J.R. Tolkien

"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R. Tolkien

Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekend Plans - Country Loving

Fall in Cherokee Park
Fall already made its way to Kentucky, bringing with it cool evenings and patchy morning fog that shrouds the hills in mystery.  One of my favorite seasons, Fall in the Bluegrass State is an explosion of colors; bright yellow, orange, red and green paint the trees in a sea of colors.  The cool temperature is a jumpstart to the body, waking up your senses, turned languid by summer heat and humidity.

For me, Fall means lively festivals, pumpkin spiced everything, and an obligatory visit to the farm for the harvesting of apples and pumpkins.  

Huber's Farm
This Saturday (9/20/2014), I'll skip Huber's Farm and head instead to 12 local farms in Shelby County for their Shelby Good Neighbors Farm Tour. From 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., these local farms will open their doors to the public so we can experience first hand the day to day life of small farms.  It's a great opportunity to experience the county, taste the food, and connect to our farmers.  Start at the Metzger's Country Store or Shelby County Farmer's Market (8 a.m. - noon) and pick up a map of participating farms. Take a self guided tour to as many of those as you like, get stamps on your Passport and enter for a chance to win a grand prize filled with local goods.  I'm looking forward to seeing the alpacas, harvesting honey, tasting homemade ice cream, and making wine.  

I'll then head to Bardstown, one of the most beautiful small town in the U.S. (so they claimed), for the Kentucky Bourbon Festival (complete list of events).  The week long festival (9/16 - 9/21) is a celebration of Bourbon in Kentucky with famous distilleries offering special tours, events and glamourous parties.  Many of these cost money but worth it for the Bourbon lover.  I'll be skipping all the pricey stuff and head to the free arts, crafts and food booths (Spalding Hall and City Hall Lawns, 114 N. Fifth St.).  While here, I'll check out demonstrations of the ancient art of barrel making and the World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay (300 W. Broadway, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.)

Other neat stuff going on this weekend that I'll have to skip:
Fossil bed at Falls of the Ohio
  • Gaslight Festival (9/14 - 9/21) | 10434 Watterson Trail, 40299 | all day: Located in J-town, the festival is the 5th largest festival in the region, hosting 200,000+ visitors every year.  A celebration of the city and its business, the festival will have 150+ arts and craft vendors, delicious and unhealthy fair food, a balloon glow, a car show, parade, games and activities for kids.  There's no shortage of fun things to see and do, but be warned, it's crowded!  Bring comfortable shoes, you'll be walking and standing a lot.
  • Hike and Canoe the Fossil Beds (9/20/2014 & 10/11) | 201 West Riverside Dr., Clarksville, IN | 9:30 a.m.  - 1 p.m.: Head to the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center for a free canoe and hike tour of the fossil beds. You'll kayak/canoe on falls and hike the fossil beds with your own free tour guide.  If you don't have a canoe, you can rent one.  If water is not not your thing then opt for the 3 1/2 hour hike of the fossil beds with an expert (9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/11) at 9 a.m. The Army Corps of Engineer lowered the water this month so a very large part of the fossil beds is exposed.  
  • 200 Years on the River: (9/20 - 9/21) | 7410 Moorman Road, 40272 | 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Another family friendly event for lovers of history, especially for those interested in 19th Century life around the Ohio River.  You'll delight in the  ladies dressed in pretty attires and gentlemen/officers in pretty manners. You'll meet Abraham Lincoln spinning tails, a black smith demonstrating his trade, and young kids going about their daily chores.  You can also tour the old house and gardens and interact with the volunteers while in characters. The kids will love digging and pretending to be archeologist.  On Sunday, there's an 1860s baseball game. $6/adult, $5/seniors, $3 kids. Special rates for family. 
  • Other Fall Festivals: Check out this list of over 60 fall festivals going on in the area this season.