Celebrate Summer With These 2022 Festivals and Events in KY



Crave will have live music during the two-day festival at Masterson Station Park.

Looking for something to do this summer in Kentucky? The Commonwealth is home to a number of unusual celebrations.

Start here with this guide to eight festivals to attend.

From cheesecake tacos at the Rockin’ Taco Festival to the Louisville Achiever Fest celebrating The Big Lebowski, there’s sure to be something for you.

With fair but warm weather expected in the summer, there’s no better way to spend your days than perusing the various festivals Kentucky has to offer.

Kentucky Highland Renaissance Festival

Location: 955 Elm Street, Eminence, KY 40019

Date: Weekends only from June 4 to July 17

Tickets: Available for purchase online. An adult pass is $17, a child pass is $12. The website notes that these prices are discounted. Tickets can also be purchased on site.

Now is the 17th annual Highland Renaissance Festival.

The event has themed weekends that include pirates, vikings, fools, and villains. Be sure to check out their website to make sure you’re aware of the weekend dress code.

The events are varied, but think of this festival as cosplay, a time to dress up in character, to reimagine your life as if you were living during the European Renaissance.

“I will try to go every year,” wrote a reviewer on Facebook of last year’s festival.

Louisville Directors Festival

Location: Locations vary around Louisville

Date: June 9-11

Tickets: Tickets cost between $25 and $45 and are available online.

Are you a fan of The Big Lebowski? Even if not, you should stop by the Louisville Achiever Fest to celebrate the 1998 film.

The Big Lebowski is a comedy that follows protagonist Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski and his journey as he is mistaken for a millionaire of the same name, according to the film’s IMDb page. Following the plot of the film, attendees at this festival will sit and socialize, drink and booze.

Attendees can first head to the Mellwood Tavern for drinks on Thursday, June 9 from 8 p.m. They can then head to Executive Strike and Spare on Friday, June 10 to listen to a performance by The Dudes Band, followed by a screening by The Big Lebowski. Doors are open from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Head back to Executive Strike and Spare at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 11 for unlimited bowling, a costume contest and quizzes. Entertainment is to be expected, but those over 21 can meet up at the bowling bar for an after party.

The Sunday Achiever Brunch at Ramiro’s Cantina is open to the public with a buffet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Find more details on the event’s Facebook page.

Newport Italian Party

Location: 1 Levee Way, Newport, KY 41071

Date: June 9-12


Discover Italy without leaving Kentucky with this summer party.

Newport Italianfest may not have the Colosseum, Leaning Tower, or Pisa, but it does offer authentic cuisine, music from world-class musicians, and puppet shows.

This festival began in the fall of 1991 when then-Mayor Thomas Guidugli and then-Commissioner Jerry Peluso recognized the need in the community for a family-friendly event to celebrate the rich cultural history of the area and reflect Newport residents’ pride in their community. , according to the festival’s website.

A reviewer called Newport Italianfest a “great family event” in a Facebook post.

The event is sponsored by the city and will feature vendors such as Pompilios, Royal Roman’s Roadhouse and J&T’s Italian Ice.

Expect entertainment with the Pete Wagner Band, Naked Karate Girls, Moreno Fruzzetti and more.

Bourbon Capital BBQ Challenge and Distillery Invitational

Location: The Legacy at Dant Crossing, 605 Dant Nalley Road, New Haven, KY 40051

Date: June 10-11

Tickets: Are available for purchase online. A day pass will cost you $10.

If you need something to do this weekend, the first Bourbon Capital BBQ Challenge and Distillery Invitational is taking place in New Haven.

The event is presented in partnership with the Kentucky Bourbon Festival and the Kansas City Barbecue Society and will include a distiller and barbecue contest, according to the event’s website.

The event is open to all ages, but note that tickets will not be sold at the door.

Strawberry Festival at the Cottage

Location: 6869 State Route 56, Owensboro, Kentucky 42301

Date: June 11-12

Tickets: $10 per car.

The Strawberry Festival is a family event filled with food, drink and pony rides.

Enjoy strawberry shortcakes, ice cream, smoothies, lattes, muffins, salsas and more at this festival.

Other events include games of chance, shows, an obstacle course, petting zoo and more. Did we mention there are over 90 arts and crafts to keep you busy and entertained?

After the $10 cost of admission, everything plus food, drink, and pony rides are free, and a portion of the proceeds go to the Airport Fire Department’s Christmas program-Sorghum, according to the festival’s website.

Rockin’ Taco Festival

Location: Covington Plaza, 144 Madison Ave, Covington, KY 41011

Date: June 24-26


The Rockin’ Taco Festival returns to Kentucky for its second year.

“The sounds and flavors of Latin America mingle for three cultural days on the banks of the Ohio River,” according to the festival’s website. “Frozen drinks, delicious tacos and live music. Does it get any better than that?

The event promises continuous shows and interactive activities, like salsa dancing lessons from local Latin music groups and dance groups.

Food is available for purchase at the event, and patrons have options like nachos, quesadillas, chalupas, and original cheesecake tacos at restaurants like Latin Taste Grill, Sweet Jazz Treats, and El Cardinal Taqueria.

Crave Lexington Food and Music Festival

Location: Bluegrass Fairgrounds at Masterson Station Park

Date: July 30-31

Tickets Tickets are available for purchase online. Packages range from $12 to $150.

Want music and good food? Try Crave.

“Crave is an annual 2-day food and music festival, celebrating the delicious local dishes of central Kentucky,” according to its Facebook page. “This fun and casual culinary celebration features over 40 food vendors, 10 bands, kids friendly activities, a vintage car show and more.

Festival food vendors range from fine dining to food trucks, hot chicken to award-winning confections like Papa Pretzel, Hogtown BBQ Social Eatery, Zim’s Cafe and more.

Each seller will offer a selection for $5.

The music selection is equally varied with live performances on the WRFL Music Stage from Deeohgee, Maggie Lander, Girl Tones and The Minks.

Just like its name, Crave is sure to leave you wanting more, but don’t take our word for it. Hear from one of last year’s entrants: “Good music, great food,” said Michael Gilvin in a Facebook recommendation. “Will definitely be on my calendar for next year.”

With food, music and a car show, Crave is sure to have something for everyone in July.

Louisville Funk Festival

Location: Waterfront Park, 129 River Road, Louisville, KY 40202

Date: June 18

Tickets: Tickets start at $40 and are available for purchase online.

While not unique to Kentucky, Funk Fest 2022 is heading to Louisville.

According to its Facebook page, Funk Fest bills itself as the ultimate old-school R&B and hip hop outdoor music experience.

In 1994, nearly 5,000 people attended a small, old-fashioned music festival in Mobile, Alabama, and since then the festival has grown into an annual multi-city event with stops in Jacksonville, Florida, and in Greensboro, North Carolina, including others, according to his Facebook page.

“Funk Fest was created to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of early music and has become a celebration of human expression,” according to a statement posted on its Facebook page. “It is Funk Fest’s mission to provide the African American community with access to a medium that promotes social awareness, positive entertainment, and personal growth.”

This year’s performers include Jodeci, Stokley, Tweet and more. A full list of performers can be viewed online.

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