Thursday July 25, 2024
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For fans who want to catch the high-horsepower action of the National Tractor Pull Championship, today is their last opportunity for the 2018 edition of the event, which is celebrating its 50th year in Freedom Hall this year. The finals will feature  a variety of tractor sizes and stocks as well as 2-wheel drive Super Modified Trucks.

Visitors will be on the edge of their seats as they watch drivers use their trucks and tractors to drag the massive weighted sled down a dirt track.  The sled (Bauer Built’s Iron Man) weight varies from class to class, but some of these vehicles are hauling more than 20 tons down the short 250 foot track.

Qualifying heats have been running since Wednesday for the finals tonight, which will feature such previous winners such Steve Bunnage from Golden Gate, IL as he tries to beat his Wednesday night result of 232.062 feet. The 2-wheel modified trucks will feature three lady drivers, including Bethany Nelson from Altamont, IL who won the heat last night by going 223.952 feet.

The Championship starts tonight at 7:00 PM with an early showing at noon and tickets are still available. As always with the Exposition Center, there’s a $8 per vehicle charge for parking. If you arrive early to get a good parking spot, the National Farm Machinery Show is open until 6:00 PM and admission is free.

The World’s Championship Horse Show (WCHS) returns to Freedom Hall Aug. 19-26 and tickets go on sale Wednesday, June 21 at 10 a.m. The event is held in conjunction with the Kentucky State Fair.

Recognized as the richest and most prestigious Saddlebred show in the world, WCHS features 2,000 horses competing for Grand Champion titles and more than $1 million in awards. Saddlebreds take center stage during the show, with harness and hackney ponies and roadster ponies and horses competing in show ring as well. Divisions include three and five gaited, fine harness, Saddlebred pleasure, equitation,  Hackney/Harness pony and Roadster.
Show days, hours, parking and ticket prices vary. Gate admission to the Kentucky State Fair is required for all performances: Show date Time Advance ticket After Aug. 17  Aug. 19 7 p.m. $14 $18 Aug. 20-24 6:30 p.m. $14 $18 Aug. 25 6:30 p.m. $20 $25 Aug. 26 7 p.m. $20 $25 Aug. 20-26  Morning  Free, upper-level seating only Parking  $5 $10

All-week seats are $192 and include Kentucky State Fair gate admission for all 14 performances,  morning and evening.

Purchase tickets at the Kentucky Exposition Center Ticket Office, online at, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or download the advance tickets order form at

The World’s Championship Horse Show offers pay-per-view coverage. Each day of the show is broadcast live and available for purchase at $25 per day or $150 for the entire week.

For more information about WCHS and a schedule of competitive events, visit

Competitors can register using the new online entry system or download the forms at All entries are due July 1. The WCHS premium book is available online or by request: call (502) 367-5300 or email

The 2017 Kentucky State Fair is Aug. 17-27 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. For more information, visit or find the Fair on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or its blog.

Gov. Matt Bevin joined four-time world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield last week to announce a championship boxing match to be held in Louisville on June 24 at Freedom Hall. The announcement was made in conjunction with the Louisville Sports Commission, the Muhammad Ali Center, Top Knotch Boxing (TKO), Kentucky Venues, and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

The televised event will kick off a fight series entitled the “Real Deal Championship Boxing Series” that will be promoted by Holyfield’s company, Real Deal Sports & Entertainment. The Louisville event will feature a championship bout among contenders and an undercard that will include local amateur boxers.

The event is part of Louisville’s six-week celebration of Muhammad Ali’s legacy, entitled the “I Am Ali” festival. The festival runs June 3 to July 15, and focuses on Ali’s legacy and core values.

This is the second major combat sports announcement in Kentucky this year and comes on the heels of Gov. Bevin’s reorganization of the Kentucky Boxing & Wrestling Commission (KBWC). The reorganization streamlined KBWC as part of the Red Tape Reduction initiative and tasked the commission with cutting needless bureaucracy that stifled the combat sports industry.

“We are thrilled to welcome Evander Holyfield and Real Deal Sports & Entertainment to Kentucky for this exciting championship bout,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Our state has a rich boxing heritage, and we have worked hard in recent months to cut red tape and remove unnecessary bureaucracy hampering the industry. As a result, Kentucky is able to once again host large-scale combat sports events. We anticipate that this will be the first of many to come and are grateful to Real Deal Sports & Entertainment for their vote of confidence.”

The boxing industry has experienced significant growth in Kentucky as a result of Red Tape Reduction efforts. In 2016 alone, there were 13 boxing shows, which was more than the prior three years combined. The number of scheduled shows in 2017 is already on track to exceed last year’s numbers. The state has also experienced approximately 30 percent growth in combat sports revenue during the last fiscal year.

Public Protection Cabinet Secretary David Dickerson stated that he is looking forward to additional economic development opportunities that will arise from Gov. Bevin’s charge to cut red tape in the industry. “It’s exciting to witness the explosive growth of combat sports in our state, and KBWC is constantly exploring new ways to grow the industry,” he said. “We believe that today’s exciting announcement is just the beginning.”

To date, Gov. Bevin’s Red Tape Reduction Initiative is responsible for repealing 151 regulations and targeting an additional 338 regulations for repeal. Over 1,900 of Kentucky’s 4,700 regulations have been reviewed as part of the initiative. Visit for full details.

The Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Commission oversees all professional boxing, wrestling, and full contact competitive bouts and exhibitions in Kentucky. Learn more about the commission at