Colonel Sanders statue.

Colonel Sanders Statue

Field review by the editors.

Corbin, Kentucky

Even though Colonel Sanders invented Kentucky Fried Chicken in Corbin in 1940, it took 75 years for the town to erect a statue of the man that made it famous.

Colonel Sanders statue.

The statue almost didn't happen. Originally slated for the chicken's 70th anniversary, it languished uncompleted for years in the wake of the Great Recession of 2008. Money slowly trickled in -- like KFC gravy oozing off of mashed potatoes -- until sculptor Raymond Gras was finally able to complete the statue. It was unveiled on August 15, 2015, in its own plaza, big enough to accommodate busloads of KFC fans.

Standing at ground level, the Colonel is posed to be photo-op friendly. Hidden cameras monitor the statue 24/7, keeping potential evildoers at bay. Plaques on a surrounding brick wall chronicle the Colonel's colorful history, including his gun battle with a Corbin rival, who the Colonel caught painting over one of his street signs.

Another feature of the plaza is its "Secret Recipe Garden," which is a bit of a cheat since no one really knows what went into the Colonel's seasoning blend of 11 herbs and spices, described by another plaque as, "the second biggest secret in the food industry, only behind the secret formula of Coca-Cola." We spotted chives, oregano, tarragon, and thyme, but there are probably additional tropical spices that can never be grown outdoors in Kentucky.

Corbin hopes to further cement its identity to the Colonel; one idea under consideration is to replace downtown streetlights with ones that resemble KFC buckets.

Colonel Sanders Statue

E. Monroe St., Corbin, KY
Downtown, on the northbound (right) side of US Hwy 25W/N. Main St., just north of its intersection with E. Monroe St.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Birthplace of Kentucky Fried ChickenBirthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Corbin, KY - < 1 mi.
Outdoor Millstones CollectionOutdoor Millstones Collection, London, KY - 10 mi.
World Chicken FestivalWorld Chicken Festival, London, KY - 13 mi.
In the region:
Stone of Witness - Red Bird Petroglyph, Manchester, KY - 24 mi.

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September 27, 2020

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