Last weekend’s Bourbon on the Banks provided a jolt the local tourism industry needed. In fact, just about everybody we spoke with about Saturday’s event was astounded by the number of new faces they saw in downtown Frankfort.
A review of ticket sales found that more than half of the nearly 1,300 attendees traveled to the capital city from out of town specifically for the first-ever festival. At least two different countries — Australia and Canada — were represented, as well as states as far away as New Mexico, New York, Michigan and Florida.
This is good news for an event that is still in its infancy and has the potential to grow each year.
Many of the vendors and attendees commented on how well organized Bourbon on the Banks was for its first year. During the three-hour event, there was a steady stream of festival-goers without being overly crowded. In fact, very few long lines formed at the 80-plus vendor booths.
Throughout River View Park and the Ward Oates Amphitheater, there was an upbeat, happy energy and it wasn’t just the booze talking. Bands playing different genres of music were peppered between booths, and vendors offered everything from beer, wine and bourbon to appetizers, cheeses and desserts.
A large event such as this is not planned overnight and its success is a testament to the tireless work of the board of directors, and specifically Wendy Kobler, all of whom spent the better part of a year planning the logistics of the three-day festival. We commend them and the close to 140 green shirt-clad volunteers who donated there time to make the inaugural Bourbon on the Banks an event to remember.
Many, including the organizers, are already thinking of ideas to improve and grow next year’s Bourbon on the Banks and have already announced the date — Aug. 29, 2020.
This is just a sampling of the numerous tourism-driven events that could help boost Frankfort's economy. It is our hope that others will follow in Bourbon on the Banks' footsteps.