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Bourbon Capital of the World ®
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Our History


The Kentucky Bourbon Festival® will promote and educate the public on the history and production of Bourbon and support local non-profit organizations.


The twenty-seventh annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival®, held the third week of September, was a resounding success in 2018. Approximately 50,000 visitors from 36 states across the U.S. and over 10 countries attended events, activities on the Great Lawn, and our free music concerts.


Bardstown, Kentucky is the Bourbon Capital of the World® and the home of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival®, which draws people to our quaint little town for a week of celebrating the storied history and art of distilling America's native spirit. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival® began in 1992 as a Bourbon tasting and dinner, and has grown tremendously over the past 27 years. Today, it is one of the Commonwealth’s leading community festivals, and is not only a celebration of Bourbon, but also the people and the community that have supported the industry for generations.

Over 200 years ago, as pioneers began settling the wild lands of Kentucky, they found that this was Promised Land for distilling Bourbon. From the ideal climate for aging barrels, to the fertile earth for growing corn, to the immense amount of limestone that makes for the purest of water, it was the perfect storm. From there, the rest is history. Today, Bardstown and Nelson County are home to many distilleries, both large and small.

Between our events, educational opportunities, arts and crafts, music on the lawn and much more, we truly have something for everyone.

"We hope that you will join us, and we look forward to providing you with our true Kentucky hospitality and sharing with you our Bourbon Heritage," says KBF Executive Director, Mike Mangeot.

We can't wait to see you in Bardstown, KY for the 2019 Kentucky Bourbon Festival®, September 18-22.

The Kentucky Bourbon Festival® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Desginated the "Official State Bourbon Festival" by the Kentucky General Assembly.
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