Blue Grass Stakes Part of New Lexington Festival

The Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) on April 10 is the racing highlight of the new "Best of the Bluegrass" festival that kicks off April 4 in Lexington.

Several central Kentucky entities, including Keeneland, are joining forces to launch the festival. The weeklong festival of events will salute the Bluegrass region's unique culture, and showcase everything from horse racing to the arts to bourbon.

"The Bluegrass region has so many unique and wonderful cultural aspects that we thought it would be a great idea to showcase them under the umbrella of a festival," said Jim Clark, president of the Lexington Arts and Cultural Council and one of the event's organizers.

Local tourism officials envision the festival as an ideal avenue for reaching out beyond central Kentucky borders to entice visitors to see for themselves what is unique about the Bluegrass region.

Sponsors include Keeneland, Toyota, Applebees, WLEX-TV, the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Radisson Hotel. Some of the participants in the festival are WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour, the Troubadour Series, UK's Singletary Center for the Arts, the Lexington Arts and Cultural Council, the Lexington Philharmonic, WUKY, The Race for Education, Maker's Mark, and several area distilleries and wineries.

"When we look at the things that make Central Kentucky a great place to live or to visit, we realize that we really are very fortunate because we have such a rich, diverse culture," Keeneland president Nick Nicholson said.