Central Kentucky Bourbon Heritage

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Celebrate “The American Spirit” in Springfield & Washington County

Is it the clean water and the limestone terrain that makes Kentucky Bourbon ‘The American Spirit’ such a sought after libation? Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview about Central Kentucky’s Bourbon Heritage and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail with Stephanie McMillin – Executive Director of the Springfield Tourism Commission, and Nicolas Laracuente, M.A. – Director of Jack Jouett Archaeology Project and publisher of BourbonArchaeology.com.


Nicolas Laracuente is a historic archaeologist who lives and works in Kentucky, and has a passion for researching the State’s distilleries. The big question at the moment is: how do you identify (and preserve!) these sites through excavations and other archaeological approaches? Depending on how you define “distillery,” there were hundreds, maybe even thousands, of these sites in Kentucky. For the most part, the stories of the people who lived around and worked in these places have disappeared. Artifact by artifact, site by site, these stories will be recovered through archaeology.

Located in the heart of Central Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail, the historic city of Springfield is celebrating National Bourbon Heritage Month throughout September 2017, with a special Bourbon Archaeology Exhibit ‘The American Spirit’ at the Springfield Opera House. Presented by Nicolas Laracuente, the exhibit features artifacts and displays from three distillery excavations, bourbon industry speakers, and an interactive kids corner. You can also see Nicolas in the feature length documentary “NEAT: The Story of Bourbon” at TheBourbonFilm.com. Jim Beam’s Fred Noe will be a special speaker on September 21, 2017. Of course, you can experience the Bourbon Trail year-round – just stop by the Visitor Center at the Springfield Opera House, for a map and details.

Fall Springfield Events that Celebrate Kentucky’s Bourbon & Agricultural Heritage:

Sept. 1-30: Bourbon Archaeology Exhibit, Opera House

Sept. 8-9: Mackville Harvest Festival

Sept. 29-Oct. 1: Washington County Sorghum Festival

Oct. 6-7: Jim Beam BBQ Classic Cook-off

Oct. 13-14: Bourbon Chase

Established in 1793, Springfield is part of the Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail, and is the ancestral home of Abraham Lincoln’s family. This historic city is also on the Lincoln Scenic Byway, Kentucky Bourbon Trail, TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, the Barn Quilt Trail and Kentucky Fiber Trail. Along with being a destination for outdoor and nature enthusiasts, there are numerous historic, art and cultural sites to experience, as well as events that range from musical performances to a variety of annual festivals. The charming historic downtown features museums and historic buildings, restaurants and shops. Lodging choices range from historic inns to vacation rentals, and RV camping. For details see www.VisitSpringfieldKY.com.

Springfield Tourism Council

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