It's Kentucky State Fair Time

It’s that time of year again! It’s August, the kids are heading back to school, and Louisville is abuzz with excitement as people from all over the commonwealth flock to Derby City - not for a thoroughbred race this time, but for a wide variety of fun activities and competitions known as the Kentucky State Fair. And it’s not just folks from the far reaches of Kentucky who come in to soak up the fun. Thousands of people right here in town are happy to celebrate the Kentucky State Fair during the waning days of summer with the best in state fair festivities.

From Aug. 16 – 26, the place to be is the Kentucky Exposition Center at 937 Phillips Lane which is at the junction of I-65 and I-264 in Louisville. Gates open at 7 a.m. each day and the exhibit buildings open at 9 a.m. The Thrillway, which is home to all the rides that kids of all ages enjoy, begins at either noon or 2 p.m. depending on the day, and the festivities wrap up at 10 p.m. Check out the state fair website for more details. With over 1 million square feet of climate-controlled indoor exhibit space as well as all of the outdoor adventures, you’ll want to come early and stay late to experience it all.

Always a draw, the World’s Championship Horse Show is back for its much anticipated appearance. In Kentucky, we don’t just race horses; we revel in them in every possible way. This horse show puts all the majesty and power of these beautiful animals on display. Of course, that’s not the only horse show. There’s also the Quarter Horse Show, Miniature Horse Show and 4-H Horse Show.

Another major attraction is the Kentucky State Fair Main Stage Series featuring some of the best musical talent around. Come see Hank Williams, Sr. and George Thorogood on Aug. 16; Journey, Pat Benatar and Loverboy on Aug. 17; Rascal Flatts on Aug. 18 or The Band Perry on Aug. 26. While these concerts will cost you anywhere from $35 - $52, there are also a number of free shows you can take in. Keith Sweat, the Oak Ridge Boys, Ronnie Milsap, Jake Owen, Justin Moore and several others will amaze crowds for no charge at all.

Of course, lots of people flock to the fair for the competitions. When it comes to livestock, you can’t beat the head-to-head competition over dairy cattle, beef cattle, boar goats, dairy goats, mules and jacks, pigeons, poultry, rabbits, sheep and swine. Other areas of competition include grain and tobacco, fruits and nuts, honey, dairy products, country ham and eggs, and vegetables and melons. Some of the 4-H competitions include the areas of woodworking, knitting and crocheting, floral arrangements and photography, just to name a few.

No article or blog post about the fair could do justice to all that is offered – the thousands of exhibits, historical special areas, contests, shows and tons more. You just have to see it for yourself! This year’s Kentucky State Fair promises to be the best yet, and it won’t just be our neighbors throughout the commonwealth enjoying all the fun. Many of us that live in Louisville  will also find this to be a great time to celebrate the end of summer and all the things that make life in the Bluegrass State so enriching. Won’t you join us?

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