Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fairs, Festivals and Fetes

Spring, Summer, Fall and even Winter--no season is without a festival of some kind.  I admit to being something of a festival fan.  I love  aimlessly wandering from tent to tent, sampling homemade wares, buying local artisan jewelry and celebrating what is unique and beautiful about local towns.  No Walmart clearnance sales or Super Bowl for me--just fill up a tank of gas on a Saturday morning and hit the road for a day of fun and surprises.

Spring Festivals

  • In Kentucky, Spring really begins with The Kentucky Derby Festival.  Since the Derby is held the first full weekend in May, the festival is always the two weeks prior to that.  You don't have to be from Kentucky to love this festival.  There is something to do for everyone--a full 'chuckwagon' of every food and vendor imaginable; free concerts and contests; a fair; a marathon; and I couldn't forget about Thunder over Louisville, now the largest fireworks show in the nation.  But, that's nothing compared to the Air Show that gathers fans from the youngest to the oldest to witness arial feats that can't be described without using words like 'loop-de-loop's and 'so fast' and 'too amazing'.  My own personal favorite event though is the Great Steamboat Race.  Seeing the Louisville Belle chug down the river racing another grand old riverboat lady takes me back to a yesteryear I can only imagine.  For more information, visit Kentucky Derby Festival
  • Where else can you see the largest pumpkin/tomato in the state?  Where else can you eat a friend Twinkie?  Where else can you pet indigenous snakes and ride a tractor, all while nibbling on ice cream?  Only at the Indiana State Fair.  I've only been to a couple of state fairs, but this one is my favorite.  It has the feel of a local town fair with all the offerings of a huge state affair.  Rides on the side and rides on the track--fun from sun up to sun down.  Local artists and huge stars--this fair has it all.  If you've never been to a state fair before and think they only have farming to offer, think again.  I'm no farm girl and I had a blast.  If you are a farm girl, this is no contest--fun for every gender, every age.  For more information, visit Indiana State Fair
Summer Fairs and Festivals

  • Wine, Art and Jazz Festival in Evansville, Indiana is one of my favorite festivals of all and I am proud to say I am making it a tradition!  What could be better, more thirst-quenching on a hot summer day, than a cold glass of wine?  How about several cold glasses of wine!  One ticket to this festival will get you a glass that you can have refilled all day long with over fifteen (and counting) local wineries in attendance.  Sample the wines and local foodstuffs and then meander over to a shaded tent and listen to local jazz musicians play until the wee hours of the night--if you can last that long!  Local artisans are in attendance as well and their tents are set up along a breath-taking walk by the Ohio River.  If you're new to wine, be sure to take in one of the free classes that will teach you everything you might want to know.  For more information, visit Wine, Art and Jazz Festival

Fall Festivals

  • There are more fall festivals than during any other time of the year.  Pumpkins and gourds and mums fill every farm on little backroads and even in big cities.  But, the best festivals of all don't focus on the autumn harvest.  The Bourbon Festival takes place in Bardstown, Kentucky, the bourbon capital of the world.  Over 90% of the world's bourbon is produced here and this little historic town becomes center stage in the state during September each year.  From events that feature music to a food area featuring foods dipped in, fried in and oozing bourbon, this festival caters to all.  Black tie galas and historic tours of the town; car shows; artists' tents; bluegrass music--if Kentucky offers it, it can be found during the 6 days of this festival.  The only thing you won't find is.....bourbon!  The tastings can only be done at local restaurants so this is a great festival for the family and one that doesn't celebrate alcohol so much as Kentucky tradition.  For more information, visit Kentucky Bourbon Festival
Winter Festivals

  • Think winter is for hiding out at home, wrapped in a Snuggy, reading by the fire?  Think again!  The Winter Wine Walk in Corydon, Indiana will have you rethinking your December Saturdays.  This event has over 15 wineries set up in local shops in the charming historic town.  So, in addition to free wine tasting, you also get to get a jump start on that Christmas shopping.  For more information, check out Winter Wine Walk
There is no way to feature every festival, fair and fete in the area, but if you have one you'd like me to check out.....leave a comment.  I'm always up for a new experience and would love to feature local towns and talent here.