The City of Pikeville honored its first responders with the third annual First Responder’s Day celebration at Pikeville City Park on Friday.

The event marked the end of the city’s inaugural First Responders Week, an observance week approved by the Pikeville City Commission that took place July 22-26.

At Friday’s event, attendees could enjoy free food, inflatables, balloon animals, face painting and live music by Johnson County musician Seth Ferguson. Children received free gifts from first responders, including Pikeville Fire and Rescue cups, frisbees and plastic firefighter hats, and several first responders received free gifts from raffle drawings.

Kathy Hamilton, director of the Pikeville Community Kitchen, helped put together the event with volunteers from her ministry. She said she started the event in 2017 in order to do more to honor first responders in the city.

“They do such a tremendous job in helping us,” Hamilton said. “We wanted to do something for them.”

Pike County Judge-Executive Ray Jones and Pikeville Mayor Jimmy Carter spoke at the event. During his speech, Carter read the proclamation that declared First Responders Week to be observed the week of July 22.

“It’s one of those things where you don’t realize you need them until you need them,” Carter said. “I might be biased, but I think the City of Pikeville has some of the best first responders in the state.”

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