Kentucky April 20, 2018
10 Can’t Miss Kentucky Festivals That Show You The Heart Of The Bluegrass State
It’s a commonly known fact that Kentucky loves a good festival. Maybe it’s because these gatherings are good old-fashioned fun or maybe we also just love to celebrate all the things that make our state wonderful. Nearly every single small (and big) town in Kentucky has its own festival, so this list is merely a sampling of what our state has to offer, but you really shouldn’t miss these 10 particular festivals in Kentucky that show off the heart of the Bluegrass State.
1. Kentucky Derby Festival - Louisville (April 14 - May 4, 2018)
In the three weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby (held the first Saturday in May), this massive festival takes over the city of Louisville. There are countless events and celebrations, making it the place to be in April. For a peek at some of the festivities already taking place, check out our recent feature article about the
2018 Kentucky Derby Festival
2. Maifest - Covington (May 18-20, 2018)
There's always something fun going on in MainStrasse Village in Covington, but one of the best times to visit is during the annual Maifest in the spring. On May 18-20, 2018, wander through this historic neighborhood and enjoy food, drinks, and entertainment to celebrate the return of spring.
3. Glasgow Highland Games - Glasgow (June 1-3, 2018)
The Glasgow Highland Games celebrate the rich heritage and culture of the Celtic people. The sound of bagpipes fills the air, and you'll find an array of festive competitions, activities, and entertainment. Check it out this year from June 1-3, 2018.
4. Beer Cheese Festival - Winchester (June 9, 2018)
What other state in the country would create a festival to celebrate the deliciousness of beer cheese? Head to Winchester on June 9, 2018, to satisfy a year's worth of cheesy cravings and also experience tons of festive fun.
5. Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival - Winchester (August 31 - September 2, 2018)
Celebrate the end of summer and Kentucky's favorite pioneer on August 31-September 2, 2018 at the Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival. This event is a wonderful mix of history and modern fun, and truly has something for everyone.
6. Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival - Morehead (September 11-15, 2018)
The Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival takes place on the third weekend of September and is a massive musical gathering that spans 1,300 acres. As many as 20,000 people travel to this unique festival that features over 100 bands, vendors, activities, and much more. Make it a weekend and camp nearby. Check out the full
if you need more convincing!
7. Kentucky Bourbon Festival - Bardstown (September 12-16, 2018)
On September 12-16, 2018, Kentucky celebrates all things Bourbon in the charming town of Bardstown. This historic city is always filled with activity, but it's even more exciting during this event. There's bourbon tasting, entertainment, and much more to experience, whether you love our signature spirit or not.
8. World Chicken Festival - London (September 27-30, 2018)
Each year, thousands gather in London, Kentucky to celebrate our state's most beloved food: fried chicken. Not only will you find the largest batch of fried chicken in the world, but you can also experience an epic parade, rides, games, live music, and much more. This year the festival takes place September 27-30, 2018.
9. Ham Festival - Cadiz (October 12-13, 2018)
If we celebrate fried chicken, beer cheese, and bourbon, then we should definitely celebrate country ham too! This Kentucky specialty is the star of the show at this small town festival in Cadiz, which takes place October 12-13, 2018. Fill your belly with a ham biscuit and then enjoy a carnival-like atmosphere complete with rides, entertainment, and more.
10. Mt. Sterling Court Days - Mt. Sterling (October 12-15, 2018)
The Court Day Festival in Mt. Sterling dates all the way back to 1794 when people would gather to buy, sell, or trade goods. Today, the festival takes place around the third Monday in October (this year, it will be held October 12-15, 2018) and is one of the biggest gatherings in the state. Expect crowds, but also expect plenty of family fun, entertainment, and vendors to browse and shop.
Festivals are such a fun pastime in Kentucky and a tradition that will always be close to the heart of the Bluegrass State. Did your favorite festival make our list? Which ones would you add? Let us know in the comments!
And for more food festivals in Kentucky that you should try, check out our previous article