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[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – Fall is a great time for outdoor fun and festivals, especially when they include free activities that everyone in the family can enjoy. The first-ever Kentucky Gathering will include plenty of those options for children and parents on Friday, Nov. 1, and Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Alltech Arena in the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
The fun events are hosted around the Alltech National Horse Show in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, where world-class equestrians will compete in captivating events, including the LIFEFORCE Elite™ Puissance, the equestrian “high jump” event in which horses jump up to 7 feet in the air.
“People of all ages are rallying around the Kentucky Gathering, and we are thrilled to see the enthusiasm,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. “We certainly wanted to be able to offer fun and education for our young ones as well as their parents, because the Kentucky Gathering is all about people young and old coming together to celebrate what makes this state great.”
During the weekend of Nov. 1-2, children will delight in the outdoor kids’ play area directly outside of the Alltech Arena, featuring bouncy houses, pony rides, face painting, and even a mini jumping course that mimics equestrian show jumping. Parents can avoid any logistical headaches thanks to free, convenient on-site parking and hourly trolleys to and from downtown Lexington. The play area – which offers free admission – will also include plenty of interactive educational booths from across the state, where children can learn more about Kentucky’s equine and agricultural heritage. The Alltech National Horse Show Mascot will also be there to greet children. This jaunty horse in a top hat awaits a name and background story that Kentucky’s children will provide; contest submissions and winners will be displayed at the event. The children’s area will be open on Friday, Nov. 1, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The free hourly trolleys will run round-trip from the Fifth Third Bank Pavilion at Cheapside Park in downtown Lexington to the Kentucky Horse Park on Friday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Halloween night is also an evening to mark on the calendar, as children and their parents are invited for free indoor trick-or-treating with their favorite characters. In a weather-controlled, safe environment, children will enjoy interacting with Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story,” Cinderella, Spider Man and more of their favorites at the Alltech Arena on Thursday, Oct. 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Both parents and children can join Jackie and Dan Evans from NBC’s reality weight-loss TV show “The Biggest Loser” for one of three races during The Biggest Loser RunWalk on Saturday, Nov. 2. Participants can choose between a 5k, a 15k and a one-mile fun run. Each participant will receive a t-shirt, finisher’s medal, drawstring backpack and a daytime pass to the Alltech National Horse Show. Register at www.biggestloserrunwalk.com by Oct. 30.
Parents will be drawn to the Kentucky Gathering as well to eat, drink and experience Kentucky like never before. “Savor Kentucky” will showcase the best of Kentucky’s craft beers, artisan foods and bourbon. The event takes place on Nov. 1 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Nov. 2 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is only $10. Samples of food, beer and bourbon will be offered. From bourbon-infused delights created by Bourbon Barrel Foods to beer cheese grits from Red State BBQ, there will be something for every palate. Attendees will even have the chance to participate in sensory sessions with Master Brewers and Distillers to better understand beer and spirit styles and how to properly taste them. Along with food and drink sampling, the event will also feature live music including Central Kentucky country crooner Dillon Carmichael.
Boutique shopping from vendors across the country will be available throughout the week of the Alltech National Horse Show Oct. 29 - Nov. 3. Fine glassware, equestrian-themed and Kentucky-themed gifts, jewelry and other specialty items will be for sale in the concourse of the Alltech Arena.
Beyond the Kentucky Horse Park, Dine Lexington! Restaurant Week Oct. 25 - Nov. 3 will offer another way to enjoy the Kentucky Gathering. For the special week, participating locally owned and operated restaurants will offer a $25 fixed price menu, including such favorites as Azur, Parlay Social and Stella’s Kentucky Deli. The list of participating restaurants continues to grow and is listed on the Dine Lexington! Facebook Event.
To stay up to date on the latest developments regarding this family-friendly public event celebrating Kentucky’s magnificent horses, unmatched hospitality and rich culture, visit www.kentuckygathering.com