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The Kentucky State Fair announced a new policy for minors attending the annual summer celebration.

Beginning Wednesday Aug. 21, fairgoers under 18 years old entering after 6 p.m. must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 21 years of age or older. Proof of age is required. IDs will be verified at the gate. In addition to this new policy, there will be increased lighting and law enforcement personnel during peak hours.

“The Kentucky State Fair is a family-friendly event and our facility’s goal is to ensure that fairgoers are able to enjoy a comfortable experience during the Fair each year. With this new policy and added security measures, we are continuing to enhance the Kentucky State Fair experience for all our guests,” said David S. Beck, President and CEO of Kentucky Venues.

The 2019 Kentucky State Fair runs through Aug. 25 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. For more information, visit Find the Fair on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Texas Roadhouse Free Concert Series and AgLand were just two exciting highlights of the 114th Kentucky State Fair.

“The Kentucky State Fair is a proud tradition for many individuals and families across the Commonwealth,” said David Beck, President and CEO of Kentucky Venues. “My first Fair leading Kentucky Venues was a special experience and I enjoyed speaking with guests from all over about their own Fair experiences and memories.”

“We want to preserve the Fair’s heritage, while also introducing innovative events, unique foods, and popular entertainment to enhance the experience for fairgoers,” said Beck.

The total number of fairgoers in 2018 was 614,470 during the Fair’s 11-day run, which is the second best year of attendance since 2009. That figure does not include children under five who can attend the Fair for free. The new free concert series, respectable weather, special discounts, unique exhibits and new experiences were strong incentives for guests to visit the Kentucky State Fair in 2018.  Continue reading

Kentucky State Fair Now Open

The gates of the Kentucky State Fair officially opened for the 2018 season on Thursday, marking the 116th Fair since becoming an official state event. Although the Fair did not earn that distinction until 1902, the event was first organized in 1816, just five years after the United States’ first fair was held in Massachusetts.

Tickets and parking can be purchased at any of the Kentucky Exposition Center’s entrance gates or online. The gates open at 7 AM each day of the Fair, with exhibits opening at 9 AM. Daily schedules can be found here.  The event features numerous special days, including:

  • Today – 811 Day
    • Visit the Marathon Pipe Line Booth for a free T-shirt
  • Sunday, August 19 – Military Sunday Salute
    • Free admission for active military, veterans and families (up to 4).  Discounts for Thrill Ville available. Parking not included.
  • Tuesday, August 21 – Senior Day
    • All seniors age 55 or older receive free admission. Parking not included.
  • Kentucky Farm Bureau and Carload Day
    • $20 per vehicle and $100 for vehicles with 12+ passengers. Parking included.

The Texas Roadhouse concert series that has usually been held at the old Cardinal’s Stadium has been moved to the new Bluegrass Village, near the entrance to Kentucky Kingdom. The concerts held here in the evening are included with paid fair admission. Tonight, fair visitors will be able to enjoy the music from Great White. Upcoming shows will feature:

  • 8/19 – The Oak Ridge Boys
  • 8/20 – Casting Crowns
  • 8/21 – Happy Together Tour
  • 8/22 – Chris Janson
  • 8/23 – Chevelle
  • 8/24 – Josh Turner
  • 8/25 – The Commodores
  • 8/26 – Mercyme

Visitors to the fair will also see that the exhibit hall has been arranged a bit differently. Instead of being in the West Hall, the 4H and FFA exhibits have been moved to the main exhibit hall area, in AgLand. The Discovery Farm has also been relocated into this area and features several stations to learn about livestock and a dairy cow demonstration.

Starting tonight, visitors will be able to attend to the World’s Championship Horse Show . Tickets are sold separately. Tonight, starting at 6 PM, is the last night for the Miniature Horse Show. If you have never attended this event, it is very entertaining. Many of the competitions highlight the ability of the miniature horse to be a service animal and it’s a great way for young people to get experience in a competition setting.

Whether you are there for the crazy fair food, like a funnel cake fries burger, the livestock, the music or the market area, there is something for everyone at the Kentucky State Fair.

When Kentucky-native and U.S. Army Specialist Brandon Mullins drove into the desert region of the Kandahar province in Afghanistan on Aug. 25, 2011, he didn’t realize he was in for the fight of his life.

Before heading out on deployment, Mullins left his mother a voicemail saying, “I’m all grown, 21, and living on my own. Going away today for a little bit. Don’t worry. I’ll be back. I’ll be home. I’m going to make it back.” A few months later his unit was attacked with a rudimentary explosive device and he lost his life.

“Brandon was a talented hockey player and very popular with the ladies,” said his mother, Cathy Mullins. “He didn’t just die. He died for his country. People have sacrificed their lives so we can enjoy things like state fairs and going to church.”

On Sunday Aug. 19, the Kentucky State Fair will honor military members, veterans and their families during the Oak Ridge Boys free concert. Cathy Mullins, along with 40 Gold Star families, will attend with the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation. Gold Star families are those, like the Mullins, who have lost family members during military service. The foundation honors Gold Star families with monuments and memorials throughout the country.

“They sacrificed their son for the freedoms that we enjoy and they don’t really get any recognition for it,” said Brent Casey, director of the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation. “Our goal at the foundation is to help educate the public that there are families among us who have given a whole lot more than we have, they’ve given one of their own family members for the freedom we enjoy today.”

Ceremony participants include:

  • David Beck, President and CEO of Kentucky Venues
  • Heather French Henry, Deputy Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Brig. General Benjamin Adams, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Troy Yocum, President of Active Heroes

During Military Sunday on Aug. 19, free admission is available online for military members, veterans and their family (up to 4 people). Details are available on Parking is not included. The 2018 Kentucky State Fair is Aug. 16-26 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. To purchase tickets and parking or for more information, visit or download our Kentucky State Fair app.

The Texas Roadhouse Free Concert Series is located at the Bluegrass Village on the west side of the Kentucky Exposition Center.


Guests can create a customized Kentucky State Fair experience next month by downloading a new software program for mobile devices. The app is designed to connect users to all the unique events and attractions that make the Kentucky State Fair unforgettable.

The 2018 Kentucky State Fair mobile app is now available free on both Google Play and the App Store.

Highlighted features include: 

  • Attractions: check out which entertainers are on stage and what animals are in the stalls 
  • Trending: see what’s popular at the Fair 
  • Schedule: create daily schedules of must-see music and entertainment 
  • News & FAQ: get weather, parking and breaking news updates 
  • Maps: find locations of exhibitors, attractions and food

Advance tickets and parking for the Kentucky State Fair are available and can be purchased online via the app through 10 p.m. Aug. 15, as well as at participating Kroger locations.

Ticket prices are:

  • General (Ages 6+); Children under 5 are free with adult
    • In advance: $7
    • Online During Fair: $8
    • At The Gate: $10
  • Parking
    • In advance: $5
    • Online During Fair: $8
    • At The Gate: $10

The 2018 Kentucky State Fair is Aug. 16-26 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. For more information, visit or find the Fair on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or its blog.

11 nights and 26 bands: from retro pop to hip hop, gospel to rock, and country to soul.

The Kentucky State Fair announces the lineup of the all-new Texas Roadhouse Concert Series, which runs throughout the fair, Aug. 16-26. The series features a wide range of musical artists with a different concert every night, for a total of 26 bands. This year all concerts at the Kentucky State Fair are free with paid gate admission. Louisville-based Texas Roadhouse is a new sponsor to the Kentucky State Fair.

“We are proud to be the presenting sponsor for the Kentucky State Fair Concert Series. Music and the State Fair go together like fresh rolls and honey cinnamon butter,” said Kent Taylor founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse.

The Texas Roadhouse Concert Series debuts at Bluegrass Village, a new entertainment venue at the fair. Adjacent to Kentucky Kingdom, the new setting adds local food vendors, two stages and highlights a variety of Kentucky’s distilled and crafted beverages and products.

“Moving the concerts from Freedom Hall and Cardinal Stadium to a new entertainment area provides fairgoers a value-added experience,” said Dr. Mark Lynn, chairman of the Kentucky State Fair Board.  “And with Texas Roadhouse on board as a major entertainment sponsor enhances the experience for our 600,000 guests all eleven days of the fair.”

The Texas Roadhouse Concert Series lineup is:

  • Thursday, August 16 – Gary Allan with special guest Walker Montgomery
  • Friday, August 17 – 112 with special guest Midnight Star
  • Saturday, August 18 – Great White with special guests Vixen and GoldylockS
  • Sunday, August 19 – The Oak Ridge Boys with special guests Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers
  • Monday, August 20 – Casting Crowns with special guests Bonray
  • Tuesday, August 21 – Happy Together Tour
  • Wednesday, August 22 – Chris Janson with special guest Carly Pearce
  • Thursday, August 23 – Chevelle with special guest The Cunning
  • Friday, August 24 – Josh Turner with special guest Dillon Carmichael
  • Saturday, August 25 – The Commodores
  • Sunday, August 26 – Mercy Me with special guest Stars Go Dim

Continue reading

Kentucky State Fair Premium Books are now available online. Competitors can choose from 31 departments — including antiques, field seed, livestock, photography and textiles — which are divided into 7,000 total classes of competition. All ages are welcome to compete for cash prizes and the more than 5,000 blue ribbons to be awarded.

The 2018 Kentucky State Fair is Aug. 16-26 at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Entry deadlines are:

  • General July 2
  • General (late fee) July 10
  • Open and 4-H/FFA Youth Livestock July 10
  • Pigeon and Poultry July 18
  • Rabbit July 18
  • Open Livestock (late fee) July 25
  • Extra Late Open Livestock (late fee) August 3

The Premium Book and entry form are available online at A print version is also available; to request a copy, contact the entry department at or call (502) 367-5190.