Department of Tourism
Discover the Music in Your Own Backyard
Kentucky is alive with music, particularly as the summer months heat up. From bluegrass and gospel to orchestral and rock ‘n roll, there is something for every taste offered within the commonwealth’s borders. To check out the variety of events log on to www.kentuckytourism.com and decide how you’d like to tune in.
Celebrate Scottish heritage on May 10 and 11 and hear bag pipes, pipe bands, Celtic and Bluegrass Music which are among the activities during the Kentucky Scottish Weekend in Carrollton at General Butler State Resort Park. On Saturday night there is Ceilidh and Sunday Kirkin' of the Tartan. Admission is charged at the festival gates and no pets are allowed. The park is located at 1608 Highway 227 just off of I-71. For more information log on to www.kyscottishweekend.org
Bluegrass music and creative arts will be the ticket at Audubon State Park in Henderson as bands come together for the first year of the Home Grown Bluegrass and Creative Arts Festival on May 16 and 17. Tri-state bands will play Friday evening and Saturday throughout the day until 10 p.m. Find out more by calling 270-826-2247 or email Audubon@ky.gov. The park is located at 3100 U.S. Highway 41 North in Henderson.
The flavor is German for the 29th annual Maifest celebration at Main Strasse Village in Covington. In addition to music, the festival has hundreds of vendors with food, arts and crafts, clothing accessories and much more. It takes place May 16 through 18 along West Sixth Street.
Music will be a part of the Mayslick Asparagus Festival on Saturday, May 17 in the Mayslick Town Square on Main Street in Mason County, along with antiques, herbs and bed races. For information on-line go to www.mayslick.com or call 606-763-6823.
An evening concert by the Monarchs will be the finale of the 12th Railroad Festival in Irvington on Saturday, May 17. The celebration of the town’s railroad heritage includes a parade, food and other entertainment. For more information log on to www.breckinridgecountyky.com or call 270-547-7122.
Concerts play a big part in the City of Pineville’s Mountain Laurel Festival held annually in the city and at the Pine Mountain State Resort Park. The celebration, which marks the arrival of spring to the mountains, includes a golf tournament, carnival and the crowning of the Mountain Laurel Queen. The festival runs Thursday through Sunday, May 22-25, and for more information log on to www.kmlf.org or call 606-337-3066. The park is located at 1050 State Park Road.
Kenlake State Resort Park kicks off the summer with live music and other activities that run from Friday through Sunday, May 23-25. The park is located near Aurora. More information is available at http://parks.ky.gov or call 270-474-2211.
The Beatles are the main course at Abbey Road on the River at the Belvedere Festival Park (5th and Main) in Louisville, Thursday through Monday, May 22-26. Tickets purchased by May 18 include free admission for fans age 21 or younger—a package called the Ultimate Ticket to Ride. Outdoor stages and seating areas are first come, first served. Hours are Thursday 4 to 11 p.m., Friday through Sunday, noon to 2 a.m. and Monday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For tickets call 216-378-1980 or go to www.abbeyroadontheriver.com/.
There will be street dancing in Whitley City along with live music and good food at the Downtown Italian Festival on Friday and Saturday, May 23 and 24. The event also includes a Hometown Idol contest. For more information call 888-284-3718 or 606-376-3008 or log on to www.kyvacations.com/Festivals&Events.html.
Gospel will ring through the hills during the Memorial Day Gospel Sing outside of Elkhorn City at the Breaks Interstate Park. The event will be held Saturday through Monday, May 24-26, at the park amphitheater and features performances by groups from the surrounding region. Call 800-982-5122 for more information.
The Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass will be held at scenic Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill near Harrodsburg in collaboration with Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts. On Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25, New York’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center includes pianist Wu Han and cellist David Finckel at a full weekend of concerts and other activities at the village. This year’s festival includes works by Beethoven, Schubert and Shostakovich among others. Log on to www.nortoncenter.com for more information or call 877-448-7469.
Change tunes at the Elk Creek Vineyards near Owenton where music will appeal to your favorite Parrothead with the A1A Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band. Enjoy a cheeseburger in paradise with a glass of wine on Saturday, May 24 beginning at 4:45 p.m. The winery is located at 150 Highway 330 near the intersection of U.S. Highway 127. More information is available at www.elkcreekvineyards.com or by calling 502-484-0005.
The Downtown Frankfort Summer Concert Series kicks off Friday, May 30 at 6 p.m. with music by Silver Wings. The concerts are held on the Old State Capitol lawn on Broadway. For the summer concert schedule log on to www.downtownfrankfort.com.
Last but certainly not least (log on to www.kentuckytourism.com for more information about these and many other events) is the performance of the Jimmy Church Band, one of the mid-south’s leading dance and show groups with music ranging from Louie Armstrong, Boyz to Men to the sounds of Motown. They will be performing in Franklin on the west side of the courthouse square on College Street. The concert begins at 7 p.m. on May 30. Call 270-586-8482.
Kentuckians can log on to the web site www.mykentuckybackyard.com and register for prizes as part of the Kentucky Department of Tourism’s “Discover Your Own Backyard” promotion that invites residents to visit state events and attractions throughout the summer vacation months. Daily drawings will be held from May 5 through Aug. 14 and a prize awarded each day. Participants must reside in Kentucky.
This “Discover Your Own Back Yard” travel column is produced twice monthly by the Department of Tourism to help promote Kentucky events and travel destinations. For more information about these and other tourism opportunities, visit www.kentuckytourism.com