When you think of things to do in Lexington, KY, your first thought might be "watching horse races" or learning more about the history of thoroughbreds. While the city is known for its horses and has plenty of monuments and events that celebrate the four-legged creatures, there's much more to living in Lexington than a love for horses. To get a true sense of the city, make sure you don't miss several regularly occurring events.
Celebration of Food
The Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show is an annual event designed specifically with foodies in mind. Held at the Lexington Convention Center every October, the food show features demonstrations by celebrity chefs, a best biscuit contest, and a number of cook-offs. One highlight of the food show is the Kentucky Proud Breakfast, which is served at 9am, for free, to the first 300 paid-ticket holders to show up. Along with stopping in at the demonstrations, food show attendees can browse the Marketplace, where a number of local companies have set up shop. Vendors in the marketplace range from Kentucky-based breweries and wineries to cheesemakers, butchers, and candy companies.
Fall in Lexington is a great time to get spooked out of your mind. The area has plenty of haunted attractions, which pop up during the early fall, then vanish again after Halloween. One popular event takes place at Buffalo Trace Distillery. Dubbed Disturbia at the Distillery, it includes a ghost tour of the distillery, followed by a murder mystery dinner theater and tasting.
The historic Waveland Museum transforms itself into a haunted nightmare called Fright Nights every Halloween. The event includes a torture chamber maze, a tour of the meat house, and a tour of the haunted mansion.
Kentucky is known for bluegrass in two forms. There's the blue grass that grows on the ground, and there's bluegrass as a style of music. A number of festivals in the city and surrounding area celebrate bluegrass as a style of music. A big one is the Festival of the Bluegrass, which got started in 1974. Over the years, a number of big name bluegrass acts, such as Alison Krauss, got their start at the festival. The festival takes place in June at the Kentucky Horse Park. Although camping is a major part of the event for many people, there's also the option of booking a hotel room nearby during the festival.
The Lexington Lions Club Bluegrass Fair focuses on the blue grass of Kentucky, not just the music. The annual fair features a petting zoo, a circus sideshow, and beauty pageants, as well as all the other things you'd expect to find at a country fair, including rides, food, and kids' activities.
Horse racing is a big part of the activities calendar in Lexington, particularly in the fall and spring. Keeneland Racing holds several meets in October and again in the spring. In 2015, the race track was the site of the Breeder's Cup for the first time. The other big track in the city is the Red Mile, which has live races from July through October.