Frankfort Bourbonanza


The fourth annual Bourbonanza is less than two weeks away, and organizers say attendees can expect a more intimate experience.

Downtown Frankfort Inc. board members, at their monthly meeting Tuesday, discussed plans for Bourbonanza, as well the annual Candlelight tour next month. 

Featuring bourbon tasting and live music at the Kentucky History Center on Saturday, Oct. 19, Bourbonanza is DFI’s only fundraiser of the year.

“The layout is going to be a lot more intimate this year,” Executive Director Kelly Everman said. “I’m really pleased with the way it’s coming together.”

In past years, the event was held in two rooms at the history center, but organizers said it felt too separated.

This year, all events will be held in one central area, with a jazz band providing ambiance on the upstairs mezzanine.

“Food and beverages will all be right there together,” Everman said.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event runs until 10 p.m. Tickets are $75, which buys six tastes of different bourbons. There will also be h’ors oeuvres and a live auction.

Several distilleries have donated what Everman calls “spirited adventures” for attendees to bid on. These range from a gift certificate for a distillery tour (on the lower end) to the experience of a personal private barrel pick at Buffalo Trace (on the higher end), with many other auction items in between.

For more information on this year’s Bourbonanza event, visit

After discussing this year’s Bourbonanza, the board talked about a plan to participate in the GoodGiving Challenge, which raises money for Kentucky nonprofits, the week of Dec. 3-9. Funds raised would enable DFI to be less reliant on Bourbonanza and donation letters.

Under new business, the board discussed “Neighborly November” efforts. Everman thanked Terri Bradshaw, president of Kentucky Capital Development Corp., for helping send out letters welcoming workers to the new state office building downtown, the Mayo-Underwood Building.

The board also reviewed plans to maintain flower baskets and bourbon barrels downtown. To ensure having beautiful flora this fall, DFI will replenish the barrels with new mums and other flowers. This year, an anonymous donor gave a $1,000 matching gift to DFI to maintain the baskets and barrels.

Reviewing committee reports, the board noted three new murals will be appearing on buildings around town, a process spearheaded by FrankArts. Everman said there’s been an amazing response nationally and internationally from artists wanting to do murals in Frankfort.

“I believe once people see how professional this artwork is, other business owners will be open to it.”

In discussing the Downtown Summer Concert Series for next year, Jack Kennedy noted that the fee for using the Old State Capitol lawn has been raised from $200 to $500. He suggested considering alternate locations for next year’s concert series.

One idea suggested was a round stage that could be placed on Broadway. Everyone agreed they’d also like to reach different demographics with different types of music.

The board then discussed plans for this year’s Candlelight tour, which takes place Nov. 21-24. Noting a “nice synchronicity” among Sig Luscher's, Goodwood, West Sixth and Mortimer Bibb’s Public House, the board hopes the local breweries and pubs can coordinate to enhance this year’s Candlelight event.

“All of these bars and breweries and such are talking more and working together,” Everman said. “We’re hoping they come up with something.”

Board members also discussed the need for more downtown businesses to remain open later in order to cater to people leaving late-night events.

For example, more than 450 people attended Saturday's Bacon Brothers concert at the Grand Theatre, but when the show let out, many restaurants and other businesses were already closed. They mentioned Goodwood as a pub that was still “open and rocking” that night, allowing locals and out-of-town visitors to enjoy themselves after the concert.

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