Firande, Feier, Fete...FESTIVAL

The smells of a wood fire and meat sizzling on an open flame call to something deep inside me. Maybe it is something to do with the million years of evolution that stirs when my DNA remembers the comfort of that.  Perhaps it is all of the memorable moments spent around the smell of hard wood smoking and popping in the pit and the calm that settles over me when that happens.  Or maybe...just maybe it is the mouth watering mixture of that and fried dough along with the din of thousands seeking liquor and corn dogs in the background.  

The beginning of festival season is upon us, friends.  September is pushing through faster than I could have imagined and with it comes the glorious cool of early fall and the season of fall festivals.  I will freely admit, I am a sucker for a good festival.  The bad art, tacky crafts, and crazy deep fried food offerings make me giddy.  You know what makes me even giddier?  Adding bourbon to that mix.

The Kentucky Bourbon Festival was this weekend in Bardstown, KY and we, of course, had to go.  This is a bourbon enthusiasts happy place.   All of the big Kentucky Distillers are there hawking their wares and offering up tastings and cocktails with our prize winning native liquor.  

The distilleries all bring these great "tents" that are actually small structures constructed for this particular event.   Need a tasting/rocks/shot glass?  They have those.  Need some bourbon scented candles?  Cocktail cookbooks?  Key Chains?  T-Shirts?  Flasks?  Bourbon barrel aged vanilla?  Water features that look like bourbon being poured?  Char from the barrels to season your grilling meat at home?  It's all just a few feet from you, friends.   

This is a weekend of everything bourbon.  All of the paraphernalia and food items you can stand are located in one fantastic location.   I grin simply thinking about it.  

In addition there were car shows and people partying on every corner in Bardstown.  It was a gorgeous night and everyone in Kentucky was thrilled to celebrate Bourbon Month appropriately.

The main event area of the festival is, of course, the bourbon tasting area.  It is where the magic happens.  

Purchase a tasting of several shots of the best the state has to offer or hit the bar.  When I say "bar", I don't mean a mere table with a bartender.  I mean a BAR with over 300 bottles and 10 bartenders just waiting to create the magic you need.

It was a great night and beautiful weather to kick off the season. 

The coming weeks bring more fantastic festivals featuring deep fried wonders and homemade comfort food of the best kind and longest traditions.  They also bring friends from far away for long overdue visits and maybe a birthday with a "0" in it.  Sigh.  I'm not thinking about that yet.  Only about the wonderful upcoming times to celebrate that particular birthday.  I'll keep you posted on how that unfolds.  In the meantime, let me know what your favorite festivals are and where we can get the next corn dog or cup of chicken and dumplings.  Cheers to fall.

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  1. My folks LOVE Maker's Mark! I bet they wish they could have been right there with you!

  2. Great time this weekend...almost back home in Georgia now .

  3. Buffalo Trace has glasses?! What a great festival? So which bourbon went with the fried corn dog? :)

  4. Not a ? But a ! Phat fingers again!