LEXINGTON — The Big Blue Caravan is back and ready to make stops in various communities throughout the Bluegrass State.

The Big Blue Caravan, led by Mitch Barnhart, is UK Athletics’ annual outreach effort throughout the state the athletics department represents. This year, the Caravan includes a department-sponsored service trip to Eastern Kentucky.

“We are excited to be touring the Commonwealth once again on the Big Blue Caravan,” Barnhart said. “The return of the event last year was a special experience for all who participated and the relationships we built and strengthened still last today. We look forward to doing the same this summer in a new set of communities throughout the state that means so much to us.”

This year, on the heels of a department-sponsored service trip to Harlan County that begins Friday, June 21 and lasts until Sunday, June 23, the Caravan will remain in Eastern Kentucky Monday, June 24 through Wednesday, June 26. The final two days will be spent in Owensboro (Thursday, June 27) and Meade County (Friday, June 28).

The highlight of the Big Blue Caravan will be four events open to the public featuring poster giveaways and photo opportunities with UK’s mascots and trophies recently won by Wildcat teams. They are as follows:

Hazard: Monday, June 24, noon-2 p.m. at City Hall (700 Main St, Hazard, KY 41701)

Paintsville: Wednesday, June 26, 10-11:30 a.m. at Paintsville Recreation Center (232 Preston St, Paintsville, KY 41240) – Paintsville native and Kentucky football player Kash Daniel will be in attendance

Owensboro: Thursday, June 27, 4-6 p.m. at Kroger (2630 Frederica St, Owensboro, KY 42301)

Meade County: Friday, June 28, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Kroger (568 By Pass Rd, Brandenburg, KY 40108)

Monday’s events – all in the Hazard area – will include visits to a coalmine and Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center, with the day highlighted by the public event at city hall. The stay in Hazard will continue through Tuesday morning before the Caravan makes for visits to Hindman Settlement School and with first responders from Floyd County and Magoffin County. First responders from the two counties assisted in the search and rescue effort for a 22-month-old found alive after several days missing in May.

The Caravan’s final day in Eastern Kentucky will be spent in Paintsville, where Kash Daniel and fellow members of the Kentucky football team will participate in the public event at the Paintsville Recreation Center on Wednesday from 10-11:30 a.m.

On Thursday, the Caravan will head west to Owensboro for stops at various local businesses and a visit with local first responders. The day in Owensboro will conclude with the public event at Kroger. This year’s Caravan will make its final stop in Meade County with more visits to local businesses and the public event at Kroger.

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