Kentucky Derby in Lousiville
Kentucky's Favorite Festivals
Home to some of the nation’s best bluegrass and folk music, famed distilleries, and, of course, premiere equestrian events and facilities, it’s no surprise Kentucky features some of the nation’s best annual festivals.
No matter your interest, give a look at some of our favorite annual Kentucky festivals, and plan your visit accordingly.
1. Kentucky Derby & Derby Festival
The festival is hosted throughout downtown Louisville each May. Check out must-sees like the marathon, balloonfest, and Thunder Over Louisville fireworks show.
Bluegrass Festivals in Kentucky
2. Kentucky Bluegrass & Bourbon
Kentucky’s two most prized exports – bluegrass and bourbon – all in one fun-filled weekend at Louisville Water Tower Park in early September. But wait, there’s more – barbecue, craft vendors, and more. This is the premiere end-of-summer celebration in Louisville.
3. Festival of the Bluegrass
Over in Lexington, the Festival of the Bluegrass is a favorite among eastern KY festivalgoers each and every June.
4. Forecastle Festival
Are you a fan of great live music? Then check out the Forecastle Festival, held in Louisville at Louisville Waterfront Park in July. The fest is just under 10 years old, but it's quickly risen up the ranks, now known for hosting some of the world’s biggest up-and-coming indie rock, hip-hop, folk, and pop artists on the planet.
5. Rolex Kentucky
Midway at the State Fair
Another of Kentucky’s excellent equestrian events, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in April features tons of saddled fun and for the whole family.
6. Kentucky Bourbon Festival
Similarly, over in Bardstown, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in mid September brings great drinks, jazz, dancing, and plenty more at a handful of venues.
7. Kentucky State Fair
Who doesn’t love the fair? The Kentucky State Fair, held in Louisville in August, brings all the classic state fair fun and amenities to Freedom Hall and the Kentucky Exposition Center.
Check out the Midway, big-name concert events at University of Louisville's Cardinal Stadium, endless vendors and festival food, and the fun at Kentucky Kingdom.