PAINTSVILLE – Did you enjoy a Tiger Ear, fried apple pie or funnel cake at this year’s Kentucky Apple Festival? Or did you take in a carnival ride or enjoy the ever-famous arts and crafts tent?
If so, you should thank a small group of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) students.
Students in the college’s electrical technology program on the Mayo campus wired the 54th annual Kentucky Apple Festival, a tradition that has been going on for more than three decades.
“It’s about community, it’s about service, and it’s about getting out of the classroom and getting some practical, hands-on training,” said C.W. VanHoose, associate professor of electrical technology at BSCTC. Student from VanHoose’s and Associate Professor Jimmy McClure’s class worked on the project. “Our students are part of our communities, and they look at this as a way to give back.”
VanHoose, who also serves on the Kentucky Apple Festival board, said the assistance of the students, under his supervision, provides a substantial cost savings to the festival. The students and VanHoose have dropped 60, 200-amp services for all food vendors and have laid 870-feet of wire to the tents housing arts and crafts and other vendors.
“When you visit a booth or take in some of the great food, know that our students had a hand in this,” said VanHoose.
Planning for such a huge task starts at least a month before the festival. Keshia Howard, a student in the electrical technology program, remembers a humid August day when VanHoose asked the students if they wanted to be in the classroom or out in town getting some practical learning.
“We decided to go outside, and it was pretty humid,” recalled Howard, 26, a first-year student from Magoffin County. “All of that aside, it feels amazing to help your community and gain experience for my future career at the same time.”
Jackie King, 29, of West Liberty, has attended the Kentucky Apple Festival before. He knew some work went into setting up for the event, but he has a whole new respect for it.
“It’s a lot of processes and troubleshooting,” said King, a second-year student. “When I walk the streets this weekend, I’ll have a sense of pride knowing that we played a part in this.”
For more information on BSCTC’s electrical technology program, contact VanHoose at (606) 788-2888 or email [email protected]