AJ Jolly’s annual report highlights past achievements, looks to new projects ahead

Haley Parnell
Haley Parnell
Haley is a reporter for LINK nky. Email her at [email protected]

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AJ Jolly Parks and Recreations Manager Larry Harrod presented their 2022 annual report to the Campbell County Fiscal Court at their meeting earlier this month. The report highlighted some of the improvements made in the park last year and showcased some projects on the horizon.

AJ Jolly is a 1000-acre park and campground in Alexandria with activities from fishing on the 200-acre lake to its approximately 20 miles of trails for horseback riding.

Harrod said the park’s programming, festivals, and camping continue to bring in new people and maintain their crowd of regulars.

The park’s main programs each year are:

  • Jolly Thursdays: an event for kids on Thursdays in June and July. This event typically averages 250 participants each time per Harrod.
  • Jolly Music Night: A concert hosted at the park’s Stapleton Pavilion.
  • Sun Valley Music Festival: This is a bluegrass music festival. The event was absent for two years due to COVID-19 and made its return in 2022.
  • Festival on the Lake: This event is a yearly concert series at the park.
  • Halloween Spooktacular: Harrod said the Halloween Spooktacular event last year was in the top two biggest the park has seen.

A comprehensive list of all events at AJ Jolly Park this year can be found at campbellcountyky.gov.

Aside from their events, Harrod said watercraft rentals continue to be a main draw for the park. They have two paddleboats, 19 single kayaks, three double kayaks, two canoes, and two stand-up paddleboards available for rental.

“On any given Saturday or Sunday especially, they are all out on the water,” Harrod said.

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Another reason Harrod said he believes the park continues to attract new patrons is the improvements and additions being made.

Last year one new addition was the ADA-accessible playground that opened.

The new ADA accessible playground at AJ Jolly Park. Photo by Haley Parnell | LINK nky

“We had many new season passes just from people that saw this and what’s happening and came to use that playground,” Harrod said.

Another new addition was the bathhouse for campers to utilize. The park previously had one shower head available for its 80 campsites. The new bathhouse has single lock-off rooms comprising a shower, sink, and toilet.

Additional camping amenities were water and electricity to sites one through 15 for tent campers.

The park also saw new restroom facilities built near the Stapleton Pavilion. Harrod said this would be a great addition when the park hosts festivals and events.  

Last year the park also added its third yurt. The yurts are available to rent and are fully furnished with electricity.

The new yurt at AJ Jolly Park. Photo provided | AJ Jolly Park

A new shelter was built last year, called the “Girl Scout Shelter,” which is rentable when not used by the Girl Scouts.  

The new Girl Scout Shelter at AJ Jolly Park. Photo provided | AJ Jolly Park

New projects on the horizon this year are:

  • Public Wi-Fi for AJ Jolly Park, the golf course and Pendery Park
  • Two additional rentable yurts. Harrod said the park has them. They are just waiting for better weather to put them together.
  • Tent pads to seven sites
  • Six new primitive sites to the current camping options
  • Adding four hammock-friendly sites
  • Fencing around the new ADA playground
  • Shelter renaming and sign project

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