Archive for August 2011

Before they go back to school: Come to the Kentucky State fair

by Nancy Hinchliff, Innkeeper and free-lance writer

OK, so you can’t afford that trip to Disneylandor to some other exotic location. You and your kids can still have fun camping in the woods or even in the backyard, or maybe go visit grandma. The goal is to get away together. Throughout the summer, cities typically have lots of special events happening and Louisville is no exception. A perfect combination of all things good and fun for everyone is the Kentucky State Fair. And, this year, it will be bigger and better than ever.

Since 1902, Louisville has hosted Kentucky’s State Fair. The Fair is obviously known for its tradition in agriculture Photo - Kentucky State Fair Cafeand food. This year it will not disappoint you. Among other delicacies, you’ll find elephant ears, funnel cake, corndogs, polish sausage, pineapple whip, lemon-slushies, roasted corn, BBQ and Krispy Kreme donut burgers! Everywhere you look, there’s another food booth or cafe. The kids will love the cotton candy, delicious hot dogs, and ice cream.

Thousands of awards will be given in categories such as fine arts, crafts, agriculture, and live stock. One category still popular in today’s modern culture is “housewifery”. The competition judges everything home-made from Textiles to Cherry Pie. But the largest entry department is still agriculturally-based, an acknowledgment to Kentucky’s largest industry and history.

Live stock

The live stock exhibitions and competitions range from Rooster Crowing contests to Blue Ribbon contests for cattle, goats, horses sheep and pigs, as well as exhibits of poultry, pigeons, and rabbits. An assortment of dogs will show off their special tricks and Border Collies will demonstrate the technique of herding. There is also a Discovery Farm where the kids can pick up and cuddle the baby animals. And, if you love horses, there’s a World Championship horse show

4-H and FFA

Cloverville is a village set up to allow 4-H participants to display their skills and compete for champion honors in entomology, geology, forestry, electric, foods, horticulture, woodworking, clothing, knitting and crocheting, home environment, consumer science management, technology, country hams and photography. Check out the diversity of skills that are developed and offered through 4-H programming across the state. The West Hall is also home to the Kentucky FFA (Future Farmers of America) exhibits showcasing the best among youth in agriculture, including products such as tobacco, hay, corn, floral arrangements, mechanics and woodworking.

During the Sale of Champions, eight 4-H and FFA exhibitors sell their champion livestock to hometown and national supporters. The animals represent the Grand and Reserve Grand Champions in each of their respective species as selected during the Fair’s livestock show. The Kentucky State Fair features one of the most esteemed livestock shows in the nation and winning a class is highly coveted.

The Thrillway

One area popular with the kids is the Thrillway, with all its many exciting rides. Tickets may be purchased ahead of time

Main Stage Concerts

Tickets for the Kentucky State Fair Main Stage Series events will be available at Kentucky Exposition Center Ticket Office, KFC YUM! Center Ticket Office, Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) Ticket Office and all Ticketmaster outlets. Out of town visitors may purchase tickets through Ticketmaster. Tickets purchased through Ticketmaster are subject to a convenience charge. There is no service charge at the KEC or KICC Ticket Offices. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. For accessible seating, call (502) 367-5144 or (800) 231-8085. Other artists include Def Leppard, Jason Aldean, and Maroon 5 and Train.

Free Concerts

Many concerts are free with paid admission to the Fair. All shows begin at 8 p.m. (expect August 26) in the original Cardinal Stadium at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Gates open at approximately 6:30 p.m.Some of the musical artists include Ted Nugent, Boys II Men and the Oak Ridge Boys.

Food and Music

Many of the dining areas combine music with their special food offerings…a nice combination where you’re, tired, hungry, and just want to relax. You’ll find a variety of foods that will interest the whole family, from hamburgers to Bar-B-Q to salads and desserts.

Accommodations

Be sure to check out our bed and breakfasts on line for availability. Many of them are within 5-10 minutes from the fairgrounds, some are offering special “Kentucky State Fair” rates, and all of them are reasonable and comfortable…..See you at the Fair!

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One way to take a family vacation in a sagging economy

by Nancy Hinchliff, Innkeeper and free-lance writer

This year, all of us are going to have to come up with some creative ideas for summer travel. The economy is still in a slump, but the kids are out of school, they’ve worked hard all year and, hopefully have gotten passing grades! They really deserve a break. One of the most painless ways for folks to take the kids along on vacation is to take a car trip. You can stop along the way, they sleep in the back seat, play video games, and listen to music with ear-phones on. They can eat snacks and drink beverages in the car and even take fido along. Most dogs love to travel with the family. And, it’s a lot cheaper than air flight.

There are many cities in the US that make good central locations for a week-end or week-long getaway and Louisville, Kentucky is one of them. The choices in accommodations are better than ever. You can spend the day in a nearby state park offering a beautiful woodland setting, or on a farm, or spulunking at Mammoth Cave. All are great places for kids. Worn out from sight-seeing but happy, you can return to your central location in Louisville and relax in one of Louisville’s beautiful bed and breakfasts.

Bed and Breakfasts are ideal for combining what a city has to offer with the surrounding area. You can situate yourself in a beautiful Inn for a week and take day trips to small villages, farms, lake, beaches or whatever you like. A city like Louisville, in Kentucky, is perfect. It has all of the above, plus outstanding restaurants, museums, theater and many attractions. There are a whole host of events and festivals going on all summer, from the Shakespeare Festivals in Old Louisville’s Central Park to My Old Kentucky home pageants to the Kentucky State Fair.

Another advantage to staying in Louisville is that it is very accessible from many other states; such as Illinois Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Iowa and Arkansas, etc. The interstate highway system is amazing and easily leads right into downtown Louisville. Another advantage is that Louisville has approximately 18-20 amazing bed and breakfasts, most centrally located.