Department of Travel
Hear Chords of Kentucky Bluegrass Across Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The arrival of early fall in Kentucky brings a profusion of bluegrass music festivals throughout the state where the hugely popular musical style was born. Get out and enjoy the hard-driving instrumentals and high-pitched vocals of Kentucky’s native music amid the pleasurable outdoor surroundings of this time of year in the Bluegrass state.
Crowe Fest ’09, Sept. 3-5, features top bluegrass performers, including the legendary J.D. Crowe himself, at the 111-acre Ichthus Farm nestled just outside Wilmore, Ky., south of Lexington. Crowe Fest is a musical celebration as well as a chance to enjoy a vintage car display, an archery demonstration and special activities for kids. Camping facilities are available. For more information, visit www.jdcrowefestival.com.
The sixth annual Franklin Music Festival will be held the following weekend near I-65 close to the Tennessee border. Set for Sept. 11-12, the Franklin fest will feature the Lonesome River Band, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage and many more outstanding performers. For info, check www.franklinkymusicfestival.com.
Bluegrass faithful will be making an annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem Ridge at Rosine, Ky. near Owensboro the first weekend in October. From Oct. 1-4, the home place of the “Father of Bluegrass,” Bill Monroe, will resound with music by some of the genre’s leading artists. Visitors can tour the Monroe family’s carefully restored 1918 home filled with mementoes from Monroe’s illustrious 70-year music career. More information about campgrounds and other accommodations nearby can be found at www.jerusalemridgefestival.org.
Combine attendance at Jerusalem Ridge with a visit to the nearby International Bluegrass Music Museum (www.bluegrass-museum.org), a fascinating institution in Owensboro devoted to preserving all things bluegrass. The IBMM is also home to the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame, recognizing noteworthy individuals for outstanding contributions to bluegrass music. New members are inducted each year.
The IBMM hosts its own annual mega-festival, the River of Music Party (ROMP), each June in Owensboro. This festival includes stellar bands from North America, Europe and the Far East, the Bluegrass Masters Film Festival, instrument workshops, juried arts and crafts, clogging and camping. For more info, visit www.bluegrass-museum.org/riverofmusic.
Many other smaller festivals provide opportunities to experience bluegrass music outdoors while enjoying Kentucky’s beautiful scenery. For more info, consult the Kentucky Department of Travel’s web site, www.kytourism.com, and click on “Festivals and Events.”
The Kentucky Department of Travel, an agency of the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky’s economy.