Department of Travel and Tourism
Kentucky Crafts Festivals Celebrate Commonwealth's Culture
Kentucky’s crafts festival season is fast approaching.
The Bluegrass state is known as one of the top states for hand-crafted arts, and it’s also home to many outstanding crafts fairs and festivals. Held annually in locations as diverse as Whitesburg, Midway, Paducah and Louisville, these fairs feature displays by top artisans, demonstrations of crafts techniques, music and other celebrations of Kentucky culture. Here’s a list of some of the biggest and most popular festivals:
Set for March 3-4 at the Lexington Convention Center, Kentucky Crafted: The Market 2012 is one of the nation’s preeminent crafts shows, attracting displays by artisans from Kentucky and other states. Now in its 30th year, the Market is a dazzling convergence of high quality art, craft, literature, music, film and food. In 2011, it was chosen as No. 1 fair and festival by readers of AmericanStyle, the leading magazine for collectors of contemporary craft.
St. James Court Art Show is the granddaddy of Kentucky arts and crafts festivals, with its 56th edition scheduled for Oct. 5-7 in Louisville. With nearly 750 exhibitors and 300,000 attendees, this festival in the charming Old Louisville neighborhood with its collection of Victorian homes has achieved international renown.
Paducah becomes a mecca for quilt enthusiasts each April during the American Quilter's Society Annual Quilt Show & Contest. For the past 28 years, quilters and textile artisans have been trekking to view the finest in workmanship and creativity as the best compete for more than $122,000 in cash awards. Set for April 25-28, the show includes a Merchant Mall with more than 400 vendor booths offering the latest in quilting supplies and gifts.
Francisco’s Farm Arts Festival, scheduled for June 23-24 at Equus Run Vineyard in Midway, last year featured some 130 exhibitors from 15 states, with about half from Kentucky. Music, children’s art projects and a demonstration of traditional printing techniques are standing attractions at this popular festival set amid the beauty of central Kentucky’s grape-growing country.
Seedtime on the Cumberland, Whitesburg’s annual festival of eastern Kentucky crafts and culture, will take place June 7-9. Organized by the Appalshop arts cooperative, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, this festival promotes traditional and modern Appalachian cultural expression from crafts to music and films.
Berea Crafts Festival, with its 31st installment on tap July 13-15 at the Indian Fort Theater in Berea College Forest, features great crafts, educational demonstrations, performing artists and favorite foods.
Historic and scenic Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, near Harrodsburg, will host its annual craft fair August 4-5. This juried event attracts the elite among regional artisans as well as up-and-coming new artists.
The 32nd annual Bardstown Arts, Crafts & Antique Fair, will be held Oct. 13-14 in historic downtown Bardstown. The festival features 200 artists and craftsmen, delicious Southern foods and music.
For information about many other festivals around the state, visit http://www.kentuckyfairsandfestivals.com/eventSearch.php.
You can also find a wealth of information about artisans, studios, galleries and other crafts-related themes at the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism website’s section on arts and crafts.
The Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism is an agency within the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, which promotes the Commonwealth as a travel destination. Tourism in Kentucky has an economic impact of $11.3 billion, supports about 170,000 jobs and generates $1.2 billion in taxes.