The Kentucky State Fair has all the hallmarks you'd expect for a state fair—agricultural contests, fun food, and a full schedule of events. The state's official fair draws more than 600,000 people to Louisville, who come to join in the fun. For eleven days in August, the schedule of Kentucky State Fair events is packed with fun for all ages.
Kentucky State Fair History and Facts
The Kentucky Exposition Center is one of the largest state fair facilities in America. Its 400 acres are home to more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space and an arena that can seat up to 19,000 people. It shares a parking lot with Six Flags Kentucky and, the expo center is close to the airport and downtown Louisville attractions.
The first fair took place in 1816, making it one of the first in America. The current fairgrounds opened much later in 1956, and received an extensive remodeling in 2007. The name, originally the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, was shortened to the Kentucky Exposition Center to reflect its broader mission. When the Kentucky State Fair isn't on the schedule, the grounds hosts concerts, sporting events, and other big shows.
Tickets to the Kentucky State Fair
General admission tickets are discounted for kids 12 and under and visitors above the age of 54. Infants and toddlers, two and under, can always enter the fairgrounds for free. Additional tickets are required for the rides. Discounted tickets can be purchased in advance, and for the grandstand events at the Kentucky State Fair 2019.
You'll also need to buy tickets if you'd like to see the World's Championship Horse Show, one of the most popular Kentucky State Fair events year after year.
Directions to the Kentucky State Fair
The Exposition Center is officially located at 937 Phillips Lane in Louisville, right at the junction of Interstates 264 and I-65. From either interstate, follow the signs that say Fair/Expo Center. From I-65, take exit 131B, which is Phillips Lane. The interstate heads south from Indianapolis and continues to Nashville, with the Kentucky State Fair right in the middle. I-264, the Watterman Expressway, connects to I-64, which heads from Saint Louis east to Lexington.
Lodging near the Kentucky Fair
Many Louisville hotels are clustered in this part of town. If one of the Kentucky State Fair events runs late, it will be nice to have accommodations nearby, especially ones that are easy to find. Candlewood Suites Louisville Airport is located at 1367 Gardiner Lane, a quick drive from the fairgrounds. Designed for extended stays, this hotel offers all the comforts of home, including kitchen space and expansive floor plans for all 100 of its suites. Guests will find a fitness center and laundry facilities available for common use, as is a 24-hour convenience store.
The Holiday Inn Louisville Airport is less than a mile from the Kentucky Fair. Beyond the guestrooms, you'll find an indoor heated pool and fitness center, along with a cafe and lounge. The 106 guests incorporate twenty-first-century design and technology with a large LCD TV, leather chair, and pillow-top mattresses. High-speed Internet is provided for free to all guests.