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Featured Events

May24

Bleu Plate Walking Food Tours

Meet for a guided culinary adventure with stops at local restaurants and savor the... more
Apr5

Lexington Farmers Market

The Lexington Farmers Market has just about everything in season in Kentucky. Including... more
Apr2

The Dixie Belle Riverboat

Enjoy a relaxing ride aboard Shaker Village's 115-passenger riverboat, through high... more
May24

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  The Twiggenburys.  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your... more
Apr7

Lexington Farmers Market

The Lexington Farmers Market has just about everything in season in Kentucky. Including... more
May20

Lexington Farmers Market

The Lexington Farmers Market has just about everything in season in Kentucky. Including... more
Apr9

Lexington Farmers Market

The Lexington Farmers Market has just about everything in season in Kentucky. Including... more
May28

Thursday Night Live

Featuring Ralph Curtis and The Nashville Imposters!  Beverages, food from local... more
May30

Bleu Plate Walking Food Tours

Meet for a guided culinary adventure with stops at local restaurants and savor the... more
Apr18

Bluegrass Farmers' Market, Inc.

The Bluegrass Farmers' Market is the largest 100% homegrown/produced farmers' market... more
Mar21

Bluegrass Farmers' Market, Inc.

The Bluegrass Farmers' Market is the largest 100% homegrown/produced farmers' market... more
May30

Family Day

Bring the kids and make your ideal model chair out of a variety of natural and industrial... more
Apr4

Lexington Farmers Market

The Lexington Farmers Market has just about everything in season in Kentucky. Including... more
May30

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest, Ronnie Milsap!  Enjoy great classic country,... more
May31

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  Lauren Mink.  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your friends... more
Jun4

Great American Brass Band Festival

World-class bands come together in what has been called "the most prominent and... more
Jun4

Thursday Night Live

Featuring The Trendells!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great music... more
Jun5

Great American Brass Band Festival Concert

Spend a lazy summer afternoon listening to the Household Troops Band of the Salvation... more
Jun6

Open Gates to Bluegrass Living Garden Tour

The Lexington Council Garden Clubs offers a "Peek Behind the Garden Gate" on... more
Jun7

Bleu Plate Walking Food Tours

Meet for a guided culinary adventure with stops at local restaurants and savor the... more
Jun7

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  Yesteryear!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your friends... more
Jun11

42nd Annual Festival of the Bluegrass

Annual jamboree featuring the best Bluegrass bands in Kentucky and top national... more
Jun11

Thursday Night Live

Featuring Thumper Rewind!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great music... more
Jun12

Kentucky Cork & Tap

Premier Wine and Beer Festival featuring local products.... more
Jun12

Paddle & Yoga Weekend

Friday 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM  Candlelight Yoga.  Practice yoga in a unique and... more
Jun12

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest Will Reynolds!  Enjoy great classic country, southern... more
Jun13

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest The Oak Ridge Boys!  Enjoy great classic country,... more
Jun18

Thursday Night Live

Featuring The Johnson Brothers!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great... more
Jun19

Phoenix Fridays

Take it downtown to the heart of Lexington for another series of free outdoor... more
Jun19

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest, Mike Snider!  Enjoy great classic country, southern... more
Jun20

Antique Show and Sales

More than 50 of the nation’s top dealers will travel from across the U.S. to... more
Jun20

Dusk Hike

Explore The Preserve just before the sun sets, and learn about a variety of wildlife and... more
Jun20

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guests, Asleep at The Wheel!  Enjoy great classic country,... more
Jun21

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  Lisa Raymond!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your... more
Jun25

Thursday Night Live

Featuring Rebel Without A Cause!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great... more
Jun28

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  Triage!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your friends at... more
Jul2

Thursday Night Live

Featuring The Tim Talbert Project!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and... more
Jul4

4th of July Festival

The Bluegrass 10,000, in its 37th year: The crank wheelchair division starts at 7:20... more
Jul5

Red, White and Boom

The Red, White and Boom concert and fireworks display will be at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.... more
Jul5

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  Big Fat Liars!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your... more
Jul6

79th Junior League Horse Show

The Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show is the first leg of the American... more
Jul9

Lexington Lions' Club Bluegrass Fair

Enjoy Carnival rides, grandstand shows, petting farm, games, food and much more!... more
Jul9

Thursday Night Live

Featuring SixtyFourWest!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great music... more
Jul10

Kentucky Cork & Tap

Premier Wine and Beer Festival featuring local products.... more
Jul11

Ronald McDonald Clown Train

Ronald will entertain as only he can do. He will be passing out free Happy... more
Jul12

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  Soljam!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your friends at... more
Jul16

Keeneland Concours d' Elegance

The annual Keeneland Concours d'Elegance will again be held at the beautiful Keeneland... more
Jul16

Thursday Night Live

Featuring Better Off Dead!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great music... more
Jul17

26th Annual Breyerfest

The weekend celebration is the intersection of the real horse world and the model horse... more
Jul17

Phoenix Fridays

Take it downtown to the heart of Lexington for another series of free outdoor... more
Jul17

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guests, Bill Anderson & Jeannie Seely!  Enjoy great... more
Jul18

Renfro Valley Entertainment Center

Featuring:  Special Guest, Earl Thomas Conley!  Enjoy great classic country,... more
Jul19

Super Sunday

Come out to Douglass Park and enjoy outdoor basketball at its best. Started over thirty... more
Jul19

Tunes in the Vines

Featuring:  Rock Steady!  Bring excitement to your Sunday and meet your friends... more
Jul22

Troubadour Concert Series

His new album, “Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions,” is a departure, a... more
Jul23

Thursday Night Live

Featuring Prime Cut Band!  Beverages, food from local restaurants and great music... more

Spring Horse Shows

by Margaret, Horse Blogger

HORSES, HORSES The weather has turned cool, reverting back to earlier spring,which should be nice for the horse shows this weekend at the Kentucky Horse Park.

After April's major equine events, ...

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