown that gives us fashionable options.

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Next Saturday, March 4, at noon we have another Grand Opening with a Ribbon Cutting at Mimi’s Sweet Treats.

Mimi’s Sweet Treats is located at 123 Lothbury Ave. Matt Irwin and Melissa Barton are the owners of Mimi’s Sweet Treats. Matt and Melissa have created a space that makes you feel like you have stepped into a real-life Candy Land.

They have every kind of candy you can think of. Some nostalgic candies that remind you of childhood- wacky wafers, fun dips, Now and Laters, and more. They have sugar-free options. To just put it simply, Mimi’s Sweet Treats will be your sweet tooth’s best friend. Within the next few weeks they will start serving hand-scooped ice cream. Oh my, the fun we will have in Mimi’s!

From Feb. 27 to March 3 downtown will become a Story Walk. Main Street has partnered with Middlesboro Independent Schools for this Read Across America local event. When Jessica Brown, Family Resources Center Coordinator at Middlesboro Elementary, reached out to me regarding doing something downtown for Read Across America Week, I quickly said yes. Twenty downtown businesses will host a page of the story “Catch My Breath.” Families will be able to walk from shop window to shop window to read the story. We do have maps that show where each page will be located. Some of the shops will be giving children a free book- these will be listed on the map and on the story page.

I am looking forward to seeing families walking around downtown enjoying this event. I encourage you to take pictures of your family doing the Story Walk. Make sure to share those pictures with us. You can email those pictures to me at To encourage you to share the pictures with us we will have a drawing for a family fun prize.

To wrap up the Read Across America week, the Middlesboro Innovative Approaches to Literacy team, Save the Children, The Children’s Reading Foundation of Appalachia-KY and MMS will fill the city parking lot with family friendly activities, free educational materials, storybook characters, and more. This event is on Saturday, March 4 from noon to 3 p.m. Bring your family out to enjoy this fun time.

I wanted to make sure to remind you about Bell County’s Got Talent. This talent contest will be June 1-3 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at OYC Church, 225 S. 38th St. here in Middlesboro. There are three categories: vocals, groups, and instrumentals. All who are interested must submit the “Official Preliminary Registration Form” and a $25 entry fee.

The registration forms are available on our website — Winners from our preliminary contest will advance to the Cumberland Gap Region Talent Championship Competition at the Union County Opry in October where thousands of dollars in cash and prizes will be awarded to third, second and first-place winners in each category. The highest overall scoring winner will receive the title of “Entertainer of the Year” and $1,000 cash. This title will also bring additional prizes including: guest appearance on TV and radio, opportunity to be the opening act in the 2024 season at the Union County Opry, and more. If you want a career in the music industry or just enjoy performing, this is a great opportunity for you. If you have more questions just drop me an email at

New SHOP LOCAL cards are ready to pick up- they will be available at participating shops and at the Middlesboro Main Street office.

There is lots happening with Middlesboro Main Street, so make sure to plan on being a part of the fun. Our events are listed on our website or you can drop me an email and I will send you a list of them. Our available and move in ready spaces are currently just one space. Hoping that more spaces will be renovated so more businesses can move in.

Besides supporting local businesses, how about considering supporting Middlesboro Main Street. Your financial support will allow us to offer more opportunities to downtown businesses and more community events. If you have questions on how you can help or to offer help with a particular project, please drop me an email.

Until next Saturday remember to Shop Local and be a part of the positive change in our downtown.