Praising Ironton’s people

Published 10:56 am Tuesday, July 12, 2016

In a recent interview, I was asked, what makes Ironton unique in comparison to other communities? Without hesitation I replied, “Its people.”

The city of Ironton, as well as the entire Appalachian region, has experienced its fair share of economic challenges. With a revenue stream that only represents 20 percent of our population, how does a community stay solvent and push forward.

Over the past 13 years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a number of people who genuinely love this community. I’ve watched the private sector join forces with the public sector to help position the city of Ironton for growth.

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One may say, I’m only one person, how can I be effective? If you recall, a group of “Friends” got together and formed a non-profit organization that is now bringing approximately 50-60K people to our community through a motorcycle rally and a basketball tournament. These two events alone boost our local economy through tourism dollars.

A group of local business leaders came together and developed a downtown revitalization committee, and you are now seeing a number of special events like the Summer Concert Series, Taste of Ironton and the Farmers Market being in the central business district.

Through a small group of local residents, Ironton still hosts the longest and continuous running Memorial Day parade in the nation. Let’s not forget about our local Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis groups that work diligently to make Ironton a better place.

There has been a recent movement by a group of young people called #Young Brilliantnaires. Their goal is to stop complaining about their situation and become the agent of change that they desire. “People Motivating Other People.” (PMOP).

Most recently, the Ironton in Bloom committee hosted the America In Bloom judges as they showcased our town and all its uniqueness. Taking on a project this size could not be done on its’ own and the city of Ironton does not have a budget, nor the manpower to accommodate this task.

Many organizations understood the importance of this project and quickly jumped on board to help Ironton put its best foot forward. Many thanks, goes out to the Ironton in Bloom Committee for the countless volunteer hours spent putting this project together. I would also like to thank the city employees, Friends of Ironton, Ironton Alive, Honorable Clark Collins, Honorable Judge Cooper, Star Community Justice Center, Quinn Chapel AME, First United Methodist Church, CAO, Boy Scout Troop 106, and the Bicentennial Committee for all their support ensuring Ironton looked its best.

These are just a few of the non-profit organizations that love this city and want to see a more vibrant community. One person can make a difference and these people are doing it every day. So again, what makes Ironton so unique, its people.


Katrina Keith is the mayor of Ironton. She can be reached at 740-532-3833.