It will probably happen only once in a lifetime, and that is on Saturday: the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Keeneland's fall meet and University of Kentucky football will coalesce beneath a brilliant Bluegrass sky, with temperatures in Lexington expected in the low 80s. If you try hard, the timing would allow you to make all three. Or you could take it easy and make just one expedition.
Commander Michael Blanton, the czar of traffic with the Lexington Police Department, suggests that, no matter which event you choose, you leave earlier than normal and be patient. But, he says the traffic will be in different quadrants of the city and won't overlap. Still, he anticipates heavy traffic at WEG, with possible 20- to 30-minute delays, and heavier than usual traffic for up to three hours on either side of the 7:30 p.m. UK-Auburn game, which might draw 70,000 people.
Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
You ought to go: It won't be here after Sunday, and it's really growing on us. It offers the drama of the competition, the elegance of the Alltech Experience, the beauty of all those horses.
You ought not to go: The tickets for the competitions are pricey — up to $130 for the Rolex Top Four jumping event.
If you go: Take Lextran, which leaves the downtown transit center every half hour and costs $1 each way. There is no grounds pass, but $45 will get you in to see the park and is also a ticket to the driving marathon from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. College students get in free with identification on Saturday. That includes the driving marathon, the pavilions, vendor displays and the Equine Village.
Keeneland fall meet begins
You ought to go: It's fall in Lexington. Men don their khakis and navy blazers, the eccentric break out the tweed, women teeter on the last hurrah of strappy sandals, and everybody pretends they know how to bet. If you're alive and solvent, you go to Keeneland to let Central Kentucky know it. And it's the only event of the three where you could make a profit.
You ought not to go: You are rarely that smart a bettor, and you could be too tired for an astounding UK football game. Plus, you can go to Keeneland during the week, when every office in Lexington is empty as employees have an afternoon of, ahem, "working from home."
If you go: Pretty parking, and lots of it. The downside is that almost everyone leaves at once. The cost to get in is $5. Gates open at 11 a.m.; post time is 1:05 p.m. Tailgating is allowed.
You ought to go: You can sleep in until afternoon because the game doesn't start until 7:30 p.m. You can tailgate, which means that you can get stuffed on burgers that cost you less than $1 each, cheese included, and make your own WEG-inspired vodka lemonade. And there's little that's more rousing on an autumn evening than the roar of tens of thousands of fans, the glare of the Commonwealth Stadium lights and the sight of all that blue.
You ought not to go: UK Coach Joker Phillips' team has suffered two deflating losses in a row, to Florida and Mississippi. And this is the first of a three-game UK homestand, so you have two more chances in the next two weeks. Auburn is ranked No. 8, so the game might not be pretty.
If you go: If you drive and insist on parking near the stadium, try not to irk the neighbors by blocking driveways or leaving a trail of Bud Light cans behind. Also, setting couches afire if UK wins is frowned upon. Average ticket cost: $50.