Posted in: Audobon Park, Louisville Neighborhoods, Louisville Real Estate, What to do in Louisville, Author: Younger Group (August 21, 2010)
School may be starting soon for the youngest citizens of Louisville, but first, there’s the Kentucky State Fair. Held at the Kentucky Exhibition Hall near I-65 and I-264, from August 19-29, the fair is a memorable way to end the summer. Whether you want rides, concerts, shows, or the traditional judging of Kentucky-grown livestock and produce, the State Fair has it all and then some. Why not end the summer with a bang and come on over to the Fair?
Traditionally, over 600,000 people attend the Fair. Exhibits are expected to exceed 45,000. In challenging economic times, fair organizers hope that the Fair will be a vacation destination that is nearby, yet more exciting than the “staycations “ many people take these days. The Fair will employ about 450 temporary workers, many of them currently unemployed.
The admission price is $8 per adult or $4 for children under 12 or seniors over 55 Infants and toddlers under 2 come in free. Parking is $8. Once you are inside the gates, the rides, the food, and some attractions add considerably to the cost, so pre-planning is essential. Discounts are available at Krogers or at the Kentucky State Fair Online General store for admission, rides, and other costs. No credit cards are accepted, so bring plenty of cash.
As always, there are plenty of things to see and do. For city kids who think meat originates in shrink-wrapped Styrofoam packages, the displays of cattle, horses, poultry, rabbits, and pigeons might be an eye opening introduction to our state’s strong agricultural heritage and current largest industry. Visitors can view and pet the animals as well as watch the judging. There are four major horse shows during the event too, as well as novelty exhibits like border collies herding geese. Numerous buildings on the grounds house displays of quilts and other arts and crafts.
In the past, admission to the fair included admission to neighboring Kentucky Kingdom. Since the Six Flags operation went bankrupt earlier this year, the Fair expanded its Thrillway to include 50 rides to fill the gap. Hopefully, the park will be open under new ownership next year. This year, rides include the standards like the ferris wheel plus Tilt-a-Whirl, Matterhorn, Crazy Mouse, Fireball, Himalaya, Zero Gravity, and bumper cars. Individual rides cost the equivalent of $5 in tickets, so buying a wristband in advance is a good idea.
Entertainment ranges from top-billed musical acts like the Charlie Daniels Band and MC Hammer to amateurs who will perform in concerts throughout the week. Much of the fun at the fair derives from the unusual contests: the Search for Ralphie (to select the lead actor for Actors Theatre of Louisville’s November production of “A Christmas Story”, National Youth Storytelling Showcase, Coca Cola Talent Classic, Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Gospel Quartet Contest, and animal acts. There will even be the Little Miss and Mister Kentucky County Fairs Pageant.
When you think State Fair you think fair food. You can see food contests like the Ghirardelli Chocolate Championship, the Evan Williams Bourbon Cooking Competition, the Great American SPAM Championship, the Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust Baking Championship, Fleischmann’s Yeast “Bake for the Cure” Baking Contest, and the Make it with Malt-O-Meal Contest. There is also plenty to eat. This year the funnel cakes, the homemade pies and cakes, the steak-on-stick, and the cotton candy will step aside for the Krispee Kreme burger that has been a huge hit at other fairs. A quarter-pound burger with bacon and cheese, seated between two donuts, the Krispee Kreme delicacy offers an intriguing combination of flavors.
Just seconds away from the diet-busting food vendors, the Health Horizons exhibit for an amazing array of free medical screenings. Groups ranging from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the AARP/Walmart, the KY Lions Eye Foundation, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Norton Healthcare, and UofL Healthcare are offering basic screening for blood pressure, body fat analysis, blood sugar and cholesterol, as well as mammograms, bone density screenings, and oral, skin and prostrate cancer screenings. You can plan on when to include healthy screenings amidst other fair events by viewing the Health Horizons schedule.
The Fair goes on all week, so consider ending summer with a bang. One of the perks of living in the area is having so much to do all year round! When you are ready to explore your possibilities in Louisville, call Mollie Younger of Younger Group Real Estate! We know Louisville!