Travel to the Fair!

Travel to the Fair!

Have you ever traveled to a state fair?  If you haven’t, you are missing out!  State fairs are one of the best ways to learn and observe what different areas of the country have to offer.  It’s a fun way to experience the USA.

Last week I traveled to the Kentucky State Fair.  It was a best of the bluegrass kind of day!

Kentucky State Fair Freddy
Freddy Farm Bureau greets all the fair goers!

According to the Filson Historical Society, ” The Kentucky State Fair is one of the oldest fairs celebrated in the United States.  Its beginning can be traced back to 1816 when Colonel Lewis Sanders of Fayette County, Kentucky (no known relation to Colonel Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame) organized the first fair in the Commonwealth.”

In addition it states,” The fair became official in 1902 after being mandated by the Kentucky General Assembly the previous year.  It was held at the famed Churchill Downs initially, then rotated throughout various communities until finding a permanent home in Louisville’s West End at the newly created Kentucky State Fairgrounds on September 14, 1908.”

Photo op at the Kentucky State Fair
That’s a big chair!

There’s so much to do and to see at the fair.  Not only can you find food, music and rides but you can also watch one of the premier horse shows in the country.  The World’s Championship Horse Show is held in conjunction with the fair each year.  There are approximately 2,000 of the best saddlebreds in the country that compete for one million dollars’ worth of prizes.  You won’t believe how fancy the barns are decorated!  People obviously work hard to customize the barns and make them appealing with fresh flowers, curtains and decorative items.

World Championship Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair
One of the premier horse shows in the country

Who doesn’t love looking at various livestock that is brought to compete at the fair? The cows and the pigs were pretty laid back.  They were content to relax and take a nap, or have a snack.  The goats, however, were busy getting baths and getting groomed.  It’s hard to be a goat supermodel, evidently.  There was a lot of crying and noise making as they were being fluffed and puffed with blowdryers and hair brushes.  It looked like something out of a Kardashian tv show filming!

Kentucky State Fair Livestock

And who knew that goats were so stylish!  Check out the fancy coats.  Of course, my favorite is the pink one.

Have you ever had a selfie with a mule?  They were so cute and very friendly…..just hanging out in the tents greeting people.  They liked being the center of the attention.

Farming is an important industry in Kentucky and other rural states.  Tobacco, corn, hay, soybeans are all on display at the fair.  Have you ever seen an 800 pound pumpkin?  Well, look no further!  Many of the 4-H clubs around the state submitted displays for the competition.

Bubbly Horse Travels to the Kentucky State Fair
Sitting among the hay bales

One of the coolest parts of the fair is a relatively new section.  Kentucky bee keepers from around the state provide educational displays as well as actual working bee hives.  It’s fascinating to learn what an important role bees play in the world, not to mention actually watching the bees in action.  If you don’t have bees, then you don’t have flowers!

The Kentucky State Bee Keepers Association had a table that contained honey from all parts of the state.  It was amazing to taste the different honey and how different they were from one another.  The dark honey is usually from the fall and the lighter honey is from the spring.  Soil conditions play a big part in the taste of the product.  Think of a wine tasting, except with honey!

Kentucky Beekeepers Association at the Kentucky State Fair
The Kentucky Beekeeper Association did a great job in educating about honey

Country hams are always a big deal at the fair.  In fact, every year there’s a country ham breakfast.  There are always politicians in the mix, and Miss Kentucky auctions off the ham.  The breakfast usually attracts around 1,600 people.  According to the Louisville Courier Journal, “the ham breakfast has netted more than $10 million for charity since 1964.  The most expensive country ham on record (before the 2018 record) at the Kentucky State Fair went for a whopping $2 million in 2014”.  This year’s country ham came in at 18.77 pounds and brought in $2.8 million at the auction.  It was a record setting year!

I ran into the proud buyer of the ham at an event the day after he bought the ham.  He told me that he was going to be serving the ham for a Christmas event for his bank’s board of directors.  I’m sure that will be a nice meal!

2018 Kentucky State Fair Champion Ham
The blue ribbon ham that sold for 2.8 million!

This year Broadbent B & B Foods had the blue ribbon ham that was auctioned.  The ham breakfast tradition was started in 1964.   According to the Courier Journal, “the breakfast includes 450 pounds of country ham; 5,400 eggs; 130 gallons of orange juice; 1,600 half-pints of milk; 30 gallons of sorghum; and 20 gallons of honey.”  That’s a lot of food!

From there we went over to the contest area.  Anything that you can imagine is there to be judged.  Whether its dolls, ugly lamps, shadow boxes, cakes, pies, quilts, decorative items…..the list goes on an on.

One of my fondest memories of growing up was entering my doll into the county and state fair.  My doll was a Madame Alexander baby doll that my Nannie had given to me.  My grandmother Bell was an expert in knitting, and would make my doll new dresses each year.  They were beautiful and little works of art.  I always entered them in the fair and  I won several blue ribbons.  It’s a great memory, so I was really excited to see the doll competition.

Doll Competition at the Kentucky State Fair
The doll category at the State Fair

Cakes and pies have always been a crowd favorite.  Did you read my post about Malone’s and their state fair award-winning apple crisp?  There were so many desserts on display.  The detail on the cake decorating entries was really intricate.  Needless to say, they were too pretty to eat.

Cake competition at the Kentucky State Fair
Yes, this is a cake!

How can you forget the pies?  They made me hungry just looking at them.

Award Winning Pecan Pies at the Kentucky State Fair
Pies look delicious

One of my favorite parts of the fair is the Kentucky Main Street area.  Counties from all around the state have booths that highlight their area.  Chamber of Commerce volunteers are happy to fill you in on what their county has to offer.  Everybody was very nice and willing to talk with you and let you know what makes their place special. Whether it’s Marion County and their distilleries or Corbin and Colonel Sanders, there’s a lot to see and learn about our state and history.  And who could forget Hodgenville and the Abraham Lincoln connection!

No state fair experience would be complete without sampling the various dining options.  Funnel cakes, ice cream, pizza….. the list goes on.  For years I have wanted to try the doughnut burger.  I have to say that the wait was worth it.  It was delicious!  Not only was there a doughnut, but cheese and bacon, as well.  Even the state troopers got into the action!

My trip to the fair was a great day.  Being a travel blogger gives me the opportunity to see and participate in a lot of cool things.  I noticed throughout the day that fair goers, employees, and  volunteers at the fair all had smiles on their faces and it was a really nice experience.  People were friendly and happy to be part of this great Kentucky tradition!

Smiles at the Kentucky State Fair
See what I mean about the friendly faces?

 

Make Your Bets

Make Your Bets

untitled Photo by Vanity Fair

Post positions are in!  I’ve been looking at the horses and have a couple of thoughts for betting on Saturday.

Every year since I can remember Dan Liebman, a family friend and also the former editor of the Bloodhorse, would write an article for the local paper.  The article was called “The Mythical $100 Derby Bet”.  He would write about a combination of bets that would equal $100.  It became a great family tradition that my uncle and I enjoy handicapping the Derby and each making the $100 bet.  Over the years we have brought others into the Derby bet fold.  We’ve had a great time with it!

The bet had a daily double Oaks/Derby bet, exacta bets, trifecta bets, across the board bets and then a win bet.  Dan would pick his favorite horse (usually one that has higher odds) and then structure the bets around the horse.  More often than not he would choose the winner.  And when he did the winnings were big!

I’m afraid this year will be the first year that we will be on our own picking the Derby winner.  Dan has since left the newspaper and has a very busy catering life with his barbeque restaurant Staxx.  It’s really good barbeque in Frankfort and you should check it out!

I’ve been paying attention to the Derby prep races this year and I have a few thoughts on some horses.  I’m not a big exotic better, but I see an exacta in our future this year.  If I were you I would check out Mendelssohn, Justify, Good Magic and Bolt d’Oro.  Mendelssohn won the World Cup in Dubai and according to several horsey people I know has the greatest trainer in the world.  Mendelssohn is going to be our pick for Derby winner.  Even though he just arrived from Ireland this week experts say that jet lag isn’t an issue for this horse.

Check out the post positions and make your bet!! Happy Derby xoxo

1. Firenze Fire, Jason Servis, Paco Lopez, 50-1
2. Free Drop Billy, Dale Romans, Robby Albarado, 30-1
3. Promises Fulfilled, Dale Romans, Corey Lanerie, 30-1
4. Flameaway, Mark Casse, Jose Lezcano, 30-1
5. Audible, Todd Pletcher, Javier Castellano, 8-1
6. Good Magic, Chad Brown, Jose Ortiz, 12-1
7. Justify, Bob Baffert, Mike Smith, 3-1
8. Lone Sailor, Tom Amoss, James Graham, 50-1
9. Hofburg, Bill Mott, Irad Ortiz Jr., 20-1
10. My Boy Jack, Keith Desormeaux, Kent Desormeaux, 30-1
11. Bolt d’Oro, Mick Ruis, Victor Espinoza, 8-1
12. Enticed, Kiaran McLaughlin, Junior Alvarado, 30-1
13. Bravazo, D. Wayne Lukas, Luis Contreras, 50-1
14. Mendelssohn, Aidan O’Brien, Ryan Moore, 5-1
15. Instilled Regard, Jerry Hollendorfer, Drayden Van Dyke, 50-1
16. Magnum Moon, Todd Pletcher, Luis Saez, 6-1
17. Solomini, Bob Baffert, Flavien Prat, 30-1
18. Vino Rosso, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez, 12-1
19. Noble Indy, Todd Pletcher, Florent Geroux, 30-1
20. Combatant, Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana Jr., 50-1

 

 

 

New Furrier in Town

New Furrier in Town

I received an invitation to a grand opening for a new business in town.  Yudofsky Fur and Leather has recently opened in the Summit Shops in Lexington

You may know that I grew up in Frankfort.  Some of my fondest memories were family shopping trips to Louisville.  You see poor Frankfort didn’t have any shopping.  Mom and Dad loved to shop so we would travel to Louisville on the weekend.  Our destination was Oxmoor Mall, about an hour away from our house.  Yudofsky Furriers began in 1925 in Louisville.  My mother purchased her coats from there and that’s also where mine came from.  So needless to say, I’ve got a little history with the store.  I’ll never forget seeing Mr. and Mrs. Yudofsky being in the store and paying attention to every detail.  They were truly experts.

When I walked in I couldn’t believe how fabulous it was.  Light walls, light floors and gleaming stainless steel racks hanging from the ceiling made this store look very modern and fresh.  A friendly gentleman greeted everyone at the door with a coat check. Stylish patrons were admiring both the coats and clothing.  You see, Yudofsky not only has fur and leather coats, but also ready to wear.  Models were walking throughout the store wearing lovely dresses and coats.  Prosecco with berries and white wine was served along delicious appetizers.  Ladies and gentlemen, these folks know how to host a lovely party!

Wouldn’t the dresses below be fantastic for Keeneland and Derby?

Along with beautiful dresses are a selection of coats that will suit everyone.  Fur, leather and coats of luxurious material can be found in the store.  If you don’t wear fur, don’t worry, they have something for you.  Yudofsky also offers restyling and repair of coats on site as well as a fur vault for storing coats in summer months.

Yudofsky Fur and Leather is a great new addition to Lexington.  I know you will love it! xoxo

Stephanie Bell at Yudofsky Fashion Grand Opening