When it comes to special events, fairs and festivals, Kentucky has something for
everyone. Whether it's honoring food, history, heritage, or one of the four seasons,
Kentucky celebrations are known for their authentic charm. The following is just
a sample of the events taking place year round.
AQS QuiltWeek™ – Paducah
April 23-26, 2014 in Paducah, Kentucky
Paducah is a mecca for quilters and quilt enthusiasts during the AQS QuiltWeek™ –
Paducah happens each April. In addition to the juried exhibit of the finest workmanship
and most creative quilts in the world, the festival features a merchant mall, workshops
and special events throughout the community.With extended hours during the AQS QuiltWeek™,
internationally recognized National Quilt Museum of the United States of America
highlights the vigorous international rebirth of quilt making that began in the 1970s.
The Kentucky Derby and Derby Festival
April 12 2013 (Festival) to May 2, 2014 (The Race)
The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds, held
annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May. The
Kentucky Derby Festival is Kentucky's largest annual event and one of the nation’s
finest celebrations. Each year, more than 1.5 million people enjoy the 70 special
events of this annual civic celebration including concerts, races and just plain
fun. Beginning with Derby Festival Opening Ceremonies: Thunder Over Louisville,
and continuing through the two weeks before the Kentucky Derby, the Derby Festival
brings Metro Louisville to life. All of the Festival’s 70 events are held within
the Metro Louisville area, most of them downtown.
The Kentucky Derby Festival has also been a winner of the “International Festivals
& Events Association (IFEA) World Festival & Event City” award five times, a popular
and distinguished award, in existence for over 56 years, that has been awarded to
cities and their events that have made a significant contribution to the Festivals
and Events Industry and a profound difference in the communities they serve. Visit:
International Bar-B-Q Festival
May 9 & 10, 2014 in Owensboro, Kentucky
Every second weekend in May, Owensboro springs to life with the wonderful smells
and sounds of the International Bar-B-Q Festival. Smoke from hickory-stoked fires
blends with the aromas of sizzling chicken, bubbling burgoo, the mouthwatering smells
of barbecued chicken and lamb compete to please the senses and roasting mutton to
complete the festival atmosphere. Events include a golf scramble, beer plaza, live
entertainment, pie eating contest, cooking team balloon toss, and even a sock hop.
Great American Brass Band Festival
June 5-8, 2014 in Danville, Kentucky
The Great American Brass Band Festiva is a one-of-a-kind event committed to preserving
brass band music through performance and education.Hosted by Danville's hometown
band - the Advocate Brass Band - Kentucky's free, nonprofit brass band extravaganza
is held every year in June. Festival highlights include continuous music beginning
Friday evening with more than a dozen brass bands, parade, decorator picnic, a fireworks
extravaganza and concludes with the annual Great American Balloon Race at the Danville-Boyle
County Airport. Visit: www.gabbf.org/
MainStrasse Village Oktoberfest
September 2014 in Covington, Kentucky
Getting ready for Oktober - MainStrasse Village Oktoberfest, has been awarded the
"2011 Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Festival for September 2011" award and the
"Kentucky Tourism's Top Ten 2010 Fall Festivals" award, attracts 125,000 attendees
including families and travelers from throughout the Midwest to join with local crowds
in enjoying this festival. A great mix of German and international foods, music
and arts and crafts this popular festival takes place in historic MainStrasse Village,
Covington, Kentucky. MainStrasse Village is a designated national historic district
that is the home of Old World charm and New World fun with a unique variety of shops,
restaurants, pubs and entertainment. Visit: www.mainstrasse.org/
Kentucky Bourbon Festival
September 16-21, 2014 in Bardstown, Kentucky
Since 1776, the people of Bardstown, Kentucky have been making Bourbon. Their dedication
to the fine art of distilling eventually gave Bardstown the title of Bourbon Capital
of the World. Come celebrate this passion and history at The Kentucky Bourbon Festival.
Selected as one of Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events for the month of September
2008, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival celebrates one of the world's finest spirits
in the Bourbon Capital of the World. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival is a Six day
festival of smooth Bourbon, delicious food, and great entertainment. Events include
live entertainment, black tie galas, flower festival, historical tours of the streets
of historical Bardstown, demonstrations, golf tournament, horseshoe pitch and more.
World Chicken Festival
September 25-28, 2014 in London, Kentucky
Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, is one of the most highly
recognized figures in the world. Kentucky is home to the first Kentucky Fried Chicken
restaurant, established by Colonel Sanders in the 1940s. His nephew, Lee Cummings,
also began his career, in 1952, in Kentucky. The World Chicken Festival pays tribute
to this heritage. Voted as one of the Kentucky Tourism Council's "Top Ten" Events
and the Southeast Tourism Society "Top 20" Events, the annual World Chicken Festival
has also been voted "Best Festival In State" by Kentucky Monthly Magazine.More than
250,000 people attend the four-day event each year. Attractions include cooking contests,
live entertainment, sports competitions, parades and a car show. Visit: www.chickenfestival.com
Jerusalem Ridge Festival
October in Rosine, Kentucky
An annual festival where fans and musicians gather to play and listen to traditional
bluegrass music, and to honor and remember Bill Monroe who made it all possible.
The festival, running for four full days, is held on Jerusalem Ridge, just outside
Rosine, Kentucky, where Bill, Charlie and Birch Monroe grew up and learned the roots
of what was to eventually evolve into what we know as "bluegrass" music. Visit:
St James Court Art Show
October 3-5, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky
The St. James Court Art Show® is a juried fine arts and fine crafts show that hosts
an impressive 750 artists from North America. Held in the heart of historic Old Louisville
among the country’s largest collection of Victorian homes, the St. James Court Art
Show® has for over five decades provided our neighborhood, city and state with a
rich cultural and artistic legacy. It hosts an impressive 750 artists from North
America, and takes place in the heart of historic Old Louisville among the country's
largest collection of Victorian homes.The fair has for over five decades provided
the neighborhood, city and state with a rich cultural and artistic legacy. It has
also been ranked as #1 in the nation by Sunshine Artist Magazine, and is consistently
voted as one of the top festival destinations in the US. Visit: www.stjamescourtartshow.com/
The Kentucky Derby and Derby Festival!
Kentucky International Bar-B-Q Festival, May 2014.
The Race! - The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds,
held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May,
capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is one and a quarter
miles at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds and fillies 121 pounds.
The race is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports"
or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also
called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner.
Every second weekend in May, Owensboro springs to life with the wonderful smells and sounds of the International Bar-B-Q Festival. Smoke from hickory-stoked fires blends with the aromas of sizzling chicken, bubbling burgoo and roasting mutton to complete the festival atmosphere. More information - visit: Barbeque!