Business owners, residents and tourists visited downtown on KY Distilled Weekend to explore the best of what Frankfort has to offer.
The series of events, which began Friday and lasted through Sunday, put a spotlight on Frankfort businesses, craftsmen and more. The weekend was centered around Liberty Hall’s annual Bourbon & Browns, the historic site’s signature fundraiser.
Other events included Rebecca Ruth Candy’s 100th anniversary, Kentucky River Tours’ Bourbon History Tours, a bourbon history exhibit at Capital City Museum, walking tours and the Grand Theatre’s Rockapella.
Alex Lewis, Liberty Hall’s marketing and special events coordinator, said that having Bourbon & Browns in conjunction with KY Distilled was a “plus” for the historic site. Liberty Hall was able to spread the word through cross-promotion with other organizations.
“We’ve been fortunate that in the seven years we’ve been holding Bourbon & Browns it’s gotten a bit bigger each time,” Lewis said.
Frankfort-Franklin County Tourist and Convention Commission Executive Director Robin Antenucci said Bourbon & Browns was a sold-out event for the first time in several years. She said the goal of the weekend was to bring together different cultural events in Frankfort to lure locals and visitors downtown. As of Sunday, Antenucci said the commission did not have final numbers from the weekend’s events.
KY Distilled is one of three bourbon-related weekends celebrated in Frankfort. Antenucci said the next ones will be during Salato Sampler in June and around Bourbonanza in October. She said that bourbon tourism is a growing business and Frankfort is in “the heart of bourbon history” with four distilleries in Franklin County.
“It’s a trend that is very popular and we need to be a part of that,” Antenucci said.
Downtown Frankfort Inc. Director Kelly Everman said this weekend’s KY Distilled events seemed to bring more people into downtown, even visitors from out of state. She added that the addition of new events, like Frankfort Arts Alliance’s Open Studio Event and Tour, which Everman attended, created new interest. She said that KY Distilled will continue to grow with future events.
“We are building each time we do one of these Distilled events,” Everman said.
Silo Ridge Makers Market owner Tracy Averill reported an uptick in sales over the weekend. He wasn’t personally at the store talking to customers, but he said that the KY Distilled Weekend and good weather could have been a factor. He thinks events like KY Distilled are good for the community and Frankfort needs more like it.
“Everything happening is going in the right direction,” he said.