Located on the banks of the Ohio River, Ashland, originally known as Poage's Landing, has a population of more than 21,000. The city's motto is "A proud past. A bright future."
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Ashland is as an important economic and medical center for the northeast region of Kentucky. Around 74 percent of workers from the city work for companies, 13 percent work for the government, and 5 percent are self-employed. The leading industries in the city are educational, health and social services, retail and manufacturing.
Some of the notable organizations in the city include AK Steel, a Fortune 500 company that is in the business of steel making; and King's Daughters Medical Center, the fourth-largest hospital in the state of Kentucky.
- Highlands Museum and Discovery Center: A hands-on, interactive museum for children, the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center is a favorite with both tourists and Ashland residents, attracting more than 21,000 visitors each year. It features interactive exhibits relating to local history, aviation, art, and archeology.
- A Country Music Heritage exhibit includes biographies and other memorabilia relating to famous country artists such as Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn and Billy Ray Cyrus. The museum is located in the historic Parson's department store building on Winchester Avenue.
- Boyd County War Memorial: Located in Armco Park, the Boyd County War Memorial commemorates local soldiers who lost their lives in various wars.
- Kyova Mall: Located just outside of Ashland, Kyova Mall is a retail center featuring numerous stores, a movie theater complex housing a 10-screen theater with stadium seating, and eateries. Taking its name from the three states it serves, the mall draws shoppers from Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.
- Central Park: Spanning 47 acres in the middle of downtown Ashland, Central Park features a pond full of fish and water lilies. It is a popular destination for the city's bird-watchers. Other popular park activities include horseshoes, running and walking, and picnicking. During the summer months, Central Park hosts a popular series of concerts in its bandstand.
- AK Steel Sports Park: Located in South Ashland, AK Steel Sports Park offers baseball diamonds and soccer fields.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- Paramount Arts Center: Built in 1930, the Paramount Arts Center, formerly the Paramount Theater, is known for its art deco architecture. Originally designed to screen motion pictures, the theater is home to a wide variety of arts programming today. It features seating for 1,400 people and averages 120 performances each year, bringing in an estimated $4 million dollars a season.
- Jesse Stuart Foundation: The Jesse Stuart Foundation works to preserve the legacy of Jesse Stuart, a popular American writer and former poet laureate of Kentucky. Visitors can learn about Stuart's life and purchase his works and those of other Appalachian writers.
- Ashland Area Art Gallery: Located on Winchester Avenue, the Ashland Area Art Gallery features art from local as well as internationally known artists. Admission to the gallery is free.
- Pendleton Art Center: Ashland's Pendleton Art Center offers visitors a chance to explore the works of local artists. Displayed works include stained glass, pottery, paintings and wood carvings. The center is open to the public on the first Friday and Saturday of each month. Showings are also available by appointment.
- The Festival of Trees: Ashland's annual Festival of Trees is held each year at the Paramount Arts Center. The theater is decked out with nearly 100 trees, numerous gingerbread houses and other decorations for the event. The festival features different activities each year, which have included cocktail parties, movie screenings, live music and an extensive model train layout.
- Winter Wonderland of Lights: Each year during the holiday season, Ashland's Central Park is transformed into the Winter Wonderland of Lights. For five weeks, the park is decked out with 50 holiday displays and more than 80,000 lights. Visitors can take a train ride on the Winter Wonderland Express and pay a visit to Santa Claus. Admission to the park is free, and the event always draws a large crowd of sightseers.
- Poage Landing Days: Poage Landing Days has been voted one of the top 25 downtown festivals in Kentucky. The festival, which celebrates the city's origins, takes place the third weekend in September each year. It features car, motorcycle, and tractor shows; arts and crafts; a beauty pageant; children's activities; and the annual Ed Haley Fiddle Festival.
- Summer Motion: Each year, the Summer Motion festival offers a free concert on the Ashland Boat Ramp in Central Park. The family-friendly event also includes a craft show, 10-K race, soap-box derby and petting zoo. Previous festival performers have included the Beach Boys, Grand Funk Railroad, Billy Ray Cyrus, Pam Tillis and the Doobie Brothers.
- Ashland is served by a local daily paper, the Independent, formerly known as the Daily Independent.
- The city is home to two radio stations: WDGG 93.7-FM and WCMI 1340-AM.
- WKAS TV, an Ashland television station, is a PBS affiliate owned by Kentucky Educational Television.
- Ashland is home to the Ashland Community and Technical College.