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Things to do in Kentucky

Planning a visit to Kentucky? Or maybe you're a local that's just looking for what's going on. Here's a sampling of some of the popular local events in the state.

Eastern Kentucky Events

May 2016

May 14 – October 30, 2016
Bluegrass Scenic Railroad Train Excursions

See the horse farms of east-central Kentucky like never before. Embark on the 90-minute, 11-mile Bluegrass Scenic Railroad Train Excursion, held each Saturday and Sunday from May 14th through October 30th. 

September 2016

September 2-4, 2016
38th Annual Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival

Winchester, KY hosts this annual festival, set to include plenty arts and crafts, food, a 5K, live entertainment, and so much. Festivities are spread across Winchester, with start times vary by day and activity. Check the schedule during your visit.

September 9-11, 2016
2016 Festival of the Horse

This signature Georgetown event is held throughout downtown, as a host of vendors and entertainment flood the streets for three days, all celebrating and promoting Scott County's Horse Heritage. Visitors and travelers are absolutely invited to share in the tradition. The event gets underway at 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

October 2016

October 14-17, 2016
2016 October Court Days

Mount Sterling is getting set to host the annual October Court Days festival, set to include all sorts of festival fun, like food, entertainment, games, and so much more. 

October 15, 2016
2016 Kiku Matsuri Chrysanthemum Festival

A celebration of fall featuring an abundance of kids' activities, origami, arts and crafts, garden tours, and so much more. The festival is hosted at the Yuko-en in Georgetown.

October 22, 2016
UK Wildcats vs. MSU Bulldogs

This fall in eastern KY, head for Lexington and enjoy a thrilling college football match-up. On October 22nd, the UK Wildcats host the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Commonwealth Stadium. Wildcats football is huge in Lexington, so find your tickets soon.

November 2016

November 18, 2016 – December 31, 2016
23rd Annual Southern Lights

Holiday cheer is alive and well in Lexington. Head for Kentucky Horse Park any day between November 18th and December 31st for the 23rd Annual Southern Lights. This is a daily, self-guided tour through four-mile stretch of exceptional Holiday light displays.

November 18 – 27, 2016
Festival of Trees & Trains

Ashland is the place to visit this fall for holiday fun. Head for the Paramount Arts Center for this years Festival of Trees and Trains, held November 18th through 27th. This year’s theme is Treasured Traditions.

December 2016

December 1, 2016
Lighting of the Terrace

Celebrate the holiday season in Frankfurt. Visit the Buffalo Trace Distillery on Thursday, December 1st for the Lighting of the Terrace. This free event will feature the Kentucky State University Choir signing holiday hits, Santa will be on-site, and it starts at 5:30 p.m.

December 31, 2016
New Year's Even Celebration on Judd Plaza

Welcome the arrival of 2017 in the heart of Ashland, KY. Head for Judd Plaza on December 31st for live music, food vendors, games, and so much more.

December 10, 2016
Christmas Cocktail Party at Hopewell Museum

Make the most of your holiday season visit to Paris, KY with a fun evening of libations, laughs, and more. Head for the Hopewell Museum near downtown Paris on December 10th starting at 5 p.m. for this charity event. Proceeds benefit the HPBC/HM education programs.

Western Kentucky Events

September 2016

September 14-18, 2016
2016 Jerusalem Ridge Festival

Check out five days of talented bluegrass and country musicians performing at the Mercer Farm and the Old Homeplace in Ohio County. The festival is set just a short drive from Central City. Get your tickets today.

September 3-5, 2016
2016 Everly Bros Rock 'N Roll Cruise

Central City celebrates Labor Day with two American classics: great music and awesome cars. The streets downtown will be lined with classic cars while free concerts pop up all over town. Don't miss out – register your classic car today or simply make plans to attend.

October 2016

October 8, 2016
Bourbon & Brewfest

Head for Circus Square Park in Bowling Green for the 2nd Annual Bourbon & Brewfest. On October 8th, join other bourbon and beer lovers to sample a top shelf selection of hand-picked Kentucky bourbon and locally crafted beer.

October 2016

October 14 – 16, 2016
5th Annual Goodguys Nostalgia Nationals

See more than 1,500 hot rods, customs, classics, street machines, and more at the 5th Annual Goodguys Nostalgia Nationals in Bowling Green. Head for Beech Bend Raceway from October 14th through 16th for this premier auto event.

October 22, 2016
WKU v. ODU College Football

Enjoy an exciting college football match this October in Bowling Green. Head for the L.T. Smith Stadium on October 22nd and watch as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers square off against the Old Dominion Monarchs. Kick off is at 1 p.m.

October 31, 2016
Downtown Trick-or-Treat

Head for Hopkinsville this Halloween and check out their annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat. Get the kids all dolled up and ready to go – pirates, ninjas, ghouls, and more! – and let them trick or treat in the safety and comfort of downtown Hopkinsville. 

Greater Louisville Events

September 2016

September 13-18, 2016
2016 Kentucky Bourbon Festival

Enjoy everything true Kentucky bourbon has to offer at this week-long festival. Scheduled events include live music, bourbon crafting demonstrations, Bardstown historical tours, tons of food, and so much more. Get your tickets today and head over to Bardstown.

October 2016

October 2016
2016 Kentucky State University Homecoming

Homecoming at KSU in Frankfort has become a must-see event, with the KSU football game at Alumni Stadium, live musical performances, and alumni events for an entire week. The exact dates for 2016 are TBA. Register today.

October 2016

October 19-21, 2016
2016 GIE + EXPO

The GIE, or Green Industry Show, and EXPO is back in Louisville for three days of industry demonstrations, dealers, and plenty of live entertainment. Learn how to be more efficient at the Kentucky Expo Center and areas outside of it.

Best Western Rewards

Must See in Kentucky

  • Kentucky Horse Trails

    Kentucky Horse Trails

    Choose from the never-ending trails of national forests to horseback rides near inner-city stables this summer in Kentucky.

    Saddle Up! ►
  • Spotlight Louisville

    Spotlight Louisville

    Enjoy a tour through Louisville on your next visit to Kentucky. Hiking trails, bourbon distilleries, and even the Kentucky Derby make it pure excitement.

    Check Out Louisville ►
  • Kentucky Outdoors

    Kentucky Outdoors

    Visit scenic Kentucky for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, fishing, and even caving in the beautiful Bluegrass State.

    Explore KY Outdoors! ►
  • Kentucky Universities

    Kentucky Universities

    Check out hotels near top Kentucky universities. Explore area attractions or enjoy campus tours and college sports.

    KY Universities ►
  • Kentucky Airport Hotels

    Kentucky Airport Hotels

    Find hotels near major Kentucky airports like the Louisville International Airport and Lexington's Blue Grass Airport.

    Hotels Near Kentucky Airports ►
  • Kentucky Bourbon Trail

    Kentucky Bourbon Trail

    Tour the Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries,, home of Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, and Wild Turkey distilleries, plus nearby bluegrass venues and BBQ restaurants.

    Explore the Kentucky Bs ►
  • Spotlight Lexington

    Spotlight Lexington

    Visit Lexington and explore everything from distilleries to historic sites. Enjoy pleasant indoor attractions, and a wealth of outdoor recreation.

    Explore Lexington ►
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