Looking for somewhere to get away over the weekend? Somewhere far away, but not too far away? We present to you our “fall harvest” of Fall Festivals in Kentucky within a one-hour drive of Lexington. Whether you’re looking to entertain yourself or the kids, these are the places to go.
Boyd Orchards Fall Festival, Sep 13 – Oct 26, Versailles: A differently themed festival will occur every Saturday & Sunday at Boyd Orchard from September 13th to October 26th. Every festival fill feature hayrides, apple picking, live music, and playgrounds to entertain the kids (including a 3-story treehouse and a 90-foot slide).
Georgetown Apple Festival, Sep 13 – 14, Georgetown: Evans Orchard will kick off the apple season with this annual festival that includes pony and hay rides, craft booths, and a huge selection of food. Among the delicacies, you should expect caramel apples, apple cider, and those famous fried apple pies. The fest will take place Saturday 9:30 am – 6 pm & Sunday 12 – 6 pm.
BiWater Farm AutumnFest, Sep 13 – Nov 1, Georgetown: Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday between September 13th and November 1st, BiWater Farm & Greenhouse will host food and fun activities. Attractions will include miniature golf, paintball target shooting, and the AutumnFest express train.
Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Sep 16 – 21, Bardstown: Since 1776, the people of Bardstown (aka the Bourbon Capital of the world) have been making bourbon. This celebration gives you 6 full days of food, entertainment, Kentucky hospitality, and, of course, plenty of bourbon. Don’t forget the kids, though; from black tie galas to historical tours, there will be something for all age groups.
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, Sep 19 – 21, Cincinnati: Presented by Samuel Adams, this is America’s largest Oktoberfest, with half a million people attending last year. You will find German food, live music, and dancing. Oktoberfest will kick off Friday at noon with the Running of the Wieners and will open fully with Gemuetlichkeit (the Goodwill Game) at 5 pm.
Christ The King Oktoberfest, Sep 19 – 20, Lexington: Lexington’s annual Oktoberfest has a 30-year plus history of fan favorites. Featuring German food, live music, kid’s games, inflatables, and the infamous Celebrity Cake Wheel.
The 18th Annual Spoonbread Festival, Sep 19 – 21, Berea: This is one of Berea’s premier fun family weekend events. There will be hot air balloons, live music, a 5K run, a car show, a scenic motorcycle ride, an antique tractor show, carnival rides, a parade, and, you guessed it, spoonbread.
Evans Orchard Harvest Festival, Sep 20 – Oct 31, Georgetown: From September 20 to October 21, there is a festival scheduled at Evans Orchard every Saturday (9:30 am – 6 pm) and Sunday (12 – 6 pm). Among the festivities are cooked kettle corn, pony rides, hayrides, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more.
HarvestFest at Shaker Village, Sep 20 – 21, Pleasant Hill: Expectpony rides, pumpkin sales, food trucks and live music. Also expect a Kids’ Village, farm animals, and sheep shearing. Also expect honey bee demonstrations and a Shaker Village quilt exhibition. In other words, expect everything. Including ghosts. At 7 pm each night, expect a Shaker spirit stroll through the village to the cemetery and enjoy haunted stories from Shaker journals and letters.
Anderson County Burgoo Festival, Sep 26 – 28, Lawrenceburg: Music, entertainment, craft and food vendors, and, yes, burgoo, are on the schedule. Special events include the Burgoo Cook Off from 11 am – 2 pm on Saturday and the Civil War Reenactment at 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The Chicken Festival, Sep 25 – 28, London: A tribute to the heritage of Colonel Sanders.There will be exhibitions, contests, and four stages of music. Special attractions will include a parade, a car show, and the world’s largest skillet.
Marion County Country Ham Days, Sep 27 – 29, Lebanon: This festival, which began almost 40 years ago with a mere six hams, now annually welcomes over 50,000 visitors. Each day, volunteers serve a country ham breakfast to visitors under an outdoor tent. For lunch and dinner, options include beans, cornbread, pork sandwiches, brats, steaks, funnel cake, and fried twinkies. You read that correctly: fried twinkies. And if that’s not enough to fill you up, polish the meal off with a full serving of live music.
Morgan County Sorghum Festival, Sep 27 – 29, West Liberty: The 43rd annual Sorghum Festival rests on the foundations of the mule-drawn cane mill, steaming vats, and little jugs of sorghum molasses. Nonetheless, you will also find live music, a parade, over 100 art and crafts displays, and the annual Sorghum Bowl Game.
St. James Court Art Show, Oct 3 – 5, Louisville: More than 700 artists and craftspeople will converge for this autumn tradition. Last year, 200,000 visitors made their way to purchase unique, handcrafted items. Expect original works in painting, sculpture, pottery, woodcrafts, photography, textiles, and glass art. Proceeds will fund community charities and art scholarships.
Annual Festival of the Horse, Oct 3 – 5, Georgetown: Features exhibits, concessions, a carnival, and a 5K run. There will also be stage entertainment throughout the festival. Special events include the Colt & Filly Children’s Parade on Friday and the Horse Games on Saturday.
Kentucky Apple Festival, Oct 3 – 5, Paintsville: The festival will feature arts, crafts, vendors, music, and rides. It will go from 7 – 10:30 pm each day.
Trigg County Ham Festival, Oct 10 – 11, Cadiz: This festival is in its 38th year of celebration. What started off as a way to preserve the craft of curing hams now includes music, comedy, magic, and more.
Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen Fall Fair, Oct 11 – 12, Berea: Juries of Kentucky artists and craftsmen will judge works of art and crafts. You will also find live music, food, and demonstrations.
October Court Days, Oct 17 – 20, Mt. Sterling: Since the 18th century, Court Day has been an annual trading day for much of Eastern Kentucky. Mt. Sterling still enjoys this 200-year old tradition, along with more than 100,000 people from all over the country. The locals are eager to impress with their arts, crafts, food, and music.
27th Annual Woolly Worm Festival, Oct 24 – 26, Beattyville: This event attracts over 30,000 people annually. You’ll encounter woolly worm races, craft displays, a parade, a pet show, a car show, and live entertainment on two stages.
Have a haunted house or spooktacular in Lexington? Email to [email protected] for listings in our October issues! Call today to schedule your fall and holiday program advertising: 859.268.0945.
This article also appears on page 14 of the September 4, 2014 print issue of Ace.
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