A Local’s Guide to Lexington, Kentucky: Summer Events 2019

May 29, 2019

May is almost over and it’s that time of year where there are foodie events galore. It looks as if we have skipped over spring and went straight into summer. With summer comes warm and sunny weather and probably the most fun events of the year! Summertime means more opportunities to spend time outdoors.

Lexington has some wonderful events all throughout the summer, because the weather is so nice! I’ve put together a list of sixteen must attend events you cannot miss out on this summer. Many are family friendly and many others are FREE!

18 Summer Events Every Lexingtonian Must Attend:

 

1. CRAVE Lexington

Crave Lexington is Lexington’s signature food event that celebrates locally-crafted fare from 55+ food vendors and music from ten bands. There is also a classic car show as well! It’s been held every year since 2012, and I’ve made sure to attend every year since 2015.

CRAVE takes place at Masterson Station Park, which is one of the largest parks in Lexington at 660 acres. Admission is $8, but you will need to purchase tickets or a ticket package beforehand. You can purchase your tickets once you arrive, and you can purchase additional tickets as well if needed.

Each vendor offers at least three different options at various price points; $1 option, which is for a sample sized portion, $3 will get you a dish of a little bit bigger size, and $5 is a full-sized dish. Some vendors offer several different selections for each price point.

Details:

  • Dates: August 24 and August 25, 2019
  • Location: Masterson Station Park, 3051 Leestown Road, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Time: 12pm to 11pm on Saturday, August 24 and 12pm to 7pm on Sunday, August 25
  • Price: Free parking; $8 admission + tickets to purchase food (kids 10 and under are free). Weekend passes are $12.

 

2. Lexington Burger Week

Lexington Burger Week returns! Brace yourself. Since 2015, Lexington Burger Week has been gracing us with yummy burgers that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. This is a week that you will want to mark on your calendars. If you like plain burgers or the more traditional style burgers, then Burger Week isn’t for you. I’m kind of a burger snob. I much prefer the crazier, over the top burgers that have tons of toppings rather than a traditional style burger with just the bare minimum.

I’ve been every year, and plan to keep going every year that they hold this glorious event! The participating restaurants offer their special one-of-a-kind burger for $5. There will be 40 one-of-a-kind burgers that you can try (maybe even more!). It would be impossible to try them all, but wouldn’t it be fun to try?!?

Some of my favorite burgers from Burger Weeks of the past:

  • The Old Fashioned Burger (OFB) from Parlay Social – Lexington Burger Week 2018: It had two 3 ounce, crispy beef patties with havarti cheese, cherry and orange chutney, arugula, caramelized onions finished with angostura bitters, topped with signature Parlay Social old fashioned syrup on a potato bun.
  • The Triple Bacon LifeBrew Pub Burger from LifeBrew Pub (now closed) – Lexington Burger Week 2017: It was a 1/2 pound burger stuffed with garlic & herb cured bacon, topped with smoked gouda, Lex Light bacon jam, strips of honey roasted jalapeno crispy bacon strips and onion ring drizzled with bourbon glaze.
  • The JDI Bourbon Bacon Burger from JDI Grill & Tavern (now closed) – Lexington Burger Week 2016: It was a 1/3 pound Angus beef patty covered in housemade bourbon sauce, topped with caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon, melted swiss cheese sauce, lettuce, tomato, and pickle!
Details:
  • Dates: July 8 through July 14, 2019
  • Location: Various Locations
  • Time: Check participating restaurants for operating hours

 

3. Lexington Restaurant Week

All of the best restaurants in the Bluegrass strut their stuff July 25th through August 4th. Lexington Restaurant Week is such an exciting week when it comes to food!

Lexington Restaurant Week has been a powerhouse event since 2013. During Lexington Restaurant Week, there is a prix fixe menu that you can order off of. Some restaurants offer two can dine for $27 options, and it usually includes two or three courses. Other restaurants may offer a deal for $27 per person. For example, you would share an appetizer, you each would get an entree, and you would get to share a dessert. At other restaurants, you would each get your own course. However, each restaurant offers different things, so be sure to check out the Lexington Restaurant Week guide once it’s released.

Details:

  • Dates: July 25, 2019 through August 4, 2019
  • Recurrence: Recurring daily
  • Location: Various Locations
  • Time: Check participating restaurants for operating hours

 

4. Ballet Under the Stars

Ballet Under the Stars is one of Central Kentucky’s most anticipated summer events! It’s also celebrating its 30th year! This event is pretty unique, because you are combining the professional world of ballet with the casual setting of the park.

I remember first attending this event about 16 years ago!

The event begins with a pre-show youth production, Princess Vignettes at 8pm. The main show featuring professional dancers from Kentucky Ballet Theatre begins at 9pm. Be sure to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. You may pack a picnic dinner or buy concessions onsite.

Details:
  • Dates: August 1 through August 4, 2019
  • Location: Woodland Park, 601 East High Street, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Time: Pre-show is at 8pm and main curtain is at 9pm
  • Tickets: $6 per person, children 3 & under are free

 

5. Kentucky For Kentucky Totally Tubular Tube-a-Thon

Get ready, Kentucky for Kentucky’s fourth annual Totally Tubular Tube-A-Thon is back! It will all go down at Still Waters Campground near Frankfort, Kentucky. Just like the years past, it’s going to be a fun-filled day and evening that is jam-packed with Kentucky-bred live music, food, drinks, and fun on the water.

Have any questions about the event or what you can and cannot bring? See a list of frequently asked questions HERE.

Details:
  • Dates: June 15, 2019
  • Location: 249 Strohmeier Rd, Frankfort, KY, Still Waters Campground
  • Time: 10am until dark
  • Tickets: Prices vary, which you can purchase: HERE.

 

6. Friday Night Flicks

Free Friday Flicks is the only place in Lexington to enjoy recently released movies in the park. Pre-movie activities include children’s games and a petting zoo. Celebrating 23 years, Friday Night Flicks offers a great evening of entertainment for all ages. You are allowed to bring your lawn chairs or blankets for seating. Food vendors will also be on-site. For safety, pets are not permitted.

This is another event that I remember first attending about 16 years ago!

2019 Movie Schedule: 

  • May 31: Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • June 8: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
  • June 14: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  • June 21: Mary Poppins Returns
  • June 28: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Details:
  • Dates: See schedule above
  • Location: Jacobson Park, 4001 Athens Boonesboro Road, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Time: Pre-show activities start at 7pm; movie starts at dark
  • Tickets: Free; $2 for parking (new this year)

 

7. Bluegrass BBQ Fest

Bluegrass BBQ Fest is a barbecue, beer, bourbon, and music festival all in one! Folks both locally and regionally in the barbecue business are kicking off summer by serving some serious barbecue!

Details:
  • Dates: June 7 and June 8, 2019
  • Location: Courthouse Plaza/Downtown Lexington
  • Time: 5pm to 11pm on Friday and 11am to 11pm on Saturday
  • Price: Free

 

9. Fourth of July Festival

Come downtown to celebrate America’s independence! There will be a street festival, concerts, vendors, an ice-cream eating contest and a parade! The fireworks will be held at RJ Corman Railyard. Lexington’s Fourth of July fun will actually kick off on Tuesday, July 3 with the Great American Pie Contest and Ice Cream Social and will feature many family friendly events over the entire festival!

Details:
  • Dates:July 3 and July 4, 2019 (see full schedule: here)
  • Location: Downtown Lexington
  • Time: Activities start at 12pm on Wednesday and activities start at 7:30am on Thursday

 

10. Lexington Lions Club Bluegrass Fair

The Lexington Lions Club proudly presents the 58th annual Bluegrass Fair at Lexington’s Masterson Station Park for eleven fun-filled nights, showcasing an “all-new” entertainment line-up featuring new thrill and kiddie rides and carnival games from Kissel Entertainment, K-9s in Flight Frisbee Dogs, the captivating Jurassic Kingdom Live Dinosaurs, the popular racing pigs, nightly live music, exhibits, a family-favorite farm animals petting zoo—and all your Fair-food favorites including funnel cakes, cotton candy, gourmet corndogs, turkey legs, pizza, deep-fried delights and the best Mexican food in Central Kentucky—in a clean, family-friendly, alcohol-free environment. The Bluegrass Fair is Kentucky’s largest county fair.

Details:
  • Dates:June 6, 2019 through June 16, 2019
  • Location:Masterson Station Park, 3051 Leestown Road, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Ticket information: Click HERE

 

11. Woodland Art Fair

Come out to the 44th annual Woodland Art Fair where you can shop over 200 artists, enjoy live music, eat Kentucky food, drink beer, and take part in the family art engagement activities all available with free admission. Woodland Art Fair has received several national, regional & local honors including being voted a Top 200 Fine Art & Design Show in the nation in 2007-2016 by Sunshine Artist Magazine, a Top 20 Event by The Southeast Tourism Society, and a Top 10 Festival by The Kentucky Travel Industry Association.

Details:
  • Dates: August 17 and August 18, 2019
  • Location: Woodland Park, 601 East High Street, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Time:10am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday
  • Price: Free

 

12. Night Market

The Night Market is a monthly pop-up open air-market/street festival held on the first Friday of every month May through December. The Night Market highlights the creativity of local neighborhood businesses, artists, and nonprofits and brings people from all over the region to Lexington’s Northside. While primarily serving as a platform for neighborhood businesses, artists, and nonprofits to grow their business, the Night Market also highlights the creativity in our community.

Details:
  • Dates: May 3, 2018 through December 6, 2019 (see calendar: HERE)
  • Recurrence: Recurring monthly on the 1st Friday
  • Location: 700 Block of Bryan Avenue
  • Time: 6pm to 10pm
  • Price: Free

 

13. Thursday Night Live

Get downtown every Thursday through October 12, for Central Bank Thursday Night Live! Join thousands of your closest friends for live music, local food and beverage vendors, and the hottest party in town.  This event is rain or shine! The party starts at 5pm, with live music from 5:30pm to 8pm.

Details:
  • Dates: April 4 through October 10, 2019
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Thursday
  • Location: Cheapside Park, 251 West Main Street, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Time: 5:30pm to 8pm
  • Price: Free

 

14. Summer Nights in Suburbia

Moondance Amphitheater will once again offer a summer concert series featuring genres to include jazz, bluegrass, indie rock, blues and folk, just to name a few. In addition to the live music, there will also be food trucks. Bring your lawn chairs/blankets and come enjoy the music. It’s free to attend! The location is Moondance Amphitheater, 1152 Monarch Street, Lexington, Kentucky .

2019 Summer Nights in Suburbia schedule (including band and food truck):

  • June 7: Otto & People Planet | Roll & Smoke, Steel City Pops and West Sixth
  • June 14: Boogie G & the Titanics | City BBQ, Nothing Bundt Cakes and West Sixth
  • June 21: C the Beat | Belle Notte, Bella Shaved Ice and West Sixth
  • June 28: Coralee & the Townies | J. Gumbo, Sav’s Chill Ice Cream and West Sixth
  • July 5: The Bedford Band | Salsaritas, Sweet Sisters and West Sixth
  • July 12: Bear Medicine | Roll & Smoke, Nothing Bundt Cakes and West Sixth
  • July 19: Rebel Without a Cause | Belle Notte, Steel City Pops and West Sixth
  • July 26: NVRMND | Forage, Sav’s Chill Ice Cream and West Sixth
  • August 2: Honeychild | Salsarita’s, Sav’s Chill Ice Cream and West Sixth
  • August 9: Magnolia Boulevard | Roll & Smoke, Crank & Boom Ice Cream and West Sixth
  • August 16: Baja Yetis | City BBQ and West Sixth (Note: City BBQ will have dessert offerings)
  • August 23: Other Brothers | Forage, Sweet Sisters and West Sixth
  • August 30: Pink Floyd Tribute Band | City BBQ, Steel City Pops and West Sixth

 

15. Fountain Film Fridays

Come to downtown Lexington on select Friday evenings for their outdoor movie series! Come out to Triangle Park on select Friday evenings for their outdoor movie series. Starting at dusk, there will be a great movie shown on an inflatable screen! Admission is free and guests can purchase food and beverages from the Big L’s Gourmet Dogs at the Triangle Park Café!

Details:
  • Dates: TBD
  • Location: Triangle Park, 400 West Main Street, Lexington, Kentucky
  • Time: Dusk
  • Price: Free

 

16. Railbird Festival

Come out to Lexington on August 10 and 11 for the Railbird Festival, which celebrates music, bourbon, and horses on the historic grounds of Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky. Railbird will also give back to the community by partnering with local nonprofit organizations Central Music Academy, Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, Fayette Alliance and Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Each nonprofit will receive monetary support from the festival, and will have a presence on-site during the event.

Railbird is happening this summer and is a brand new music festival happening right here in Lexington, Kentucky. Two days. Multiple stages. World class artists. All at the historic grounds of Keeneland.

Railbird will celebrate the unrivaled culture and traditions of the Bluegrass State. Railbird will be a truly one-of-a-kind event. The festival will be woven into the course grounds to create an unforgettable and immersive weekend centered around music, bourbon, equine culture and Lexington tradition. See music lineup: HERE.

Details:
  • Dates: August 10 and August 11, 2019
  • Location: Keeneland (4201 Versailles Road, Lexington, Kentucky)
  • Time: Gate times will be shared closer to the festival.
  • Admission: There are many different ticket packages at many different price points. Tickets are as follows:
    • General Admission Level 1: $140 + fees (purchase tickets: HERE)
    • General Admission Level 2: $160 + fees (purchase tickets: HERE)
    • General Admission Level 3/Day of show: $190 + fees (purchase tickets: HERE)
    • VIP: $475 + fees (learn more: HERE and purchase tickets: HERE)
    • Superfecta: $895 + fees (learn more: HERE and purchase tickets: HERE)
    • Daily Tickets Level 1: $80 + fees (purchase tickets for Saturday or Sunday: HERE)
    • Daily Tickets Level 2: $90 + fees(purchase tickets for Saturday or Sunday: HERE)
    • Daily Tickets Level 3/Day of show: $105 + fees (purchase tickets for Saturday or Sunday: HERE)
    • VIP Daily Tickets: $275 + fees (purchase tickets for Saturday or Sunday: HERE)

 

17. Beer Cheese Festival – Winchester, Kentucky

The Beer Cheese Festival is in beautiful, historic downtown Winchester, Kentucky and is the only festival in the world dedicated to the celebration of beer cheese! Every second Saturday in June, downtown comes alive with music, food, crafts, shopping, children’s activities, and of course, beer cheese.  Lots and lots of beer cheese! The festival starts at 10am and ends at 5pm. You can sample all the beer cheese from all the vendors and then you can vote for your favorite! There are plenty of other things to do at the festival such as listen to live music, drink at the UK Alumni Beer Garden, or visit the arts & crafts or Kentucky Proud booths.

Details:
  • Dates: June 8, 2019
  • Location: Downtown Winchester
  • Time: 10am to 5pm
  • Admission: $5 wristband lets you try samples of all the beer cheese

 

18. Kentucky Craft Beer Festival – Elizabethtown, Kentucky

The Kentucky Craft Beer Festival will be held in Historic Downtown Elizabethtown on June 15, 2019. Festival goers will be able to sample and enjoy craft beers from around the state and beyond. The festival will also include an array of food trucks. Attendees must be 21 or older.

Details:
  • Dates: June 15, 2019
  • Location: 100 Haycraft Street, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
  • Time: 3pm to 8pm (2pm for VIP)
  • Admission: Tickets are $35 and $45 for VIP (Purchase tickets: HERE).

 

Which event are you looking forward to the most this summer?

 

About Me

About Me

Hi, y'all!

Hey y'all! My name is Whitney, and I'm the founder of Fabulous in Fayette. I grew up and lived in Appalachia for 22 years. In 2008, I left my life in Appalachia behind, and have been living in Lexington ever since. I'm a Proud Kentuckian and am in love with my city of Lexington. It's seriously one of the best places to live!

Not to be confused with Fayetteville, North Carolina. Fabulous in Fayette celebrates the fabulous city of Lexington, the great state of Kentucky, and Southern Living. In case you are not from here, Fayette refers to the county where Lexington is located!

xoxo, Whitney

Keep In Touch

Awarded Top 20 Lexington, Kentucky Blog

Lexington Blogs

As Seen On…

Archives

A Guide to the Street Art & Murals of Lexington, Kentucky

×