Ky State Fair Entries: Something for Everyone

When it comes to the entries at the Kentucky State Fair, the more the merrier is the best motto. There’s no need to pigeonhole yourself to one craft. If you’re an artist of many talents, show them all off just like mother-daughter duo Barbara Thornsberry and Tonya Shelton do. The pair have a deep-rooted history in the fair that goes all the way back to the 70s when Barbara started participating in the Quarter Horse Show. Once her daughter Tonya came along, she followed in her mother’s footsteps. The family was part of the show for decades but eventually hung up their reins. Years later, in 2018, after Barbara purchased a dollhouse kit, she put a new talent to the test. “I accidentally bought a kit for a dollhouse at an auction one time,” said Barbara. “The directions were so complicated, so I boxed it back up and got it back out a year later. Then Tonya joined me in building.” After Barbara’s nephew noticed her craft, he, a seasoned fair entrant, encouraged his aunt to enter her art into the Kentucky State Fair in the Hobbies department. The rest of the story is history. The mother-daughter dynamic duo has been entering dollhouses in the fair ever since and always place. It didn’t take long for the pair who owns Useful Things Antiques & Collectibles in High Grove, KY to see their potential could go further than just entering one department, so Tonya branched out into the Fine Art department, too. Last year, she entered a piece called “It’s All A Matter of Time” – a collage of clocks. She had no clue that her first entry in the Fine Art department would win, but she was floored to see the coveted blue ribbon attached to it when she visited the fair, and she’s eager to enter the same division again this year. “I’m not really an artist. I don’t oil paint or anything, so I was tickled to win,” Tonya said. Tonya and Barbara work together on many of their entries and are each other’s biggest fans. They encourage people to look at Kentucky State Fair entry options, not be intimidated by trying something new, and even work with friends or family on an entry. “She’s my biggest fan and my biggest critic,” said Barbara about when the pair build their miniature pieces. “We hash it out until we agree.” “And then it’s perfect,” said Tonya. Whether you want to enter the Fine Art department, Hobbies, or any other General Entry department, or all of them like Barbara and Tonya do, there’s something for everyone to try. Barbara and Tonya are proof of that. “When you go down to the fair, it’s so interesting to see all the different things, and you think, ‘I can do that,’” said Barbara.   They say it’s worth it to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, as you might just discover a new passion and come home a blue-ribbon […]

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Kentucky State Fair Announces Entertainment Acts for the August Event, Early Bird Tickets on Sale

Celebrating 120 Years, 120 Counties at the Kentucky State Fair LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 5, 2024) — It’s time to snag the best tickets available for the 120th Kentucky State Fair, happening August 15-25. With the event just a couple of months away, organizers announced over 70 entertainment acts, including headliners taking the stage for the Texas Roadhouse Concert Series, specialty performances, and family shows included with fair admission. Tickets are available online for $8, and fee-free tickets are available at participating Kroger locations for $9. Parking is included with early bird ticket purchases, a $10 savings. Thrill Ville Ride Wristbands On-Sale Today Thrill-seekers looking for all-day ride wristbands can get the best price today by purchasing their Thrill Ville wristbands for $30, a $5 savings, online or at participating Kroger locations. At least 50 rides, including thrill, family, and the iconic Astro Ferris Wheel, are coming to town in August. Music Takes Center Stage at the Kentucky State Fair The Texas Roadhouse Concert Series returns this year and is bigger and better, with 11 days of headlining acts. Included with admission, fairgoers can rock out with 80’s hair bands, sing along with iconic country acts, and dance to unforgettable hip-hop tracks. The full list of Texas Roadhouse Concert Series Acts is available below. For the first time in over six years, the Kentucky State Fair is hosting a double-headlining performance. On August 25, the renowned Mexican band known for their distinctive blend of Norteño music with accordion and saxophone sounds, Geru y Su Legión 7, will perform in The BIG Tent, while Christian singer Tauren Wells with special guest Consumed By Fire takes the Texas Roadhouse Concert Series Stage shortly after at 7 p.m. The Texas Roadhouse Concert Series Lineup Except August 25, the concert area opens daily at 6:30 p.m. and concerts begin at 8 p.m. On August 25th, the area opens at 5:30 p.m. with the concert beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, August 15: Lonestar and Montgomery Gentry featuring Eddie Montgomery* Friday, August 16: The Sugarhill Gang Melle Mel & Scorpio (of Furious Five) with special guest Ying Yang Twins Saturday, August 17: Stephen Pearcy of Ratt with special guest Quiet Riot Sunday, August 18: The Oak Ridge Boys with special guests The Country Gold Tour including Leroy Van Dyke, Linda Davis, Jimmy Fortune, Rockland Road (who will perform the National Anthem and God Bless the USA) Monday, August 19: CAIN with special guest Katy Nichole Tuesday, August 20: Happy Together including The Turtles, The Cowsills, Badfinger, The Vogues, The Association, Jay and the Americans Wednesday, August 21: Justin Moore with special guest Alex Miller* Thursday, August 22: Everclear with special guest Marcy Playground Friday, August 23: 38 Special with special guest Exile* Saturday, August 24: Lauren Alaina with special guests Mackenzie Porter, Kelsey Hart* Sunday, August 25 (7 p.m. show): Tauren Wells with special guest Consumed By Fire *= Kentucky artist The music doesn’t stop there. Throughout the 11-day run of the fair, over 25 bands will […]

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Entering the Kentucky State Fair: A Guide

Tens of thousands of entries come through the Kentucky State Fair portal every year. From the 17 different departments in the East and West Halls to eight different species shown in the Livestock department, there is something for everyone. “The diversity the Kentucky State Fair offers within its entries allows all ages and interests to find something to compete in,” said Paige Dupin, Kentucky Venues Exposition Entry Manager. The Kentucky State Fair is all about celebrating the best the Bluegrass has to offer, and that starts and ends with the incredible talent of the Kentuckians who enter the fair. Whether they take home first place or maybe an honorable mention, the courage to showcase your work on a state level is prize enough, but a blue ribbon does make it a bit sweeter. The best part about entering the Kentucky State Fair is it’s simple and inexpensive! Paige recommends potential exhibitors start by taking a look at the Premium Book to see what classes are offered and figuring out what best fits your interests. Then head to the Kentucky State Fair website, find your department on the list, then click Enter Online. That will take you to a simple form that will require some general personal information. Fill that out and make your payment. “For most competitions, the Kentucky State Fair is cost effective for exhibitors. All entries excluding livestock, beer, and wine is a one-time $15.00 fee for ALL competitions,” said Paige. “Enter one or 1000, the cost is still the same!” Entering your work in the Kentucky State Fair is as easy as pie! Speaking of pie, we have an entire division dedicated to the delectable dessert. For questions about entering, email [email protected]. […]

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Textiles Department: More Options Than Balls of Yarn in Your Closet

One department, 16 divisions, nearly 300 classes – it’s all within the Textiles Department. Whether you fancy quilting or crocheting or maybe knitting is more your speed, there’s a place for your passion in Textiles. It’s just one of 17 different departments that accepts general entries at the Kentucky State Fair. Entries open on May 1. Participants are encouraged to explore the different places where they can display their talents. The Kentucky State Fair also encourages people to try out new hobbies and enter them in the fair – just as Judy Ballard did when she was a child. Ballard recounted a sweet story of how her grandmother taught her to sew. “I took sewing in high school, and she was so appalled at the resulting things I brought home,” said Ballard lovingly of her grandmother. “She said this summer we’re learning to sew. We did a lot of garments, and the first ribbon I won back in the 60s was for a dress.” Ballard has picked up some new talents since the 60s like quilting, counted cross stitch, and household items and has since won around 50 blue ribbons at the Kentucky State Fair. She jokes that her grandmother would be pleased to see the collection. Getting started is tough, but finding something that you truly love is just as hard especially when you’re trying all the “mainstream trends” that so many seem to love but they just don’t quite click for you. It’s the lost arts like needlework that draws Tamara Yohannes in. Yohannes is a longtime supporter of the Kentucky State Fair and has enjoyed being a part of it in many ways like helping set-up the Textiles display and entering her Romanian Point Lace projects, something she calls a “lost” art. “Just get in there and try it, and don’t expect your first piece you make to be “perfect.” That’s the beauty of this. It’s handmade and homemade,” said Yohannes. “A lot of stitchers go for that pristine perfection, but I don’t, which is a good thing because I never get there. I’m there for the fun of it and joy of it when you complete a project.” Duane Mason has been participating in the Kentucky State Fair for around 15 years in the doll and doll clothes division, and says even if you don’t participate, make sure to check out all the entries as they might just inspire you to try something out or just make your jaw drop. “I’ve been sewing all my life. I crochet, I knit, I quilt,” he said. “I would never ever want to judge the quilts, though because so many of them are literal works of art.” The Kentucky State Fair is all about getting out there and displaying your passions for the Commonwealth to marvel and awe at. “It’s such a joyful thing to be recognized,” Yohannes said. “Without the fair, some people wouldn’t even know these things existed.” Entries open May 1 and close July 17. You […]

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Kentucky State Fair 2023 Breaks Recent Attendance Records

The 2023 Kentucky State Fair welcomed more than 599,000 people for the fair and the 120th World’s Championship Horse Show, which takes place during the fair. Despite several days of severe heat, this was a significant 14% increase over last year’s attendance of 525,000 and is the highest attendance since at least 2018.     Throughout the 11-day event, the Kentucky State Fair set daily attendance records for the first three days of the fair and two additional days compared to data from the previous five years. The first Saturday of the fair was the busiest day on record, dating back to at least 2018. The Kentucky State Fair also saw participation from all 120 counties in the Commonwealth.     Next year’s 120th Kentucky State Fair will occur August 15-25, 2024.  […]

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Kentucky State Fair Wraps Up Another Year of Fun and Bringing Kentucky Together

The 119th Kentucky State Fair celebrated a successful year of bringing Kentuckians together, with all 120 counties represented, to enjoy 11 days of live entertainment, agriculture, animals, education, and more. The theme for this year’s event was “It’s Summer Summed Up,” as the fair is the place where Kentuckians can find all the best things of summer in one place at the very end of the season.  “This year’s Kentucky State Fair summed up summer in every way possible,” said David S. Beck, President & CEO of Kentucky Venues. “We’re pleased to see participation from each of the Commonwealth’s 120 counties, who came together to celebrate the success and the progress made. We look forward to celebrating an unforgettable anniversary with everyone next year from August 15th through the 25th.”  Still exhibit entries returned strong, increasing over 2022 numbers. There were over 16,130 entries, with categories ranging from quilts to miniatures to culinary and everything in between. Livestock competitors filled the West Wing, West Hall, and Pavilion with over 8,500 entries. FFA and 4-H participants contributed 8,450 entries, including an astounding 1,000 country hams displayed in Cloverville. There were more than 33,000 entries in total at this year’s fair.  120th World’s Championship Horse Show Recognizes World’s Grand Champions Held in conjunction with the Kentucky State Fair, the World’s Championship Horse Show is recognized as the most prestigious Saddlebred show in the world. Two thousand horses competed in more than 250 classes for Grand Champion titles and $1.5 million in awards. A six-year-old stallion named “Epoque Kiss NKF,” owned by Double H LLC and trained by Burt Honaker of Wytheville, VA, was crowned the 2023 Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion claiming the title for two consecutive years.  Kentucky Exposition Foundation Celebrated the Future of Youth, Agriculture, Tourism and Economy   Through record-breaking donations, the Kentucky Exposition Foundation invested in outreach, celebration, and growth of Kentucky’s agriculture. Championship Drive presented by Farm Credit Mid-America, The Sunshine Class, and added prize money to the five-gaited stake all recognized the Commonwealth’s leading heart and progress.  The 6th annual Championship Drive presented by Farm Credit Mid-America at the Kentucky State Fair awarded a record-breaking $215,000 to participating youth livestock exhibitors. Thanks to donors of the Kentucky Exposition Foundation, donations were higher than ever before. In addition, the foundation invited first-time livestock competitors that have varying levels of accessibility needs to compete during the 2nd annual Sunshine Class.  Record-Breaking Ham Sold For $10 Million   For the third year in a row, it was a record-breaking auction at the 59th Kentucky Country Ham Breakfast Charity Auction hosted by Kentucky Farm Bureau when the Grand Champion Ham was auctioned off for $10 million to Central Bank and Kelly and Joe Craft.  Community Celebration at the Forefront of the Fair  JCPS Deal Day  As Jefferson County Public Schools delayed the start of school, the Kentucky State Fair stepped up to offer parents and guardians the opportunity to bring two children to the fair’s opening day for free.  More Kentuckians Welcomed […]

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Kentucky State Fair Offers a Special Discount for JCPS Students and Families 

One-day promotion that includes free admission for students with parent or guardian  The Kentucky State Fair announces a special one-day deal as JCPS delays the start of school. Families can experience Summer Summed Up at the fair for a discounted rate. On Thursday, August 17, each parent or guardian with paid admission can bring up to two students at no additional cost until 2 p.m.  Parking is not included in the promotional deal. Parents and guardians are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance online at or at participating Kroger stores for $10, which includes parking. Admission at the gate is $10 per parent or guardian plus $10 per standard vehicle.   In addition to the admission deal, Kissel Entertainment, the Thrill Ville operator, is offering a buy one get one all-day ride wristband promotion. Thrill Ville will open at 3 p.m.   On Thursday, families can also experience livestock in the West Wing, entertainment in The BIG Tent, shopping in South Wing C, Rescue Ridge and Health Horizons in South Wing B, and much more!   Excused Absence Form  Excused Absence Forms are available online for all Kentucky students who want to visit the Fair during a normal school day. Kentucky Revised Statute 159.035(4), students applying for an excused absence to attend the Kentucky State Fair shall be granted one (1) day of excused absence. Take a look at this document for the full statute. This policy was implemented to allow students to participate in the fair. Visit to complete an excused absence form.  Fair Hours & Dates   The Kentucky State Fair runs August 17-27, 2023, and opens at 10 a.m. daily. Admission ends one hour before outside areas close.  Visit for a complete list of hours.    Fair Admission Information   Tickets for the Kentucky State Fair are available at participating Kroger stores, at the Kentucky Exposition Ticket Office, or online at Tickets are $10 per person and include parking when purchased before August 17. Tickets at the gate during the fair are $10 per person and $10 for parking per vehicle.     Minor Attendance Policy    Effective Monday-Thursday after 6 p.m. and Friday-Sunday all day, fairgoers under 18 years old entering the fair must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian 21 years of age or older. Proof of age is required. IDs will be verified at the gate. Read the entire policy at    […]

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New Latin Music Fest Invites Kentuckians To Celebrate Last Day of the Fair 

LouCity Meet & Greet, Salsa Dancing, and Music Performances The Kentucky State Fair announced Latin Music Fest, a brand-new activation taking place on the last day of the Fair, August 27. Fairgoers are invited to celebrate aspects of the Commonwealth’s Latin community with events such as salsa dancing, meet and greet with soccer players, and musical performances throughout the day in The BIG Tent.   Fairgoers can start their morning meeting with members of Louisville City FC at 10 a.m. Bring souvenirs, shirts, and other memorabilia to get signed, or snap a photo with your favorite players. In the afternoon, Meraki Dance Company will host open mini classes at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to teach fairgoers the steps to traditional Latin dances. All experience levels are welcome to participate.   In between lessons and kicking-off the evening activities, attendees can groove to the classic sounds of Latin music as MasFlow Band takes the stage inside The BIG Tent at 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. To round out the evening and the final night of the Kentucky State Fair, Brazeros Musical De Durango will take the stage at 7:00 p.m.   Latin Fest is in partnership with Latin Music Awards KY and is included with Kentucky State Fair admission.      El Kentucky State Fair anunció el Festival de Música Latina, una nueva activación que se llevará a cabo el último día de la Feria, el 27 de agosto. Se invita a los asistentes a celebrar aspectos de la comunidad latina del Commonwealth con eventos como baile de salsa, encuentros con jugadores de fútbol y actuaciones musicales durante todo el día localizado en El “BIG Tent”.  Los asistentes de la feria pueden comenzar su mañana conociendo a los miembros del Louisville City FC a las 10 a.m. Lleven souvenirs, camisetas y otros recuerdos para que los firmen, o saquen una foto con sus jugadores favoritos. Por la tarde, la compañía de danza Meraki ofrecerá clases abiertas de bailes latinos tradicionales a la 1:00 p.m. y 3:00 p.m. para enseñar a los asistentes los pasos de los bailes tradicionales latinos. Todos los niveles de experiencia son bienvenidos para participar.  Entre las clases y para dar inicio a las actividades de la noche, los asistentes podrán disfrutar de los clásicos sonidos de la música latina mientras la banda MasFlow se presenta en el escenario de El BIG Tent” a las 2:00 p.m. y 4:30 p.m. Para cerrar la noche y la última noche del Kentucky State Fair, la banda Brazeros Musical De Durango se presentará a las 7:00 p.m.  El Latin Fest es producido en asociación con los Latin Music Awards KY y está incluido con la entrada al Kentucky State Fair.  […]

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Last Week For Early Bird Tickets

The Kentucky State Fair announced this week as the final week to purchase $9 early bird tickets, which include parking. Early bird tickets are on sale at participating Kroger locations around the state, online at, and at the Kentucky Exposition Center Ticket Office through Friday, August 4. Prices go up to $10 on August 5. This year’s fair is “Summer Summed Up,” offering local entertainment, thrilling rides, and mouthwatering food that the whole family is sure to enjoy. Fairgoers can expect new performances, unique one-day activations, and more. New Performances Additional new performances to be announced closer to the fair Ten days of Texas Roadhouse Concert Series performances  Visit for the entire lineup. The Ice Cream Show! This interactive family show will entertain you with a cart full of magic tricks and juggling props—no real ice cream involved. Plant Guy Is that plant moving? It sure is! Catch the funniest plant you’ll ever talk to strolling around the fair. Say hello and take a selfie; he’s big on photosynthesis. Cirque Zuma Zuma On the Family Stage – An exhilarating African cirque-style show packed with unique themes that are sure to wow. U.S. Army Special Operations Step into the role of a soldier with virtual reality: experience parachute and flight simulators, augmented reality sand table, and more. Meet & greet with soldiers and see some of the weapons they use. Unique One-Day Activations  Additional one-day activations to be announced closer to the fair Kentucky State Civics Bee – August 18 BEERFEST – August 19 Kentucky Auctioneers Association State Contest — August 19 Largest Pumpkin & Watermelon Contest – August 19 Kentucky Exposition Foundation Sunshine Class – August 24 Kentucky Exposition Foundation Championship Drive presented by Farm Credit Mid-America – August 24 Kentucky State Fair Talent Classic Finals– August 26 Participating Kroger Stores: INDIANA LOCATIONS Store #00762  – 305 E Lewis & Clark Pkwy  Clarksville  IN Store #00776  – 1027 Jeffersonville Commons Blvd  Jeffersonville  IN Store #00741  – 525 Clifty Dr  Madison  IN Store #00396  – 200 New Albany Plaza  New Albany  IN Store #00744  – 2864 Charlestown Rd  New Albany  IN KENTUCKY LOCATIONS Store #00408  – 102 W John Rowan Blvd  Bardstown  KY Store #00903  – 568 River Ridge Plaza  Brandenburg  KY Store #00369  – 399 Campbellsville Bypass  Campbellsville  KY Store #00710  – 2549 Hwy 227  Carrollton  KY Store #00719  – 1019 Cumberland Falls Hwy  Corbin  KY Store #00760  – 14889 N US Hwy 25  Corbin  KY Store #00733  – 200 Skywatch Dr  Danville  KY Store #00362  – 111 Towne Dr  Elizabethtown  KY Store #00717  – 3040 Dolphin Dr  Elizabethtown  KY Store #00397  – 300 Brighton Park Blvd  Frankfort  KY Store #00779  – 106 Marketplace Circle  Georgetown  KY Store #00363  – 844 S College St  Harrodsburg  KY Store #00394  – 2034 S Hwy 53  LaGrange  KY Store #00913  – 1300 Anderson Crossing Dr  Lawrenceburg  KY Store #00730  – 705 E Main St  Lebanon  KY Store #00347  – 4101 Tates Creek  Lexington  KY Store #00352  – 150 W Lowry Ln, Suite 190 […]

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Join Us in August: A Letter to Kentuckians

Imagine this: it’s mid-August, you’re basking in the aroma of farm-fresh delicacies and deep-fried delights and taking a beaming snapshot with Freddy Farm Bureau at the Kentucky State Fair. Whether you find thrills on a ride, peruse hundreds of vendors, relax with your livestock, or groove to the sounds of the Texas Roadhouse Concert Series, it’s where Kentucky Comes Together.  The Kentucky State Fair is the last call for summer, and we like to say it’s Summer Summed Up! Where else can you experience farm life at AgLand, lose yourself in live music, compete in cornhole, and feast on fried cuisine? Join us at the Kentucky State Fair to cherish traditions: marvel at champion livestock, giant Bluegrass-harvested pumpkins, and blue ribbon-winning crafts. It doesn’t stop there. We’re also excited to announce BEERFEST, a one-day event spotlighting Kentucky’s finest craft beers.  Join us at the Kentucky Exposition Center from August 17 to 27, where we’re expecting half a million of your closest friends from each of Kentucky’s 120 counties!  Anticipate an unforgettable experience that creates lasting memories. Purchase discount tickets, which include parking, at Be part of the Summer Summed Up event at the 2023 Kentucky State Fair.  Sincerely, David S. Beck President & CEO of Kentucky Venues […]

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