SOAR names Ashland City of Year

Apr. 28—Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) named Ashland its 2024 City of the Year at the annual gala in Prestonsburg.

Mayor Matt Perkins, the four city commissioners and Visit AKY Director Brandy Clark accepted the award on Saturday at the Mountain Arts Center.

"So proud of all the hard work and teamwork that makes recognition like this a possibility!" City Manager Mike Graese posted on Facebook.

"This recognition embodies not only the tremendous hard work and dedication shown by our city staff and elected officials, but the support of our community as well," the City of Ashland Kentucky Government wrote on its Facebook page. "Thank you, SOAR, for this prestigious award. Our future in Ashland is bright, and we are excited to continue building on this momentum."

During the ceremony, SOAR indicated Ashland leadership has focused on public safety and making investments into the city.

"When you work together, you can get some things done," Perkins said during the event. "Our region has been hit hard, but I'm so proud of this commission, the tourism office, our city staff and our citizens for coming together like we know we should."

SOAR is a non-profit organization that serves 54 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) counties of eastern Kentucky.

Ashland was the host city for the annual ARC conference in 2023. The city hosted the Mini SOAR Summit in 2022.