Kentucky State Fair Wraps Up Another Year of Fun and Bringing Kentucky Together
Published on: August 31, 2023
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 at Sensory Friendly Morning
More than 1,200 complimentary fair admission and midway wristbands were distributed to fairgoers with sensory processing differences through partnerships with Kissel Entertainment, FEAT (Families for Effective Autism Treatment) of Louisville, the Kentucky Autism Training Center, and the Home of the Innocents.
New Latin Music Fest Highlighted Latin Community and Culture
The Kentucky State Fair wrapped up with a brand new event in The BIG Tent – Latin Music Fest. The entire day featured events and activities showcasing the Latin community’s best. From LouCity FC player meet-and-greets to salsa dancing lessons and performances from some of the best Latin bands in the community, there was something for all to enjoy.
Inaugural BEERFEST Highlighted Best Brews Around the Bluegrass
The Kentucky State Fair took the opportunity to showcase the best craft beers in the Commonwealth at the inaugural one-day BEERFEST. The sold-out event featured beers from nearly a dozen different breweries.
Fairgoers Rocked Out Around the Fairgrounds to Free Concerts
Eleven days of music and more than 50 bands were all included with fair admission. The Texas Roadhouse Concert Series was a highlight for many guests as 25 artists performed, including five Kentucky artists.
High Heat Didn’t Stop the Fun
With seasonably high temperatures throughout some of the fair, cooling stations with misting fans and hydration stations were added around the facility to keep fairgoers comfortable as they enjoyed the outdoor activities. Many fairgoers took to the more than 1 million square feet of indoor space. From the educational exhibits in AgLand to Kentucky Remembers: The Vietnam War, fairgoers from around the Commonwealth could stay cool.
120th Kentucky State Fair Returns August 15-25, 2024
Plans are underway for the 2024 Kentucky State Fair, focusing on continually enhancing exhibits, entertainment, food, and overall experiences during the eleven-day tradition. The 120th Kentucky State Fair will occur August 15-25, 2024.