Coleman Hopes Old Fort Harrod Will Be Center Of Harrodsburg’s 250th Birthday Celebration
(Editor’s note: This is a weekly series interviewing community leaders to share their thoughts and goals for the community.)
David Coleman is a native of Arkansas who moved to Kentucky in 1984.
“After 35 years I do consider myself a native Kentuckian,” said Coleman.
As park manager at the Old Fort Harrod State Park for the last 10 years, Coleman does a bit of everything.
“I do management and supervision, but I also help keep the grounds, do ticket sales or work the gift shop,” said Coleman. “I help plan programs and events. In a park of this size, the manager does a little of everything.”
Coleman said he is proud of the fort and wished more locals would come and check out the changes.
“Some of the locals haven’t been here in 30 years. Most people come to our free events, but I wish they would come and see the fort as well,” said Coleman. “A lot has changed. We have an artisan gift shop. We can’t get more Kentucky proud.”
“This park has been in the heart of Mercer County for over 100 years,” said Coleman. “It is time for the younger generation to come see how things have changed.
Coleman says they constantly have unscripted events to provide variety in their reenactments.
“We are always reinventing new ways to present history,” said Coleman. “We do things differently each time to create a different experience for the crowd.”
Coleman said he and many others have been preparing for Harrodsburg’s 250th birthday. He hopes the park can be a showpiece for the event.
The park is anticipating funds from the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Tourism Commission and Coleman plans on putting the funds to good use.
“We are hoping to rebuild the fort walls. We have already rewired the inside as well as repainted and updated sewer and bathroom fixtures,” said Coleman. “Future maintenance and rebuilding will be funded with the tourism grant.”
Coleman said the park has several events in April including Pick up the Park, this Saturday.
“Pick up the Park started in 2007 after a severe ice storm left debris everywhere forcing the park to close,” said Coleman. “The community Easter egg hunt was scheduled and the park needed to be cleaned for it.”
This year’s Kiwanis Community Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for Saturday, April 20.
Other events at the fort include:
• Grand Council reenactment on Saturday, April 13
• First day with crafters is Tuesday, April 16
• Car show and movie night is Saturday, May 11.
• Picnic in the Park starts Friday, June 7
• Founder’s Day is Sunday, June 16
• Settlement and Raid is Friday, June 21 through Sunday, June 23
• James Harrod: Battle for Kentucky will be held July 18-20 and July 25-27
• Pioneer Days is scheduled for Aug. 16-18
• The Fort Harrod Jazz Festival is Sept. 20-22
• The Haunted Frontier will be Oct. 25, 26, 30 and 31
• Shawnee Run will be Friday, Nov. 1
• Open House will be Saturday, Nov. 23
“Great things are happening in Mercer County. The festivals are growing at a thrilling rate,” said Coleman. “We are excited to be part of the festivals and are looking forward to a great year.”
For more information, visit parks.ky.gov/parks/recreationparks/fort-harrod.
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.