Downtown trade show to be held during WEG

A newly formed business group is renting out much of the Lexington Convention Center for an equine-themed trade show during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

The International Equestrian Festival is separate from the World Games organization and plans to become an alternative shopping destination to the massive trade show planned at the Horse Park during the Games.

It will be considerably less expensive. IEF spokeswoman Cyndi Greathouse said booths in the downtown center will cost $5,000 for the two weeks of the Games, compared with $12,000 per booth at the Horse Park.

The festival is meant to be supportive to the Games, a place people can come to shop and learn in the afternoon and evenings after competition is finished, Greathouse said.

"It is a trade show, but we're going to do a lot of other things, like seminars, book signings and demonstrations," she said.

She expects to see about 400 to 500 booths.

Although the festival space is less expensive, Greathouse hopes to attract high-end retail — both equine and non-equine — of a type Lexington doesn't always see. She's also trying to get different Kentucky artisans to showcase the state's culture.

The festival entry fee probably will be a $2 donation to local and national equine charities.

For more information, contact Greathouse at