Bourbonanza is back!
With a family-friendly street fair on St. Clair Street between Main and Broadway, live music throughout the day and an over-21-only nightcap, the third installment of the ever-spirited event offers something for everyone.
Organizers opted to make this year’s event one day — Oct. 20, after a scheduling conflict occurred at the Kentucky History Center, which hosts the Bourbonanza Spirit Soiree from 7-10 p.m.
“We didn’t want to change our venue,” said Kelly Everman, executive director of Downtown Frankfort Inc., the non-profit organization with a goal of revitalizing our historic downtown. “We take over the whole history center.”
Prior to the evening event, there is a whole day crammed with activities and no shortage of entertainment.
Nashville artist J.D. Shelburne will kick off the event at noon. His set will run until 2 p.m., with Trippin’ Roots to take over from 2:30-3:30 p.m., followed by Swing Street from 3:45-5 p.m.
In addition to live music, there will be several Kentucky- and bourbon-themed demonstrations including barrel staving, fiber arts and mixology presentations. Local crafts made from repurposed bourbon barrels and hand-rolled cigars by Kentucky Gentleman Cigars will also be offered.
Area businesses are planning specials and there will be numerous children’s activities, as well.
Bourbonanza-goers may partake in complimentary bourbon history tours and stop by local museums, which will feature exhibits telling of Frankfort’s role in the spirit’s history.
For those 21 years and older, local distilleries will have tastings for a $5 charge. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase.
Nothing pairs better with a chilly late October day than burgoo. Burgoo Master Russ Kennedy, of Kentucky’s Best Burgoo, and his famous recipe will set up shop outside of Kentucky Knows on Broadway.
As always, the highlight of the evening’s cocktail-attire event at the history center is the live auction of rare bourbon and this year promises to be the best yet.
Buffalo Trace has donated the opportunity of a lifetime for one lucky bourbon aficionado — the highest bidder will be able to hand-select a barrel of Old Weller Antique 107 at the distillery.
The highest bidder will be able to sample several barrels before settling on a selection. All the bottles from that barrel will be personalized for the winner and he or she will be given the empty barrel after bottling.
“(This donation) really adds an incredible amount of zing to our live auction,” Everman explained. “(The opportunity to hand-select a barrel of bourbon) is quite a prestigious thing to get to do. It really is a cool, unique experience all around.”
The auction, a fundraiser for DFI, is a high-energy spectacle and attracts collectors nationwide. A portion of the proceeds from the barrel auction will go toward supporting art in downtown Frankfort, Everman added.
Prior to the auction, distilleries, wineries and breweries will offer tastings of their most popular products. Featured distilleries include Buffalo Trace, BEAM Suntory, Jeptha Creed, Barton 1792, Four Roses, MB Rolland and Glenns Creek.
Local caterer, 3 Peas in a Pod, will have hardy hors d’oeuvres and Kentucky Proud product samples on hand.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with live music by Electria until 7:15 p.m. Tastings, food and live music by The Marlin McKay Group is planned from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
The live auction is planned from 8:30-9:30 p.m. with doors to close at 10 p.m.
Independence Bank is the title sponsor and Capital Cellars is a partner for the event.
Tickets, which cost $65, may be purchased at Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist & Convention Commission, at 100 Capital Ave., DFI, at 306 West Main Street Suite 708, or online at www.bourbonanza.com/tickets/.