A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bluegrass & Backroads: Fancy Farm Picnic draws big crowds for barbecue, political speeches

The annual Fancy Farm Picnic, sponsored by St. Jerome Catholic Church in the far western part of the state, quickly transformed into Kentucky’s inaugural event for the statewide fall political season. Some of the nation’s most prominent politicians have addressed crowds of up to 15,000 from the speakers’ stand. This year’s event will be held Aug. 5. Kentucky is a state defined...

EKU hosting preview of KET documentary about NASA’s Voyager mission, info session on eclipse

Area residents are invited to learn more about the upcoming solar eclipse and get a sneak preview of a KET documentary about NASA’s Voyager mission at an event in Eastern Kentucky University’s Ravine on Friday evening, July 28. The event begins at 8 p.m. with some educational activities related to what will be a total solar eclipse across parts of western Kentucky (partial eclipse in Richmond area)...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Elk Creek Vineyards, the state’s largest winery, known for more than wine

Originally purchased as a hunting site in 1995, the Elk Creek Vineyards, covering 30 acres in Owen County, is now the largest winery in the Commonwealth. Go for a glass of wine or to attend Elk Creek’s popular summer concert series. Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted for a number of things, not the least of which is horse racing, bourbon, bluegrass music and barbecue. But,...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Quality products important at Quillin Leather and Tack and so is personal service

Ralph Quillin runs the nation’s largest “Custom Leather Shop” in Paris, Kentucky. The Quillin craftsmen and women make over 17,000 halters a year in the Main Street stores. Customers are sure that they like most — the leather products or the personal service provided by the staff. Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted for a number of things, not the least of...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Campbellsville marks Fourth of July with state’s largest holiday celebration

Since 1976, Campbellsville has hosted the state’s largest 4th of July celebration highlighting the great freedoms of the United States of America. City leaders call the event, which attracts up to 40,000 from all parts of Kentucky, a homecoming. Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted for a number of things, not the least of which is horse racing, bourbon, bluegrass music and barbecue....

Bluegrass & Backroads: Patti’s 1880’s Settlement Restaurant has become a food phenomenon

Patti’s 1880’s Restaurant started as “Hamburger Patti’s Ice Cream Parlor” in 1977 with a seating capacity of 20 people. Today they have grown into Patti’s 1880’s Settlement Restaurant with seating for over 400. And the restaurant draws over 350,000 hungry customers annually to the tiny town of Grand Rivers. Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted for a number of things,...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Passion for conservation drives researchers at Green River Preserve

Follow Zack Couch, Zeb Weese, and Albert Meier in their pursuit of bats at the Western Kentucky University upper Green River Biological Preserve. A passion for science and conservation takes these men on a search for endangered bats in the hope of gaining information that will help preserve these threatened creatures. The preserve, near Bowling Green, is home to a number of endangered species. Kentucky...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Helping others and being around horses the mission of Therapeutic Riding

New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding began as a dream of Julie Peterson. A way to both help others and be around horses. Today they have over 100 students at they Bowling Green facility, more than a dozen horses, and as many volunteers from all walks of life as they can round up. The reward comes from helping others forget they have a disability and seeing them gain confidence. Let’s visit. Kentucky...

Lights, Camera, Action: Bluegrass & Backroads sets September tour of Kentucky’s cave country

For the past 14 years, Kentucky Farm Bureau has produced a television show that celebrates the state, especially rural Kentucky, her people and the many places that make the Commonwealth so unique. Bluegrass and Backroads has grown to be to a statewide and nationally televised showcase of all that makes Kentucky special, not only to its citizens, but to people around the world thanks to the growth...

Maxwell Magnet School student Katz among KET Young Writers Contest honorees

An illustrated story by Rosie Katz of Maxwell Spanish Immersion Magnet School is among the 2017 honorees in the KET Young Writers Contest. Her subject was a human rights activist from India who advocates for oppressed children. KET encourages students across Kentucky to participate in its statewide writing competition. This year the contest expanded to three categories: illustrated stories, for...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Yew-Dell Botanical Gardens a place of serenity amidst a very busy world

Take a trip to Oldham County where the Yew-Dell Botanical gardens keeps the legacy of avid gardener Theodore Kline alive…with the creative use of flowers, trees and architecture. From the castle like pool house to the greenhouse with the living roof, Yew-Dell is a place of serenity and beauty in the middle of a very busy world. Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted for a number of...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Rustic Nail & Co. combines passion with creative use of reclaimed materials

Rustic Nail & Co. handcrafts conversation pieces, items that nobody else makes. They mix creative passion and an array of reclaimed and repurposed materials to design, fabricate and build one-of-a-kind custom artistic masterpieces. Let’s visit their operation in Bowling Green. Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted for a number of things, not the least of which is horse racing,...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Historic Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill is a true Kentucky landmark

Yearning for simpler times? Travel back in history to a more simple time at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. Founded in 1805, the village sites on 3,000 acres in Mercer County. It’s become an overnight tourist destination. Let’s learn more about the history of the Shakers at this true Kentucky landmark. Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted for a number of things, not...

KET’s ‘Local Traveler’ visits Covington’s best burger places, Herb & Thelma’s and Bard’s

Covington favorites, Herb & Thelma’s Tavern and Bard’s Burgers & Chili, will be featured on the Kentucky Educational Television (KET) program “The Local Traveler.” The program episode is titled “Burgers in the Bluegrass” and will showcase some of the best hamburgers in the state of Kentucky, premiering on Saturday, May 20 at 12:30 p.m. Located at 718 Pike Street, Herb &...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Lexington’s Gary Graham has been creating art for wood since he was five

Lexington artisan — don’t call him an artist — Gary Graham is a retired engineer who has been working with wood carving since he was five years old. He says the inspiration for his next piece of art comes from his last piece. Let’s meet him. Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted for a number of things, not the least of which is horse racing, bourbon, bluegrass...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Kentucky Horse Park the scene for annual Bluegrass Classic Dog Show

Each year the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena is taken over by a different four legged creature as hundreds of professional breeders from all over the country compete in the Bluegrass Classic Dog Show. Learn more about the classic at bgclassic.org. Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted for a number of things, not the least of which is horse racing, bourbon, bluegrass music...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Recipe for famous Derby Pie remains a family secret for over a half century

Derby Pie was born over a half century ago as the specialty pastry of the Melrose Inn, in Prospect, Kentucky. George Kern developed the recipe with the help of his parents Walter and Leaudra. Many hours were spent trying to find the unique blend of flavors that make up this classic dessert. And that blend remains a family secret even to this day. Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Hope Scarves supporting cancer patients through stories and encouragement

Hope Scarves was created to capture the stories of courageous women and encourage others by passing along scarves and stories of hope to those diagnosed with cancer. Learn more about how a small idea in Louisville expanded to a national stage. Learn more at: hopescarves.org. Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted for a number of things, not the least of which is horse racing, bourbon,...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: What is old becomes new again — swimbaits will fool that trophy fish

By Lee McClellan Special to KyForward (This is the sixth installment of the “Spring Fishing Fever” series of articles detailing productive fishing techniques and opportunities across Kentucky. The series will continue until early summer. An archive of past articles is available on the department’s website at www.fw.ky.gov). Anglers with a bit of salt in their hair remember fondly the venerable...

Bluegrass & Backroads: Carriage business just a ‘365-day vacation’ for Jonsie Jones of Bardstown

We’ll introduce you to “Jonsie” Jones, a man whose love of horses has given him a wonderful business that both honors his father and links him to his beloved community of Bardstown. He calls his job a “vacation 365 days a year. Not very many people can say that.” Kentucky is a state defined by its history and noted for a number of things, not the least of which is horse...