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Program 418

1. the running of the outhouses
2. artist Mitchell Tolle
3. sunflower farm
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Marion County

For more information:
Penn’s Store, 257 Rollings Road, Gravel Switch, KY 40328, (270) 332-7715

Producer: Charlee Heaton

Racing Loos

The Great Outhouse Blowout

Louisville may have the Derby, but Gravel Switch in Marion County has its own international sporting event. Each summer, athletes from around the country and even the world gather for a test of speed—and carpentry—known as the Great Outhouse Blowout. While one member directs the effort from inside, teams of runners race to get their wheel-mounted one-holer across the finish line first and capture the coveted trophy.

The Great Outhouse Blowout began in 1993 to commemorate the addition of a (working) outhouse to Penn’s country store. When you’ve been in business since 1850, you don’t make changes lightly, so the owners felt a community celebration was in order. By the time Kentucky Life visited for the fifth installment in 1997, the Blowout had become a full-fledged festival, with music, food, and of course a parade of athletes.

Penn’s was also featured in our special program on country stores, Kentucky Life number 402.

Madison County

For more information:
Mitchell Tolle Studio and Gallery, 633 Chestnut St., Berea, KY 40403, (859) 986-1866

Producer: Ernie Lee Martin

Painterly Eye

Artist Mitchell Tolle

Berea, in Madison County, has long prided itself on being a center for arts and crafts. One resident who is part of that tradition is Mitchell Tolle, who says he has known he wanted to be a painter since he was 3. In this profile, we visit Tolle at work on a specially commissioned portrait of former President Jimmy Carter, who visited Kentucky in the fall of 1997 to help build houses for Habitat for Humanity’s “Hammering in the Hills” project.

Franklin County

Producer: Donna Ross

Bright Blooms

Sunflower farm

To end the program on a bright note, come along on our visit to the Carroll family farm in Franklin County, where the main crop is sunflowers.

SEASON 4 PROGRAMS: 401402403404405406407408409410411

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