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Kentucky Culture and Cuisine

Food & Drink Festivals

Each year in Kentucky thousands of people attend hundreds of festivals and events celebrating everything from seasonal changes to local heritage. One thing most of these have in common is food. Every year, thousands of visitors travel to Kentucky to experience the unique dining scene created by the farmers, chefs, brewers, vintners, distillers and other foodservice professionals around the state. This culinary culture has nurtured some of the best food and wine events in the world, whether you love to feast on barbecue or sip spirits. These celebrations of flavour give everyone a chance to taste the local cuisine and culture.

From the International Bar-B-Q Festival in Owensboro, to the Mountain Mushroom Festival in Irvine, to the World Chicken Festival in London, Kentucky delivers delightful flavours and fun.

Blues, Brews & BBQ, Louisville

The Louisville Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival allows you to get lost in a soul-satisfying haze of Southern-style blues and pit barbecue smoke while The Breckenridge Brews Tasting Area lets you sample craft beers. Relax as you let the sounds of the blues take you away at the Louisville Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival...the music is hot, the food is smokin' and the location is historic! More information at

International BBQ Festival, Owensboro

Every second weekend in May, Owensboro springs to life with the wonderful smells and sounds of the International Bar-B-Q Festival. Smoke from hickory-stoked fires blends with the aromas of sizzling chicken, bubbling burgoo and roasting mutton to complete the festival atmosphere.

World Chicken Festival, London

Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, is one of the most highly recognized figures in the world. Laurel County, Kentucky, located in the heart of the beautiful Daniel Boone National Forest, is proud to be the home of the Colonel’s first and original restaurant established in the 1940’s. Lee Cummings, co-founder of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, also began his career in 1952 with his uncle, Colonel Sanders, in Laurel County. The Annual World Chicken Festival is a tribute to this heritage. We invite you to our international celebration the last full weekend of every September, in beautiful downtown London. All the “egg-citement” and entertainment for four fun filled days make this one of Kentucky’s largest festivals.

Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Bardstown

Begun in 1992 as a Bourbon tasting and dinner, The Kentucky Bourbon Festival has grown and it is now an annual festival that takes place in Bardstown every September. “The people of Bardstown have been making Bourbon since 1776,” says Jerry Summers, Festival Chairperson and Director of Community Relations of Beam. “And today, sixty-nine percent of the world’s Bourbon is made in and around the Nelson County area, including the adjacent counties of Bullitt and Marion, that’s why Bardstown is indeed the Bourbon Capital of the World®.” For more information visit


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