The fifth annual Bourbonanza, a rare bourbon auction, will take place this year, but it will have a different look.

The event, sponsored by WesBanco, is a fundraiser for Downtown Frankfort Inc.

This year has been a tough year for organizations, and DFI is no exception.

“We had to cancel the outdoor summer concert series,” DFI interim Director René True said. “There’s a chance we may have a drive-through concert where people stay in their cars. We lost our participation in Bourbon on the Banks.

“We get to have Bourbonanza, and it will be COVID-19-compliant.”

Bourbonanza will take place Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Grand Theatre.

“Our capacity to hold large events is going to be impacted,” True said. “In the past we’ve had 200, 250, 300 people. This year we’re limited to 100 people.

“We’re having it at the Grand Theatre. They have theater seating, and the Grand can control social distancing when they sell tickets.”

All ticket sales are through the Grand Theatre ticket office, which can be reached at 502-352-7469, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.

“There are no online sales, so they can control and space people out when they purchase tickets,” True said.

Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. with the auction beginning at 7:30 p.m. The auction will end at 8:30 p.m., and the doors will close at 9 p.m.

Some of the items donated for this year’s auction include Jim Beam Distiller's Masterpiece Finished in PX Sherry Casks, Blanton's Gold, Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 Year, William LaRue Weller, Antique Collection, Thomas H. Handy, Antique Collection and more.

Those attending will have their temperature taken before entering the theater, and they must wear a mask. Extra masks will be available for those who forget to bring one.

“Among other things impacted is in previous years we had 15 tasting vendors, around 20, and this year there will be no tasting vendors at all,” True said. “We’ll have one small tasting table where they’ll be pouring four different bourbons. It won’t be spread out. It will be on the second floor of the Grand.

“The buffet-style food lines of the past are gone. Knife and Spoon will be catering with boxed hors d’oeuvres. You go pick up a box and go to your seat, and once you arrive you stay in your seat. You can’t go mingle with your neighbors and so forth.”

Tickets are $35, a price True said was deeply discounted from past years because of the changes made due to COVID-19 compliance. Only 100 tickets will be sold.

“This is one opportunity to bring people into downtown,” said Robin Antenucci, director of the Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist and Convention Commission. “We want people to come and eat, drink, shop and support local businesses.

“This is a tough year to have any kind of event. This is the fifth annual Bourbonanza, and there’s validity in maintaining momentum if you can.”

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