Street festival to coincide with Games

Lexington will throw a 16-day street festival during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010.

Spotlight Lexington will be Sept. 25, 2010, to Oct. 10, 2010, and will include a number of events held at the Courthouse Plaza, Cheapside Park and Triangle Park in downtown.

Events include live entertainment, food vendors, an arts and crafts fair and live broadcasts of the events at the Kentucky Horse Park.

"What's exciting is there may be many, many things happening," said Penny Ebel, the city's special events director. "There may be something going on at the Opera House, there may be something going on at Rupp Arena, there may be something going on at the Singletary Center. That's what we want, a lot of things for the community to be involved in and a lot of choices for the visitors to make a good experience of their visit to Lexington."

The World Games 2010 Foundation is supportive of everything the Lexington committee is doing to create a festival atmosphere downtown, said Amy Walker, foundation spokeswoman.

"While our primary role is to put on a world championship, we also want to be sure the spectators have a great time while they're here and have a great time when they leave the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park."

Organizers will be looking for sponsors to help pay for the $800,000 to $1 million festival, Ebel said. "We don't want this to be a burden on the Urban County Government budget."

The Courthouse Plaza will be the downtown location where the medals will be reawarded to the winners, Ebel said. The official medal awards will take place at the Horse Park.

It's unclear how many many medal ceremonies will take place downtown or at what time they will be held.

Lunchtime activities at the plaza include street performers and musicians, food vendors and live broadcasts of the action at the Horse Park.

"We in no way want to detract from all of the restaurants that are around downtown," Ebel said. "We are encouraging folks to come in and get lunch and eat lunch in the plaza."

A Jumbotron screen will be set up in the plaza, Ebel said. The live broadcast could be expanded beyond lunch hours to the entire day, she said.

In the evenings, there will be concerts at the plaza as well as Cheapside Park. Kentucky entertainers, local and regional, will be showcased on both stages.

The performances won't be limited to musical groups, Ebel said. "We may have some theater, some dance."

Triangle Park will be the site of an arts and crafts fair. It hasn't been decided whether the art fair will be held over a weekend or over a more extended period.

In addition to the plaza and Cheapside stages, festival organizers plan to have street entertainers and street musicians set up at a number of street corners.

"We want to have something going on all of the time," Ebel said. "We may have one or two venues going on at the same time that way people can choose what they want to sit down and listen to or watch."