Bourbon on the Banks

Ken Thompson and Ashley Banks gave out T-shirts and mini footballs at the Kentucky State University booth at Saturday's Bourbon on the Banks at River View Park.

The familiar scent of bourbon wafted through the mingling festival-goers at the inaugural Bourbon on the Banks at River View Park Saturday evening.

Nearly 100 vendors offered samples of food, beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and, of course, the event’s signature drink — bourbon.

Bourbon on the Banks

Aaron Lawrence, left, of Blanton's, and Meredith Meyer, a volunteer, hand out samples to festival-goers at the inaugural Bourbon on the Banks Saturday at River View Park.

At the Blanton’s booth, Aaron Lawrence and Meredith Meyer handed out tastes to folks who traveled to town for the first-ever event from as far away as Louisiana and Michigan.

“We totally can’t believe that Frankfort hasn’t had an event like this before,” Lawrence added.

Robin Antenucci, executive director of the Frankfort Tourist Commission, said she was anxious to see the ticket receipts to find out where the attendees were from.

“I’ve seen a lot of people I know and a lot of people I don’t know,” she said.

In between pouring beer and taking compliments, Kevin Breeck, who manned the Sig Luscher tent, was pleased with how well-run the event was.

“I’m impressed with the number of tents they have here and the crowd has been steady,” he said.

Bourbon on the Banks

Jeff Doane pours a sample of Jim Beam at Bourbon on the Banks Saturday night at River View Park.

The only thing more talked about than tasting notes was the weather, which felt more like early October than the end of August. After hot temperatures dominated much of the week, a cold front and rain pushed through Friday.

“We have been truly blessed by the weather,” said Kelly Everman, executive director of Downtown Frankfort Inc. “I think we’ve had a good turnout.”

Booths lined both sides of the path from Ward Oates Amphitheater to the River View Park parking lot with numerous bands along the way.

Bourbon on the Banks

At the B's Bakery booth, Laura Miller, left, Beth Greenwell and Sabrina James toasted the first Bourbon on the Banks at River View Park. They had a table full of cookie samples and peanut butter was the crowd favorite.

B’s Bakery, which offered various types of cookies, was a popular stop. According to Sabrina James, who was assisting at the booth, peanut butter was the apparent best seller.

“But the guys go for the oatmeal raisin,” she added with a wink.

Conch Republic

Conch Republic performs at the Ward Oates Amphitheater during Bourbon on the Banks Saturday evening.

Bourbon on the Banks drew to a close with Conch Republic taking the amphitheater stage. Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine won the cocktail competition. Goodwood Brewing held the official after party until 1 a.m.

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