Kentucky Bourbon Fest Is a Barrel of Fun
With more than 95 percent of the world’s supply being distilled in Kentucky, the Bluegrass State will get few arguments about its dominance in the Bourbon industry. The state celebrates its Bourbon-producing heritage each September at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, the Bourbon Capital of the World. Bourbon has been produced in Bardstown since 1776, giving the community a true revolutionary spirit. About 70 percent of Kentucky’s Bourbon is produced in the region that includes Bardstown.
The festival is a five-day extravaganza filled with food, live music, entertainment, a host of events for adults and families, seminars, tours and, of course, Bourbon. The 2009 event, for example, included events ranging from the ancient craft of barrel making to a cooking class using Bourbon recipes to seminars by master distillers to Bourbon tastings to tours of historic Bardstown and Bootleggers & Bushwhackers Train Robbery, a ride on a steam locomotive where bandits came after its cargo of liquid gold. Begun in 1992 as a Bourbon tasting and dinner, the festival grew to more than 45,000 visitors from 43 states and 13 countries in 2009. It has been named one of the top events by Southeast Tourism Society, the American Bus Association and the Kentucky Tourism Council.
The dates for the 2010 festival are Sept. 14-19. Festival events are open to the public and while many are free, some require reservations and tickets. For more on the festival and for event and ticket information, go to www.kybourbonfestival.com.