The Kentucky Bourbon Festival is a weeklong gathering in Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky, featuring more than 30 events dedicated to the art of distilling bourbon whiskey. Due to its historical ties to the bourbon industry, Bardstown is often called the "Bourbon Capital of the World." The town has been home to numerous bourbon distilleries since 1776. Kentucky is considered to be a perfect state for distilling bourbon due to the excellent climate for ageing barrels, an abundance of corn, and limestone that helps to purify water. Nelson County is the center of the bourbon industry and heritage in the state.
The festival features live music concerts, displays on the Great Lawn, as well as, numerous food and craft vendors. There is something to do for all tastes from black tie galas to historical tours.
Organizers fill the program with events and activities for the whole family. One of the major highlights of the festival is the World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay, a barrel rolling competition between bourbon distilleries.
The Kentucky Bourbon Festival took place for the first time in 1992, with just 250 attendees. Now it has grown into one of the largest festivals in Kentucky with over 50,000 visitors from all over the world. Visitors indulge in numerous tastings of various types of bourbon and different whiskeys.