By Megan Friday
If it’s Fall in the Bluegrass, that means Oktoberfests and Ham Days and the world’s largest skillet of fried chicken will all soon offer tasty weekend road trips in the coming weeks.
The 7th Annual Fest of Ales at Cheapside Pavilion, September 4 is featuring 200 craft beers from around the world with special releases every 15 minutes throughout the night. Advance tickets recommended (it typically sells out).
Sep 11 – 12 is Christ The King Oktoberfest. This fall festival features german food and many options from local food vendors. There will also be live music, kids games, and the Celebrity Cake Wheel.
The Roots & Heritage Festival, Sep 11 – 13, provides entertainment for all ages in a celebration of heritage and regional diversity. Enjoy live music, entertainment and fine art as well as cultural and educational programs.
The Kentucky State BBQ Festival will be coming back for its 5th year in Danville, Kentucky, the weekend of September 11. There will be music, beer, BBQ, and BBQ demonstrations.
Join Boyd’s Orchard (Versailles) for the Apple Days Festival on Sep 12 – 13 as they kick off their fall festival season. Take a hay ride, pick some apples, or join them on the patio for lunch and live music.
The Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown brings you 6 full days of bourbon, food, and entertainment from Sep 15 – 20. Come celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month in the bourbon capital of the world with activities ranging from black tie galas to bourbon cooking school (formerly taught by Ace food writer, Chef Tom Yates).
Sep 18 – 20 is Oktoberfest Zincinnati, America’s largest Oktoberfest, held along Fifth Street in downtown Cincinnati. The festival showcases the German heritage of Ohio as well as samples of German-style food, music, and beer.
The Festival Latino de Lexington is a two day festival from Sep 18 – 19. Friday and Saturday will be filled with informational booths, cultural presentations, and food and music (try the corn on a stick). Courthouse Plaza downtown.
The Berea Spoonbread Festival on Sep 18 – 20 in Memorial Park (Berea) is full activities for the whole family. It kicks off on Friday with free concerts and the Balloon Glow, and continues on Saturday with the 5k run, tethered balloon rides, a motorcycle show and more activities and concerts in the park.
The World Chicken Festival invites you to their celebration of the heritage of Colonel Sanders and Lee Cummings (Founders of Kentucky Fried Chicken And Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken). Try a chicken dinner from the World’s Largest Skillet measuring over 10 feet in diameter! There will also be live music, games and contests.
The Anderson County Burgoo Festival is in Lawrenceburg Sep 25 – 27. Burgoo, music, entertainment and vendors of all kinds will fill all avenues of the festival. Saturday morning starts with a pancake breakfast at 8 am.
Join the Morgan County Sorghum Festival on Sep 25 – 27 as they celebrate 45 years of art & crafts and sorghum making. Listen to live music by Jimmy Rose at Old Mill Park and don’t forget the annual Morgan County Sorghum Bowl football game! Held at Herdman Field where the Sorghum Queen will be crowned at halftime.
The heart of Danville welcomes Oktoberfest in the Park on Sep 26, 5 pm, at the Constitution Square Park. Enjoy live music by Cincinnati’s German band PROST while you check out the bier selection (German, European, local) and local food with a German flare.
The Heritage Festival is at St. Andrew Orthodox Church on Sep 26 – 27. It includes activities for the entire family and exotic foods from Lebanon, Palestine, Russia, Serbia, and other Eastern European nations. There will also be Middle Eastern and Slavic folk dance, as well as concerts of Byzantine and Slavonic liturgical music.
Marion County Country Ham Days festival is back for its 44th year on Sep 26 – 27. Ham days serves over 4,500 lbs of ham starting with a country ham breakfast cooked up by the volunteers.
The 53rd annual Kentucky Apple Festival will be held on Oct 2 – 3 in downtown Paintsville. Try a Tiger Ear or Fried Apple Pie from the dozens of food vendors and peruse the handmade crafts from crafters all over the U.S.
Court Days, the annual trading day in Eastern Kentucky since the 18th century, is a four-day event held in Mt Sterling Oct 16 – 19. Come see arts, crafts, food and music put on by the locals of Mount Sterling.
Oct 24 – 31 is the Breeders’ Cup Festival in Lexington. Much like the World Equestrian Games, the Breeders’ Cup Festival will include signature culinary events (including the Feeders’ Cup food truck competition at the Ballpark).
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This article appears on page 13 of the September 2015 print issue of Ace.
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