New sponsor for Spotlight Lexington

Mayor Jim Newberry on Friday announced a new sponsor for Spotlight Lexington, the 17-day festival that will take place during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

The sponsor, Coca-Cola, will be the official soft drink of Spotlight Lexington. Coca-Cola's sponsorship is valued at $75,000, and the money will go toward marketing support and recycling during the festival, the mayor said.

"It is only because of the willingness of Coke and other sponsors that we are able to provide these events to the public," Newberry said.

Coca-Cola plans to focus on recycling during Spotlight Lexington to promote environmental stewardship. Clinard Chaney, sales center manager of Coca-Cola Enterprises in Lexington, said Coke will provide recycling bins and education about recycling during the festival.

"I carry a plastic bottle around with me just looking for a recycling bin," Chaney said. "It is a habit, and if we can build those habits, it will help the community."

Newberry also announced musical entertainment for the festival, including a jazz performance on Sept. 25, the opening day of the games. Jazz entertainers include the UK Jazz Ensemble, the Bluegrass Area Jazz Association and the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra.

"With jazz being the genre that is most American, it is appropriate to start off the Games with jazz," Newberry said.

Other entertainers include: The City, scheduled to perform Sept. 27; Swinging on Main, performing on Main Street on Oct. 2; and UK Opera Theater and the Lexington Opera Society, scheduled to perform Oct. 6.

To help plan events for children, organizers of Spotlight Lexington have teamed with the Lexington Learning Cooperative, a partnership of 21 organizations that explores educational resources in Lexington.

Carolyn Richardson, chairwoman of the Lexington Games' Host Committee, said events for children will include community art projects, sidewalk murals, dance, drama and other arts and crafts activities at Triangle Park during the festival.

Spotlight Lexington will begin Sept. 24, the day before the opening ceremony of the Games, and will end Oct. 10.