Bourbon County: Secretariat Festival revving up

Paris artist Laura Carson created the festival logo and artwork.
Paris artist Laura Carson created the festival logo and artwork.

This weekend is a busy one in Bourbon County. Artwalk XII is set for 5-8 p.m. Friday in downtown Paris, and the Secretariat 5K Big Red Run/Walk and the Bourbon County Secretariat Festival 2012 will both take place Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.

At the Artwalk, local and regional artists pair with downtown Paris businesses to showcase their work, which ranges from oil and acrylic paintings, photography, metal and bronze sculptures, wood carvings, pottery, ornate jewelry work, basket weaving and more. Artwalk draws more than 1,500 visitors biannually to downtown Paris for a night of friends, food, live music and artwork.

For the second year, Artwalk will feature Barrel-mania, an exhibit of Kentucky oak barrels that have been hand-painted by regional artists. The barrels will be auctioned along with a celebrity-signed Secretariat Festival edition Maker's Mark bottle. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Secretariat Foundation and local nonprofits.

On Saturday, the Bourbon County Secretariat Festival begins at 9:45 a.m. at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds. Admission to the event is free.

The morning of the festival, the 5K Big Red Run/Walk will take place at neighboring Adena Springs Farm, 701 Cane Ridge Road. The race is at 9 a.m.; registration begins at 8 a.m. The registration fee is $19.73 in advance or $25 on race day. Call (859) 707-4696 for race information.

Saturday activities at the fairgrounds include celebrity autograph signings, equine demonstrations and competitions, tours of Claiborne Farm, miniature horse demonstration, an arts, crafts and gift fair, children's activities, and singing by Arthur Hancock III and IV.

Celebrities at the Secretariat Festival will include Secretariat's owner Penny Chenery; Secretariat's Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte; Kate Tweedy, Chenery's daughter, who will be signing copies of her new book, Riva Ridge — Penny's First Champion, with co-author Leeanne Meadows Ladin; and several Derby-winning jockeys.

Free children's activities, including designing wooden horse ornaments, creating jockey silks and playing horse-related games, will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Children can also ride the "Pony Express," directly from Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron's North American Riding Academy. This attraction allows children to experience horse racing just like a jockey.

For more information about the Secretariat Festival, including online registration for Claiborne Farm tours, the 5K Big Red Run/Walk, visit,, or call (859) 987-8744.