Dear editor,

If you ever wondered whether our town could pull off a world-class event like the Bourbon on the Banks Festival, we have proof.

Frankfort recently hosted one of the largest bourbon tasting events in the country in our first year. Three days of "bourbon tourism" concluded with thousands of people participating in events. More than 40 distilleries provided a taste of some of the best bourbon in the world. Food, beer and wine were on full display on the banks of the Kentucky River. Almost half of the participants came from out of state for the Saturday event.  

The Thursday night dinner for sponsors and donors showcased Kentucky State University and its world-class research farm off Mills Lane. The Friday night street circus and concert was attended by an estimated 5,000 people. KSU’s marching band was at its best.

The credit for a successful event goes to the volunteers and sponsors who stepped up to make this inaugural festival such a success.    

For almost nine months a nonprofit board of directors and more than 120 local volunteers prepared.  

Three days of major bourbon tourism activities gave Frankfort and Franklin County the chance to shine. Thanks to the volunteers who worked tirelessly as we felt our way through new events and challenges.

Frankfort now has a bourbon festival that rivals any in the country. 2020 should be bigger and better.

Local residents and sponsors showed what this community can do when we focus on our strengths. People from across the community made this event successful because nobody cared who got the credit. It was a community effort.

The Bourbon on the Banks Festival Board, which includes Kristin Cantrell, Amzie Wenning, Jim Tidwell, Chris Cribbs, Roger Crittenden, John Senter, Brian Delombre and me, thanks everyone who sponsored, volunteered, attended or was a vendor. Plans are in the works for the 2020 festival. If you would like to help or have ideas about how we can make the event better send an email to

Nice work, Frankfort.

Tom Bennett, Chair

Bourbon on the Banks Festival


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