As the leaves begin to turn, and summer winds down, don’t worry — that just means Fall Festival season is here!
A sampling of area favorites includes:
Take a short drive to visit our neighbors in Winchester for the 43rd Annual Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival on Main Street downtown.
Georgetown/s annual Festival of the Horse is Sep 9-11. It features amusement rides, horse show/games, grand parade, pet parade, craft vendors, food vendors, and more.
Shop local right here in the neighborhood! NorthEast Christian Church’s Fall Craft and Vendor Fair hosts local and regional Kentucky artisans coming together to bring their home-made, hand-made items in one big indoor sale. Enjoy early Christmas shopping, Fall and Christmas decorations, local honey, wood works, pillows, quilts, baby items, pet tags, and hand painted jewelry to name a few.
Join St. Andrew on Sep 10 and Sep 11 at the annual Heritage Festival on the grounds of St. Andrew Orthodox Church. There will be Slavic and Middle Eastern foods, dance showcases, live music, church tours, choir recitals, and a variety of books for adults and kids.
The Berea Chamber of Commerce invites you to join in the fun of the Spoonbread Festival through Sep 18. The festival offersentertainment, a hot air balloon glow, a motorcycle show, a car show, a parade, and of course, spoonbread!
New to the festival scene this year, is the first Bluegrass Craft Beer and Bourbon Festival at Moondance Amphitheatre, 21 and over only please.
The main stage of the Kentucky Heritage Jazz Festival is located on the lawn just north of the Shaker Village Welcome Center. Bring your own lawn chair.
Head to Lawrenceburg on Sep 23 and Sep 24 for a revamped and expanded Burgoo Festival from the Burgoo Capitol of the World. The festival features vendors, two days of live music, local breweries, a boutique bourbon experience and of course, burgoo recipes from makers all over the Commonwealth.
For over 50 years, West Liberty has been home to the Morgan County Sorghum Festival, hosted this year Sep 23-25. Downtown transforms into a spectacular crafters paradise, featuring local and regional artisans and crafters, talented musicians, delicious food vendors, and highlights area sorghum producers.
SEP 24 – SEP 25
Celebrate all things fall and kick off the harvest season at Shaker Village’s Harvest Fest.
Help process sorghum and press apples for cider while learning the history of these crops at Pleasant Hill (you’ll get to taste the fruits of your labor as well)!
Take a hayride, paint a pumpkin, climb haystacks, ride a pony and play in the hay maze. Shop for honey, breads and jams at the Harvest Market. Watch craft demonstrations and play festival games. Meet the Farm animals and try Farm-made concoctions.
Live music, an outdoor bar and a variety of food trucks help complete this perfect September weekend.
Every Kentuckian knows the legend of Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. If you want to “eat where it all began,” you will be visiting the flagship Sanders Cafe and Museum in Corbin, Kentucky. But if you just can’t get enough of celebrating fried chicken, you will head to London’s World Chicken Festival Sep 22 through Sep 25, 2022.
The World’s Largest Stainless Skill Skillet has served more than 120,000 fried chicken dinners since 1992.
(The World’s Largest Cast Iron Skillet, measuring makes its home in Tennessee at the Lodge Cast Iron Museum.)
Lebanon’s Ham Days is one of Kentucky’s top 10 festivals and is scheduled for September 23th, 24th and 25th, 2022. The event began in 1969 and started small with six hams and a few volunteers. Now Ham Days serves over 4,000 pounds of country ham over the course of a weekend, and hosts a Pokey Pig 5k run, the annual Pigasus Parade, along with a Balloon Glow.
Frankfort’s Bourbon on the Banks is back, Sep 30 – Oct 1. The banks of the picturesque Kentucky River will feature dozens of bourbons, ranging from the largest and most popular to small and obscure. Integrated among the many distilleries are opportunities to interactively increase your knowledge of bourbon and its rich history. Area microbreweries and wineries will also be giving samples as well. Food tents along with food trucks will be on hand with a wide and eclectic variety of foods. Walk the banks of the Kentucky River, enjoy acoustic musicians, and sample rare and unique bourbons, spirits, wine and beer.
At Fort Boonesborough’s Fall Harvest and Trades Weekend, you’ll learn about ancient crafts, skills and trades kept alive even to this day — blacksmithing, woodworking, riving roof boards, hewing and notching logs, leather work and an 18th Century fall harvest.
Join Fort Boonesborough for their 28th annual Halloween Party, celebrating 13 days of fun and frights, featuring camper decoration contests, costume contests, ghost walks, a parade, trick or treat, jack o’ lantern contests, crafts, contests, hayrides, live entertainment, soup bean supper, pancake breakfast and more. This event is for registered campers only.
Enjoy delicious food, raffles, live music, kids and casino games, inflatables, BINGO and more at Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary’s annual Fall Festival.
You can’t possibly prepare for the severity or mildness of the coming winter without a visit to Beattyville’s annual Woolly Worm Festival, Oct 21- Oct 23. Beattyville has hosted the Woolly Worm Festival every year since 1988. The festival has been known to attract crowds of 100,000+. The weekend event is held along Main Street and includes woolly worm races,a car show and parade, helicopter rides, and a weekend full of live music on the Woolly Worm Stage. Weather.gov explains the woolly worm’s weather forecasting tradition, “The longer the wooly bear’s black bands, the longer, colder, snowier, and more severe the winter will be. Similarly, the wider the middle brown band is associated with a milder upcoming winter. The position of the longest dark bands supposedly indicates which part of winter will be coldest or hardest. If the head end of the caterpillar is dark, the beginning of winter will be severe. If the tail end is dark, the end of winter will be cold.”
Nothing says Fall quite like Oktoberfest — and there are dozens of them in the region. According to Eater, “the evolution of the current Oktoberfest spans more than 200 years, dating back to the inaugural event on October 12, 1810, and the nuptials of Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The royal occasion took place a year after a quelled rebellion in a neighboring county, so to establish a sense of unity across the Bavarian state, the family invited about 40,000 citizens to join the festivities at the gates of the city of Munich. The celebration lasted several days, ending on October 17 with horse races.”
No wonder that’s a tradition we can get behind in the horse capital of the world.
SEP 9-10 Christ the King Oktoberfest
SEP 17 Oktoberfest BeerFest, Rock Haven Bar, Harrodsburg
SEP 24 Oktoberfest at Country Boy, Georgetown
OCT 1 Barktoberfest, Hamburg Liquor Barn
SEP 30 – OCT 2 Harrodsburg Oktoberfest
SEP 10 Spoonbread Festival 5k, Berea
SEP 18 Iron Horse Half Marathon, Midway
SEP 24 Pokey Pig 5k, Lebanon
SEP 30 Bourbon Burn, Lexington
OCT 1 Sorghum Shuffle 5k, Springfield
OCT 2 The Raven 10k, Lexington
OCT 15 Run for the Pumpkins 4 Miler, Harrodsburg
OCT 15 ‘Yes Mamm’ 5k, Nicholasville
OCT 28 Black Cat Chase 5k, Frankfort