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Featured Events

Aug26

Bluegrass Classic Dog Show

Five days of all-breed conformation, obedience & rally competition. ... more
Jul26

The Red Mile 2015 Standardbred Meet

The First part of the racing meet features the Kentucky Sire Stakes racing series... more
Aug30

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  Alma Gitana!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your friends... more
Sep2

Red Barn Radio

Featuring:  The Jarflies!  Enjoy traditional Bluegrass and Bluegrass Gospel... more
Sep3

Thursday Night Live

Featuring Mercy Men!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great music by... more
Sep4

7th Annual Lexington Fest-of-Ales

The 7th Annual Lexington Fest of Ales will feature 200 craft beers from around the US and... more
Sep4

Free Friday Night Concert Series "Summer

Enjoy CoraLee & the Townies!  Grab those lawn chairs and come enjoy the music... more
Sep5

Bluegrass Archery Tournament

Yourth 10 + and adults are invited to compete in the inaugural Bluegrass Archery... more
Mar21

Bluegrass Farmers' Market, Inc.

The Bluegrass Farmers' Market is the largest 100% homegrown/produced farmers' market... more
Sep6

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  D Jay Rice!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your friends... more
Sep9

Red Barn Radio

Featuring:  Joe LaMay & Sherri Reese & Friends  Enjoy traditional... more
Sep10

Thursday Night Live

Featuring Big Black Cadillac!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great... more
Sep11

Kentucky Cork & Tap

Featuring Kentucky wineries and vineyards, local beers from Lexington's own breweries,... more
Sep11

Lexington Roots & Heritage Festival

Honoring the Past.  Celebrating the Present.  Embracing the future.  Enjoy... more
Sep12

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest, Gene Watson!  Enjoy great classic country, southern... more
Sep12

Stargazing

Enjoy an astromomy presentation and view the night sky through a variety of... more
Sep12

The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky

Wayne Koestenbaum:  Unfamiliar Grammer, Paintings from 2010-2015.  Bottoms... more
Sep13

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  Jeff Barnes Duo!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your... more
Sep14

Keeneland September Yearling Sales

This sale attracts buyers from all over the world.  Spectators welcome!... more
Sep16

Jefferson Street Soiree

The Jefferson Street Soiree is back after the success of its inaugural year and is sure... more
Sep16

Red Barn Radio

Featuring:  Alex Smith!  Enjoy traditional Bluegrass and Bluegrass Gospel with... more
Sep17

Thursday Night Live

Featuring Girls Guns & Glory!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and... more
Sep18

Festival Latino de Lexington

Friday night is tropical night and will include authentic Latino foods, fireworks... more
Sep19

Jim Belushi & the Board of Comedy

An alumnus of Saturday Night Live and Chicago’s famed Second City, Jim Belushi... more
Sep19

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guests, Joey and Rory!  Enjoy great classic country,... more
Sep20

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  Beyond Apple!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your... more
Sep23

Red Barn Radio

Featuring:  Mountain Music Ambassadors!  Enjoy traditional Bluegrass and... more
Sep24

Thursday Night Live

Featuring The Barrows!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great music by... more
Sep25

Anderson County Burgoo Festival

Lots of burgoo, music, entertainment and vendors of all kinds.    Held in... more
Sep26

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest, Mickey Gilley!  Enjoy great classic country,... more
Sep27

Troubadour Concert Series - Exile in The

Enjoy Kentucky's legendary rock and country heroes, EXILE, for a full concert inside the... more
Sep27

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  The Habit!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your friends... more
Sep30

The Red Mile 2015 Grand Circuit

The Grand Circuit is the elite in Standardbred Racing such as the Kentucky Futurity,... more
Oct1

35th Annual Festival of the Horse

Exhibits, concessions, parades, carnival, arts and crafts and 5K run. ... more
Oct1

Thursday Night Live

Featuring Five Below Band!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great music... more
Oct2

A Night Celebrating The Lyric

Help celebrate the 5th Anniversary of The Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center!... more
Oct2

Keeneland Thoroughbred Racing

No racing on Mondays or Tuesdays. See live Thoroughbred racing at the most elegant race... more
Oct2

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest, Jimmy Fortune!  Enjoy great classic country,... more
Oct3

Perryville Battlefield Commemoration

Battle re-enactments, living history, parade, food and crafts.... more
Oct3

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest, Bobby Bare!  Enjoy great classic country, southern... more
Oct4

The Bourbon Social/Bourbon Brunch

Located in the heart of downtown Lexington at the Bodley Bullock House, enjoy a Kentucky... more
Oct4

The Raven 10K Trail Run

Join the Friends of Raven Run and Lexington Park and Recreation for the inaugural 10 K... more
Oct4

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  Midlife Harmony!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your... more
Oct5

The Bourbon Social/VIP Progressive Dinner

This exclusive dinner will only support 50 guests.  Five groups of ten, start times... more
Oct6

The Bourbon Social/Beer, Bourbon & Bacon

Enjoy an eclectic menu and pairing in the historic gardens and lawns of Ashland, The... more
Oct8

Thursday Night Live

Featuring Blind Corn Liquor Pickets!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and... more
Oct9

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest, Will Reynolds!  Enjoy great classic country,... more
Oct9

The Bourbon Social/Keeneland Tailgate

Enjoy the traditional Keeneland Tailgate in a format unlike any other.  In a private... more
Oct9

The Bourbon Social/VIP Pre Event & Cocktail

The Celebrity Guest Chef Ed Lee will create Kentucky Proud hors d'oeuvres alongside a... more
Oct10

Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen Fall Fair

The Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen’s Fall Fair is an event you cannot... more
Oct10

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest, Marty Stuart & Connie Smith!  Enjoy great... more
Oct10

The Bourbon Social/Main Event

The 2015 Main Event is an event not to miss!  The celebration will host the best of... more
Oct10

The Bourbon Social/Seminar Series

The 2015 seminar series will host 6 classes teaching, tasting and talking all things... more
Oct11

The Bourbon Social/Distillery Brunch

Located in the heart of the Jim Beam Distillery, guests will enjoy a Kentucky themed menu... more
Oct11

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  Keeton Zane Hilton!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your... more
Oct13

Parson Dance Company

Exuberant. Virtuosic. Sensual. These words barely begin to describe the Parsons Dance... more
Oct15

Thursday Night Live

Featuring The Twiggenbury's!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great... more
Oct16

Liberty Hall - Our Beloved Ghost Tour

Liberty Hall is famous for its Gray Lady and other ghosts said to haunt the house and... more
Oct16

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest, IIIrd Tyme Out!  Enjoy great classic country,... more
Oct16

The Bourbon Chase

An overnight relay adventure.  Teams of runners cover 200 miles of scenic byways... more
Oct16

The Camp Nelson Ghost Hunting Experience

This fundraising event will lead you on an actual ghost hunt on the Camp Nelson Civil War... more
Oct17

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest, Ronnie Dailey & Vincent!  Enjoy great classic... more
Oct18

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  The Twiggenburys.  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your... more
Oct22

Thursday Night Live

Featuring Tony and the Tanlines!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great... more
Oct24

7th Annual Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show

Featuring Celebrity Chef Carla Hall.  Now in its seventh year, the Incredible Food... more
Oct24

Breeders’ Cup Festival Week

Come experience a multi-venue festival spotlighting live music, art, food and other... more
Oct24

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest, Tanya Tucker!  Enjoy great classic country, southern... more
Oct27

Alltech National Horse Show

The National Horse Show is America’s oldest indoor horse show, firmly established... more
Oct27

CP National Horse Show

A week-long championship event held indoors at the Alltech Arena, Featuring... more
Oct27

PumpkinMania

Join Transylvania University for their 5th Annual event as they light hundreds of jack... more

Horses and Dogs

by Margaret, Horse Blogger

HORSES, HORSES Things have gone to the dogs this week at the Kentucky Horse Park. Of course there are still plenty of horses of various breeds to see (don't missthe Breeds Barn show),but just now ...

more

Camp Nelson

by Stuart, History Blogger

One of Kentucky's most unique--and important--Civil War sites is located just south of Lexington in Jessamine County.

Camp Nelson, established in 1863 on the Kentucky River, was founded as a supply ...

more

Western Dreamer

by Margaret, Horse Blogger

HORSES HORSES Standardbred pacer Western Dreamer is one of a special group of horses at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The Bay gelding--barn name Dreamer--is one of theretired champions in the Horse Park's ...

more

Lots of Ponies

by Margaret, Horse Blogger

HORSES, HORSES Ponies are taking plenty of jumps this week atthe Kentucky Horse Park. They and their riders are participatingin the U.S. Equestrian Federation Pony Finals Championships.

Pony Finals ...

more

Activist Laura Clay

by Stuart, History Blogger

Among the many innovators, reformers, and activists buried in the Lexington Cemetery is Laura Clay, a noted suffragist who spent her life vigorously fighting for women's rights.

Clay was born on ...

more

Welcoming Secretariat

A two night itinerary for fans of the movie, and the horse

secretariatsunsetThere may never be another horse like Secretariat. His astonishing 31 length victory at Belmont Park to win the 1973 Triple Crown may never be matched. But Kentucky is no stranger to equine super stars. Name any famous thoroughbred in the history of horse racing and we'll bet they were conceived, born, or retired to stud right here in the Bluegrass Region. There's a reason they call us Horse Capital of the World.

When Disney decided to bring the story of Secretariat to the big screen, it was clear that Kentucky, where Secretariat spent 16 productive years, would play a part. Director Randall Wallace and cinematographer Dean Semler, scouting locations for the film, were met with the same enthusiasm that met Secretariat when he arrived at Claiborne Farm to begin his stud career. They discovered a region of stunning landscapes and friendly people with a passion for horses. We invite you to discover the same. Here's a great itinerary for fans of Secretariat: the horse and the movie.

Night 1
Evening: Arrive in time to check in at your hotel and catch an early dinner downtown. Then head off to see a movie at the theater where a premiere of Secretariat was held on October 3, 2010, in advance of the nationwide release. Star Diane Lane was spotted on the red carpet as were Penny Chenery's daughter (Kate Chenery Tweedy), Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen and other luminaries. Lexington's lovingly restored 1920's movie palace, The Kentucky Theatre, is on Main Street and there are at least a dozen independently owned restaurants within walking distance. The "after party" was held at nearby Portofino, an excellent dinner choice if you are in the mood for upscale Italian cuisine. Another option just steps away from the Kentucky Theatre is Natasha's Bistro and Bar. Owners Gene and Natasha call the eclectic menu "New American Cuisine" and it runs the gamut from chicken pot pie to Hungarian goulash.

Day 1
Early Morning: Even if you aren't an early riser by nature, you must not miss breakfast at the track kitchen at Keeneland Race Course. Keeneland is a "must see" for fans of the movie, so why not get there early, grab a cheap and hearty breakfast with the trainers and owners. Arrive trackside between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and you'll be able to catch horses at their morning workouts. Then wander over to the kitchen for breakfast. In the movie, when Secretariat runs his first race, the stunning race track you see is not really Aqueduct, but Keeneland. When he runs the most important race of his life, what you see in the movie is not really Belmont Park, but Keeneland. Sharp observers will also recognize the incomparable paddock area at Keeneland as the back drop for the pre-Belmont Stakes press conference. Historic Keeneland Race Course is no stranger to film making. Both Dreamer and Seabiscuit were filmed in part at this national treasure.

Late Morning. And now for something completely different: central Kentucky's castle. When you leave Keeneland, take a right on U.S. 60 and watch for the turrets of CastlePost. Construction began on this extraordinary structure around 1969. As the story goes, the original owner honeymooned in Europe, where the bride fell in love with castles. When they returned to Kentucky, the new husband proceeded to build her a castle of her own, but they divorced before its completion. It is now a luxury bed and breakfast. When filming was complete, it proved to be the perfect venue for the cast party. John Malkovich and Diane Lane probably never expected to be entertained at a castle while filming in central Kentucky.

Immediately past CastlePost, take a right on Pisgah Pike for a brief scenic driving tour through a small part of Kentucky's famed horse country. You'll pass a charming church on your right, Pisgah Presbyterian. The graveyard behind the church has Revolutionary war era graves. You may recognize it from a scene early in the movie. This is where the graveside service for Penny Chenery's mother was filmed.

Follow Pisgah Pike to Old Frankfort Pike (State Highway 1681) and turn right. This is one of Kentucky's best scenic byways. You'll drive past stunning farms, including Darby Dan, a top-rate equine facility since the beginning of the 20th century. Its white fences, stone entrance, manicured fields and white columned manor house make it a quintessential Bluegrass horse farm. The distinctive green-roofed barns to your left may look familiar. The scene where Penny Tweedy and Seth Hancock discuss syndicating the breeding rights for Secretariat was filmed at Darby Dan. If you'd like to visit Darby Dan, check with Scott Goodlett Events well in advance. They helped scout filming locations for the movie and have access to Darby Dan. (Never enter any horse farm without an appointment.)

Lunch. Stay on Old Frankfort Pike and you will end up in downtown Lexington. Grab lunch at Nick Ryan's or Stella's Deli before heading out to spend the rest of the day at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Afternoon. The Kentucky Horse Park is a 1,200 acre state park dedicated to all breeds of horse. Try to arrive before 1:00 p.m. so you'll have time to explore the International Museum of the Horse in addition to the rest of the Park. Featured near the visitor's center is a statue of beloved Secretariat with jockey Ron Turcotte in the irons being led into the winner's circle by groom Eddie Sweat after the Kentucky Derby. Check out the "Strides" exhibit on the sidewalk leading out to the Man o' War Memorial to see how Secretariat's stride compares to Man o' War and John Henry. Inside the International Museum of the Horse you'll find a great collection of Secretariat memorabilia, including Ron Turcotte's boots and distinctive blue and white racing silks.

Look for a souvenir to remind you of your Secretariat odyssey in Kentucky at the Park's gift shop. You'll find the Disney movie, prints and photographs, the last photographic book created by Penny's daughter (Kate), jewelry, and even a Secretariat Beanie Baby.

On your way back to town, turn left out of the Kentucky Horse Park and you will pass Spindletop Hall on your right behind ornate wrought iron gates. Scenes from the movie were shot both inside and outside this mansion built by oil heiress Pansy Yount in 1935. The film makers staged many scenes here, including the infamous coin toss where Penny acquired ownership of Secretariat, and where trainer Lucien Laurin practiced his golf swing while trying to convince Penny he no longer had any interest in horses.

Night 2
Evening. Pick the Julep Cup for dinner and you can check off two things that should be on every "to do" list while visiting Kentucky. You can enjoy a traditional Kentucky Hot Brown and have a Mint Julep. Check out the Calendar of Events for evening entertainment options while you are here. WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour is taped live on Monday nights at the Lyric Theatre and is heard around the world on more than 500 radio stations. On Wednesdays, you can hear live Bluegrass Music at ArtsPlace. The Lexington Opera House hosts touring Broadway productions, and Lexington Center hosts everything from Disney on Ice to country music stars.

Day 2.
Morning. Don't miss seeing Thoroughbred Park at the intersection of Main and Midland. A group of seven life-sized bronze statues of horses are frozen in time as they approach the finish line. Mares and foals graze on the knolls behind the "track". Learn about Thoroughbred racing as you wander the paths through the park. Forty-two plaques tell the story of the Bluegrass Region's unequaled contribution to the sport of kings.

Late Morning. Set out for the charming small town of Paris, just north of Lexington. Notice the beautiful stone fences along Paris Pike. As this road was improved and widened, great care was taken to preserve, restore or rebuild all the original stone fencing. Take a right on 627 just before town, and you'll drive past the Hancock's legendary Claiborne Farm. Claiborne, where Secretariat stood at stud for 16 years, gives morning tours but you must make an appointment well in advance. If you were not able to schedule a tour, it is still worth the drive to see this beautiful farm from the road. It's huge. If you are lucky enough to take a guided tour, you'll see the grave of Secretariat, who sired as many as 600 foals during his career at Claiborne.

Lunch. Before heading back to Lexington, or hitting the interstate for home, take a leisurely drive to nearby Middletown and stop for lunch at Home Sweet Kentucky. It was a huge hit with the film crew while they were in the area. The restaurant serves up home cooked meals made "from scratch". Driving the back roads through horse country is sure to leave a lasting impression. Horses are as much a part of this legendary landscape as the grass and trees. You never know: one of the horses you see frolicking in the fields might just be the next Triple Crown winner.

Written by Lu Ann Pelle, 2011 / updated 2014