Latin culture in the Bluegrass coalesces at the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza late each summer for Festival Latino de Lexington. The festivities for the 17th annual event are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the plaza, 120 North Limestone. Attractions include plenty of food and music, such as Cuban artists Xiomara Laugart and Axel Tosca Laugart Friday night. Sunday moves out to Masterson Station Park, 3051 Leestown Road, for a health fair from 1 to 5 p.m. To find out more, visit facebook.com/festivallatinolexington.
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The theater crowd
Studio Players opens David Lindsay-Abaire’s comedy “Ripcord” for a three-weekend run at the Carriage House Theatre, 154 West Bell Court. The play, starring Peggy Watts and Pat O’Neil, is about a dizzying game of one-upsmanship between two residents of chichi senior living facility. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and the opening Thursday, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 30. Tickets are $19 adults, $10 students and $16 each in groups of 10 or more. Call 859-257-4929 or visit studioplayers.org.
Big weekend for women writers
The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, 251 West Second Street, is the main venue for the annual Women Writers Conference, which this year features keynote speaker Mary Gaitskill, a 2009 National Book Award nominee for “Because They Wanted To,” poet Tarfia Faizullah, writer and performer Carolyn Finney, and agent Reiko Davis. The event is loaded with workshops, lectures and events including a poetry slam and Kentucky focused reading with Erin Chandler, Leesa Cross-Smith, and Sarah McCartt-Jackson. Events are through Sunday at several locations. Visit womenwriters.as.uky.edu for complete information.
Chamber Orchestra bows with bassoon
For its fourth season kickoff, conductor Jan Pellant leads the Lexington Chamber Orchestra in a concert featuring longtime Lexington Philharmonic and University of Kentucky bassoonist Peter Simpson in Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Bassoon and Strings” and Bach’s “Arioso from Cantata No. 156. The performances are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Tates Creek Presbyterian Church, 3900 Rapid Run Drive, and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Lyric Theatre, 300 East Third Street. Admission is free, but a $10-$20 donation is suggested. Visit lexingtonchamberorchestra.com to learn more.
Back to Civil War days
You can get a 360 look at military and civilian life during the Civil War at the annual Camp Nelson Civil War Days living history event 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Attractions will include a Punch and Judy marionette show, the “School of the Soldier” to show children infantry training and people portraying Abraham Lincoln, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Frederick Douglass. There are herbal medicine demonstrations, live music and a church service Sunday morning. The park is at 6614 Danville Road and you can find more information at campnelson.org.
Showcase of talented kids
The Harstad Fine Arts Series launches its 2018-19 season at 3 p.m. Sunday at Faith Lutheran Church, 1000 Tates Creek Road, with a performance by its scholarship recipients, violinist Madeline Farrar and cellist Benjamin Shapere, and an exhibit by artist Tuesday Hadden. Admission is free, and you can find out more at harstadarts.com.