A Day at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival

A Day at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival

by Steve Coomes

One has to be a misanthrope not to like a good festival. Whether the crowd is blue-collar, blue-blooded or both, assembling a large slice of humanity for the consumption of food and drink as well as socializing is about as good as it gets. Soak it all in something as beloved as bourbon, and you create a community tradition that never stops growing.

This has happened to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown. Begun 23 years ago as a bourbon tasting and dinner, the event has expanded to draw thousands. According to its organizers, the festival now attracts approximately 54,000 people from 44 states and 14 countries over its six-day stretch during the third week of September.

I’ve attended numerous single KBF events over the years but never on Saturday, its busiest day. Last year, I logged some 16,000 steps on my Fitbit—roughly 4 miles—that day, knowing I’d not scratched the surface of the 28 events on offer Saturday alone. Still, I saw a lot and had a tremendously good time on that bourbon-spiked adventure.

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