Department of Travel and Tourism
Authentic Experiences Enliven Kentucky's Fall Festivals
One of the best things about visiting Kentucky in the fall is the number of opportunities to enjoy authentic Kentucky experiences through fall festivals. Most every community, large or small, hosts a festival complete with local traditions, food, music and fun. Explore them all at kentuckytourism.com. Here is just a small sampling of the many possibilities.
Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Sept. 17-22
Uncork a good time as bourbon lovers flock to Bardstown Sept. 17-22, 2013, for the 22nd annual festival celebrating the passion, history and art of making Kentucky bourbon. With more than 40 events and attractions scheduled, you can learn about bourbon mixology and cooking with bourbon, dine and dance in black-tie style and witness the World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay. www.kybourbonfestival.com
Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival, Sept. 17-21
This 20-plus-year-old music fest takes place in Morehead. Offering more than 1,000 acres of camping and featuring 100 bands performing on dual stages, this event attracts more than 20,000 visitors and is a must-see for lovers of bluegrass music. Past performers have included Lonesome River Band and Dr. Ralph Stanley. https://www.facebook.com/PoppyMountainBluegrass
Horse Cave Heritage Festival, Sept. 20-21
Celebrating the heritage of the community, this event features a downtown street festival including arts and crafts, folklife program interviews, a quilt show, antique cars and tractors, live music and a 3K walk/run. http://www.horsecaveky.com/?page=Annual_Heritage_Festival
Barbecue on the River Tournament and Pig Out & Market Days, Sept. 26-28
This family-friendly event in Paducah features plenty food and fun. More than 50 teams compete for the Grand Champions trophy for the best western Kentucky barbecue. The festival includes live music and entertainment, a charitable 5K run and riverboat tours. http://bbqontheriver.org
Cave City PROUD Days, Sept. 27-28
This festival takes place in the downtown and antiques district of Cave City. Special events include the Old Time Outhouse and Bed Race, live music, parade, tractor and motorcycle show, street fair, 5K-10K run and more. http://cavecityproud.com/
St. James Court Art Show, Oct. 4-6
In a tradition spanning more than five decades, one of Kentucky’s premier fall events is this internationally acclaimed art show held in the Old Louisville neighborhood. Featuring 750 juried artists from around the country, the event is attended by lovers of arts and fine crafts from across the region. http://www.stjamescourtartshow.com/
Breathitt County Heritage Fair, Oct. 4-6
Held at Douthitt Park in Jackson, this fair features live music and entertainment, a parade, craft booths, petting zoo and dog show, and outdoor concert. http://www.breathittheritagefair.org/
Forkland Heritage Festival, Oct. 11-12
This festival hosted by Gravel Switch in Boyle County features a variety of historical exhibits including Native American artifacts and vintage farm machinery, a wildlife exhibit, living history skits, live music and entertainment, wagon rides, sorghum making, and a silent auction. http://forklandcomctr.org/
Arts Council of Mercer County Fall Festival, Oct. 11-12
This is a two-day arts and crafts festival featuring the works of juried artists. The event takes place at Old Fort Harrod State Park in Harrodsburg, and includes live demonstrations, music and entertainment, food, children’s activities and more. http://artscouncilofmercer.com/2013-events/
So get out and enjoy Kentucky’s beautiful autumn weather and experience the Bluegrass State’s rich cultural traditions by taking part in a fall festival. Find more listings of festivals at http://www.kentuckytourism.com/events/events.aspx.
Editor’s Note: Downloadable high-resolution photos of Kentucky are available at http://www.kentuckytourism.com/media/image_library.aspx.
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 more than $12.2 billion, supports about 174,000 jobs and generates more than $1.2 billion in taxes.