Marlana VanHoose treated me to two songs at my retirement party. (Gary Moyers photo)
By LARRY VAUGHT
Lightning Valley Kartway in Junction City will have its grand re-opening June 11 and a big attraction certainly will be Marlana VanHoose singing the national anthem.
VanHoose has cerebral palsy and was born blind, but he has a golden voice and has sang the national anthem in major venues including Rupp Arena and the 2015 NBA Finals.
She is a basketball fanatic and when people first hear her sing, normally they are overwhelmed. One of the major highlights of my retirement bash was having this special Kentuckian come to Danville to perform.
“We have spent a lot of money upgrading and making this place nice. On our opening night we have the wonderful Marlana VanHoose singing the national anthem for us,” owner Tony Lowery said.
Lowery knows kart racing might not be for everyone, but hearing VanHoose sing certainly is. She’s that good — or maybe even better.
Lowery says his “UK connections” from when he owned South Side Pub in Lexington helped get hm in touch with VanHoose.
Lightning Valley Kartway has a special history. Ed Hasty was what Lowry calls a “pioneer in the sport of kart racing” and had a popular track before a “horrible sickness” forced him to close the track three years ago.
“He has been featured in papers for holding a $50,000 kart race, unheard of at the time. My son races karts and we are very involved in the sport. I decided that it was an injustice to let the track set and rot,” Lowry said. “After a couple months of working on it, we are one week away from opening it back up.
“With it being such a special night for us, we thought that it deserved someone as special as Marlana VanHoose to come out and sing the anthem for us.”
And if you have never heard her sing, special is the right word to us.