local events in old historical towns

Local Events in Old Historical Towns


When it comes to small town life in Kentucky, there is no shortage of things to do. From festivals and fairs to historical celebrations and storytelling festivals, these communities offer a wide range of events for visitors and locals alike. In this article, we will explore some upcoming events in small towns across Kentucky and highlight the rich history of these charming river towns.

Upcoming Events

Here is a list of some upcoming events in small towns across Kentucky:

  1. Augusta: Rotary Heritage Days – August 30-September 3. Contact 716-515-8019 for more information.
  2. Carrollton: Bands and BBQ at the Point – September 8. Contact 502-732-7036 for details.
  3. Central City: GospelFest 2023 – Lu-Ray Park, August 30, 7 PM. Contact 270-754-5097 for more information.
  4. Danville: Special Stand Comedy Weekend Starring Lee Cruse – Pioneer Playhouse, August 18-19. Contact 859-236-2747 or visit pioneerplayhouse.com for tickets.
  5. Wilmore: MORE TALES Storytelling Festival – Dan Glass Pavilion, September 15-16. Contact ajbryson12@gmail.com for more details.
  6. Madisonville: Star Party – Mahr Park Arboretum, August 26, 9 PM. Contact 270-584-9017 for more information.
  7. Somerset: Somernites Cruise Super Cruise Weekend & Mustang Alley 2023 – August 26. Contact 606-872-2277 for details.
  8. Stearns: Barthell Coal Camp Train Rides – Big South Fork Scenic Railway, April to November 6. Contact 606-376-5330 or visit bsfsry.com/information for tickets.
  9. Carlisle: 241st Battle of Blue Licks Commemoration – August 18-20. Contact 859-289-5507 for more information.
  10. Oak Grove: Annual Butterfly Festival – September 2. Contact 270-439-5675 for details.
  11. Beattyville: 16th Annual Three Forks Old Engine, Tractor Show & Fish Fry – September 9. Contact 606-464-2888 for more information.
  12. Union: 39th Annual Salt Festival – Big Bone Lick Park, October 20-22. Contact 859-384-3522 for details.
  13. Union: Monster Mash Bash – October 27-29. Contact 859-384-3522 for more information.
  14. Maysville: Simon Kenton Festival – Historic Old Washington, September 16-17. Contact 606-563-2596 or info@cityofmaysvilleky.gov for details.
  15. Falmouth: Wool Festival – 48 Concord Caddo Rd., October 6-8. Visit kywoolfest.org for more information.
  16. Ashland: Poage Landing Days Festival – September 15-17. Visit poagelandingdays.com for details.

For more event ideas and information on visiting small towns in Kentucky, visit oldtownreview.com.

Exploring the River Towns of Central Kentucky

Melissa Jurgensen’s book, Images of America: River Towns of Central Kentucky (2008, Arcadia Publishing), offers a glimpse into the rich history of nine communities located along the Kentucky River. These towns played a vital role in shaping the state’s history and were once bustling centers of commerce and entertainment.


Tyrone, located in Anderson County, was established as a distillery town in the 1800s. It served as an important hub for the commerce of Woodford and Anderson counties. Today, the Jo Blackburn Bridge, also known as an “S bridge,” connects the two counties and is a popular landmark near the Wild Turkey Distillery.


The community of Oregon, in Mercer County, thrived in the past and was known for its boatyards. One notable figure, Squire Jordan Preston, operated a boatyard in the area and was a well-known riverboat captain. However, with the rise of railroads and the decline of steamboats, Oregon’s prosperity waned, and it became a casualty of changing transportation methods.

Mundy’s Landing

Mundy’s Landing, located in Woodford County, was settled in the late 1700s. In 1847, Jeremiah Mundy built a large inn and tavern in the area, which thrived for many years. However, a scandalous murder case in the early 1900s led to the inn’s closure, and the population of Mundy’s Landing dwindled.

High Bridge

High Bridge, situated in Jessamine County, became a tourist attraction thanks to its railroad bridge. In 1876, a railroad bridge was built, and President Rutherford Hayes attended its dedication. The bridge was replaced in 1911 with a larger structure. While it may not have the same allure today, High Bridge remains a scenic area with a park and a sizeable population.

Camp Nelson

Camp Nelson, located between Jessamine and Garrard counties, is home to the Camp Nelson National Monument Park and the Camp Nelson National Cemetery. These landmarks make it an intriguing destination for history enthusiasts. Though the population surrounding Camp Nelson is small, the historical significance of the area draws visitors from far and wide.

Valley View

The Valley View Ferry, located in Madison County, holds the distinction of being the oldest business in Kentucky. Established before Kentucky became a state in 1792, the ferry has been a vital transportation link for centuries. The community of Valley View, situated on the banks of the Kentucky River, offers a glimpse into the state’s rich history.

Clay’s Ferry

Clay’s Ferry, located at the intersection of I-75 and U.S. Highway 25, is known for its bustling restaurants and businesses. The modern Clay’s Ferry Bridge, completed in 1998, carries a significant amount of traffic each day. This Kentucky River town has a vibrant history and continues to thrive with its commercial activity.

For more information about these river towns and the Kentucky River, consider reading Dr. Bill Ellis’s book, The Kentucky River (2000), published by The University Press of Kentucky.


Kentucky’s small towns offer a wealth of history, charm, and exciting events for visitors and locals alike. Whether you’re interested in attending festivals, exploring historical sites, or simply enjoying the scenic beauty of the Kentucky River, these towns have something to offer everyone. Plan your visit to one of these old historical towns and immerse yourself in the unique culture and heritage of Kentucky. Visit oldtownreview.com for more information and event ideas.

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