Markets, Fairs & Festivals in Lexington, Kentucky (2024)

Here in Lexington, we love any excuse to gather together and enjoy some good food, good music, good drinks, and good company. Maybe that’s why our calendar is filled with so many markets, fairs and festivals celebrating everything from street art to the Thriller dance. Just about any time you’re in town, we probably have something fun and unique going on--so come join the party.

Weekly and Monthly Events

Markets, Fairs & Festivals in Lexington, Kentucky (1)

If you’re looking for a get-together, the Fifth Third Pavilion downtown is a good place to start. Just about every Saturday, the Lexington Farmers’ Market is here, selling seasonal produce, delicious prepared foods, local specialties, and probably one or two things you’ve never heard of. On Thursdays, beginning in April and ending in October, this is the site of Thursday Night Live--the best way to kick off the weekend, featuring live music, drink specials, and plenty of company.

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The first Friday of every month from May through December, you can check out more live music, local artisans, food trucks and craft beer at the Night Market on the north side of downtown. Some months, Night Market lines up with our Gallery Hop, when local artists and galleries open their doors as Lexingtonians take a stroll through the city’s art scene.

Film, Theater and Dance

Ready to celebrate the performing arts? Film buffs shouldn’t miss the One World Film Festival, which has been held for more than 20 years at the Kentucky Theater, the Lexington Public Library Theater, and includes speakers, screenings and discussions about current events and culture. For folks looking for something a little more Kentucky-specific, check out the Harry Dean Stanton Fest, held every October in honor of Kentucky-born actor Harry Dean Stanton. Various downtown venues host screenings, speakers, concerts, and other events related to this cinematic icon.

Dance and theater enthusiasts love the annual Ballet Under the Stars, a night of professional ballet held every summer at Woodland Park. On the other side of the spectrum is our annual Thriller Parade and Halloween Festival, a city-wide Halloween party culminating in thousands of zombies doing the Thriller dance down Main Street. It’s as weird as it sounds, and it’s no wonder it’s been named a Top 10 Halloween Destination by USA Today.

Art, Home and Garden

There’s nothing like original art to make your home your own--and there’s nothing better than buying it from the artist. We have art festivals throughout the year where you can browse and purchase from artists throughout the region, starting with Mayfest at Gratz Park in May, featuring up to 100 artists. The big one, though, is the Woodland Art Fair in August, a nearly 50-year tradition in Central Kentucky and one of the top art fairs in the country. Featuring some 200 artists and drawing nearly 70,000 attendees, it’s a summer favorite in Lexington.

Of course, Lexington is known for our street art, most of which happens during our annual PRHBTN festival, held every October. The festival kicks off with an opening reception at the Loudoun House, featuring works for sale by local artists, and continues with a rocking afterparty and, of course, the ongoing creation of murals all around town.

Other notable events for folks looking for art and decor include the Blue Grass Trust Antiques & Garden Show, held every March at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, the Central Kentucky Home and Garden Show, held every April at the Central Bank Center, and the festive Holly Day Market, held every November, also at the Central Bank Center. All feature vendors, art, decor, gifts, and plenty of great local pieces to browse and bring home.

Food, Food, Food

If you come to Lexington, you’re going to eat well. We’re big fans of good food here--so much that we celebrate it every chance we’ve got. Come by in June and hit up the Bluegrass BBQ Fest downtown, or jump into the madness of Burger Week every July, featuring dozens of restaurants each with their own one-of-a-kind burger for only $5. But our biggest food fest is Crave, which sees more than 50 food trucks and restaurants descend on Masterson Station Park every August for a giant food and music festival. It’s a great way to try something new and find your new favorite place to eat here in Lexington.


Most of the festivals and events we’ve already mentioned feature live music of some sort--it’s just part of throwing a good party. But if you’re looking for a whole festival devoted to music, we have those too. Check out Tahlsound, held on Southland Drive every September, featuring a variety of local and regional bands, and the Festival of the Bluegrass, which celebrates traditional bluegrass music at the Kentucky Horse Park every June. And, of course, you can’t miss Railbird, Lexington’s largest music festival, which takes place at Keeneland in August. With a first-year lineup that included The Raconteurs, Old Crow Medicine Show and Tyler Childers, it’s a new festival that’s already making headlines. (Did we mention there’s also some great food and great bourbon at Railbird? Just in case you needed another reason to come.)

CultureMarkets, Fairs & Festivals in Lexington, Kentucky (3)

Our diversity is one of the things that makes Lexington great, and we love celebrating it. From the St. Patricks’ Day Parade and Festival in March to Pride in June and the Roots & Heritage Fest and Festival Latino de Lexington in September, our calendar is filled with events where you can learn about and celebrate other cultures--including some amazing music, performances, and food.

Just for Fun

Of course, we have plenty of events that don’t fit in any of those categories--but that you still don’t want to miss. Don’t miss the Southern Lights, a spectacular drive-through holiday light show and Lexington tradition, locate at the Kentucky Horse Park every winter.

Markets, Fairs & Festivals in Lexington, Kentucky (4)

Check out the Land Rover Three-Day Event in April for three days of jaw-dropping equine athleticism, plus plenty of shopping at their massive trade fair. Join the fun at the Lexington Lions’ Club Bluegrass Fair in June and the Fourth of July Festival in, you guessed it, July. Or come party at an old-fashioned block party. Neighborhood vendors and merchants take over Southland Drive for the Southland Street Fair in May and the 800 block of Euclid Avenue for the Chevy Chase Street Fair in August. Both events feature live music, street food, drinks, vendors, kids’ activities, and local shopping. They’re Lexington traditions--and since it’s Lexington, you know they’re great parties, too.

When it comes to events in Lexington, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out our full calendar of events here.

Markets, Fairs & Festivals in Lexington, Kentucky (2024)


What is Lexington, Kentucky known for historically? ›

Farms raised commodity crops of tobacco and hemp, and thoroughbred horse breeding and racing became established in this part of the state. By 1850, Lexington had the highest concentration of enslaved people in the entire state. The city also had a significant population of free blacks, who were often of mixed race.

What was the population of Lexington KY in 1970? ›

1970 – Population: 108,137.

How old is Lexington, KY? ›

Lexington was founded in 1775, one year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, by William McConnell and frontier explorers who set up camp near a natural springs, now known as McConnell Springs.

Who is the most famous person from Lexington KY? ›

1. George Clooney. George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nina Bruce (née Warren), a former beauty pageant queen, and Nick Clooney, a former anchorman and television host (who was also the brother of singer Rosemary Clooney).

What to do in Lexington, KY for adults? ›

Top Attractions in Lexington
  • Keeneland. 2,940. Horse Tracks. ...
  • James E. Pepper Distillery. 1,199. ...
  • Kentucky Horse Park. 2,756. Speciality Museums. ...
  • Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. 1,003. Breweries. ...
  • Mary Todd Lincoln House. 775. Historic Sites. ...
  • Mill Ridge Farm. 404. Farms. ...
  • Ashland: The Henry Clay Estate. 546. ...
  • Godolphin. 170.

What is the oldest city in Kentucky? ›

The City of Harrodsburg Kentucky was founded in 1774 as the first permanent settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. As Kentucky's oldest town, the city is located in the heart of the Bluegrass Region and is surrounded by rolling countryside, horse farms, historic stone fences, historic architecture and culture.

What is the racial makeup of Lexington KY? ›

White: 71.81% Black or African American: 14.7% Two or more races: 6.35%

What is the nickname of Lexington Kentucky? ›

Known as the "Horse Capital of the World", Lexington is a great place to live and work, whether or not you are single or raising a family! With a population of more than 322,000 and a metropolitan area of approximately 516,000, it is the second largest city in Kentucky.

Did Johnny Depp live in Lexington KY? ›

Johnny Depp's horse farm in Lexington is listed as “pending” after two years on the market. Depp is an Owensboro native and the star of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. He bought the property in 1995 for $950,000 but sold it in 2001 for $1 million before buying it back four years later for $2 million.

What is the oldest business in Lexington Kentucky? ›

Six Generations of Tradition & Service to the Community

Milward Funeral Directors is Lexington's oldest and the 37th oldest continuously operating business in the United States.

Is Lexington KY a wealthy area? ›

The per capita income in Lexington in 2018 was $40,953, which is wealthy relative to Kentucky, and upper middle income relative to the rest of the US. This equates to an annual income of $163,812 for a family of four. However, Lexington contains both very wealthy and poor people as well.

What is the city of Lexington known for? ›

Lexington, Kentucky: Horse Capital of the World®

What makes Lexington special? ›

Lexington is the Horse Capital of the World, center of the Thoroughbred breeding universe and home to the Kentucky Horse Park, as well as the historic Keeneland Racecourse: a National Historic Landmark, open for visitors year-round.

What is an interesting fact about Lexington Kentucky? ›

Lexington, KY, is the Horse Capital of the World

The city is home to renowned horse farms, including the historic Calumet Farm, where legendary racehorses like Citation and Secretariat were bred.

Was there a war in Lexington Kentucky? ›

Lexington, Kentucky was a city of importance during the American Civil War, with notable residents participating on both sides of the conflict. These included John C. Breckinridge, Confederate generals John Hunt Morgan and Basil W.


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