Department of Tourism
Discover Your Own Backyard: September Means Fall Festivals in Kentucky
Before we know it, September will be upon us and children will be settled into their school routines with practice, games and studies. In Kentucky, it’s the season of fall festivals and it’s a time to Discover Your Own Backyard. Attend a festival that will fit your interests or spark a new one.
Here is a sampling of what the first weekend in September brings:
September 5 – 7: Attend the 44th Annual Antique Show and Sale in Bowling Green, held at the Knights of Columbus Hall (270-782-1479). September 5 and 6: Get ready for some toe-tappin’ fun at the Fiddlers Festival at the Renfro Valley Entertainment Center (606-256-2638). September 5 and 6: The Fourth Annual Franklin Music Festival fills the air with country and bluegrass music under the big top tent in Franklin (866-221-5700). September 5 and 6: The banks of the Ohio and Kentucky Rivers in Carrollton bring Blues to the Point for your listening pleasure (502-732-6960). What would fall be without great food? Head to MainStrasse Village in Covington for the MainStrasse Village Oktoberfest September 5 - 7, contact www.mainstrasse.org. The Trail of Tears Indian Pow Wow will once again be held in Hopkinsville on September 6 and 7, contact www.trailoftears.org. You will love the bugs at the Bug In in Owensboro on September 7. It is a Big Beetle “Cruise In” featuring Volkswagens in conjunction with the Big Bugs exhibit (270-852-8925). Vanceburg in Lewis County is holding the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Festival to commemorate our great Kentuckian on September 6 (606-796-2732).
The weekend of September 13 brings even more excitement to the Bluegrass State.
The Rolling Fork Iron Horse Festival on September 12 and 13 celebrates traditions with train rides, music and more in New Haven (502-549-3177). The Rural Heritage/Tobacco Festival, on the town square in Lancaster on September 12 and 13, is an annual event (859-792-3531). Hot air balloons, concerts and foods highlight the US Bank Balloons, Tunes & BBQ festival in Bowling Green on September 12 -14 (270-843-3205). Mayfield is holding its annual Gourd Patch Festival on September 13 in Mayfield. Join in the workshops, shop for the perfect gourd and enjoy the entertainment and food (270-247-6971). Kick off apple season with the Apple Festival at Evans Orchard in Georgetown on September 13 and 14. Country music, crafts and apples are available in every form imaginable (502-863-2255).
The festival scene picks up the weekend of September 20 making it hard to choose which to attend.
The Cumberland River Bluegrass Festival September 19 and 20 in Burkesville brings the sights and sounds of bluegrass competitions along with a 5K run, food and crafts (270-864-2515). The Constitution Square Festival in Danville on September 19 - 21 brings together juried artisans, living history, children’s activities, music and food (859-239-7089). The Horse Cave Heritage Festival in Horse Cave September 19 and 20 celebrates the town’s rich heritage; phone 270-524-2892. The Antique Gas & Steam Engine Show in Paducah on September 19 - 21 includes a grand exhibit of antique gasoline and steam-powered machinery plus arts, crafts, food and entertainment (270-554-3246). The Poage Landing Day Festival in Ashland September 19 - 21 has free inflatables for children, arts and crafts, an antique car show and a fiddle fest (606-329-1007). The 45th Annual Southern KY Antique Car Show & Festival is coming to Franklin on the Courthouse Square on September 19 and 20. This automotive swap meet and car show also includes hand-made arts and crafts (270-586-7609). Berea’s Spoonbread Festival will be held September 19 - 21 at Memorial Park. Enjoy the hot air balloons, live music, cars show and delicious spoonbread (859-986-9760).
Wrap up the month with one of the following activities:
The Great American Dulcimer Convention fills Pine Mountain State Resort Park with the sweet music of Appalachian lap and hammered dulcimers, September 26 and 27 (800-325-1712). Eight nationally known storytellers in a beautiful mountain setting make the Cave Run Storytelling Festival near Morehead fun for the entire family. Held September 26 and 27 (606-783-1420). Country ham is only part of the fun during the Marion County Country Ham Days September 26 - 28 in Lebanon (270-692-9594). The Anderson County Burgoo Festival fills the streets of downtown Lawrenceburg with food, entertainment and activities for the entire family September 26 and 27 (502-680-0453). More food is in the offing with the Chili Fest in Ashland September 27. This Great Bowls of Fire Chili Fest and cook-off is sanctioned by the International Chili Society (606-324-3175). The Bowling Green International Festival held September 27, is a celebration of cultural diversity for the entire family (270-796-2777). All ages enjoy pumpkins, and the 5th Annual Pumpkinfest in Owensboro is September 27 with rides, games, food and pumpkin-related events (270-686-8401).
To check on events 24/7, go to www.kentuckytourism.com, Festivals and Events.
This “Discover Your Own Back Yard” travel column is produced twice monthly by the Department of Travel to help promote Kentucky events and travel destinations. For more information about these and other tourism opportunities, visit www.kentuckytourism.com
Editors: To obtain photographs related to this column, please click here.
The Kentucky Department of T ravel, an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky’s economy.