August Rush

| August 17, 2011

Kentucky State FairThe sweet smell and decadent taste of Derby Pie lingers in Louisville around the first Saturday of May, but this August you can find the dish floating around the Expo Center as the Kentucky State Fair introduces deep-fried Derby Pie for the first time ever.

The twist on the Derby classic is just one of several additions to this year’s fair, which will run Aug. 18-28.

“We fully bake the (Derby Pie),” said Jon Rupp, sales manager of Kern’s Kitchen. “Sivori (Catering) is taking the pie, cutting it into squares, adding funnel cake batter and deep frying it. I tried it, and it’s outstanding. The nuts are nice and crisp, the chocolate is nice and melted and it’s a quality product that is unique.”

Another fried concoction that fairgoers can try this year is fried Kool-Aid, which also includes funnel cake batter in the ingredients.

“Fried Kool-Aid sounds kind of strange,” said Amanda Storment, vice president of media and public relations for the Kentucky State Fair Board. “It seems like fairgoers want to experience it all and indulge in food that they never eat for the rest of the year – corn dogs, cotton candy, fried candy bars. But at the same time, we’ve had our own farmers market and have a lot to offer in terms of fresh produce, healthy alternatives, salads and low-fat meals.”

Gourmet GardenIn addition to the fresh fruit and vegetables and the funnel cakes and elephant ears, the fair also will feature the traditional livestock shows, including the Sale of Champions, where eight 4-H and FFA exhibitors will sell their champion livestock to hometown and national supporters.

“The Sale of Champions kind of brings the fair home for a lot of people because kids from 4-H have raised these animals,” Storment said. “You’re seeing the best of the best.”

Another attraction Storment suggested is the educational exhibit, which celebrates the national Sesquicentennial (150-year anniversary) of the Civil War, which will be accompanied by a musical performed by the Youth Performing Arts School.

“(The exhibit) promises to be very interesting,” Storment said. “It will depict Kentucky’s role and accompanying it is a mini-musical … written, produced and performed by YPAS. It’s very eye-catching as well and the kids in YPAS are just so talented.”

The 10,000-square-foot exhibition, which is titled “United We Stand, Divided We Fall: Kentucky and the Civil War +150,” will feature Union and Confederate encampments with history re-enactors, artifacts and graphic panels that introduce various aspects of Kentucky’s Civil War story, and a giant floor map of the state’s Civil War sites. On an adjacent stage, YPAS will perform their original mini-musical, “Kentucky’s Civil War Song: From Reveille to Tattoo.”

Thrillway“People are going to have an opportunity to learn about what was going on in the state throughout this period,” said Steph Darst, curator of the Civil War exhibit. “I think (the Civil War) is one of the most transformative events in our history. We’re still trying to figure out all of the turmoil during that time and it ties into how we see our economy and how we view race relations. Kentucky was in a very strategic location and unique political position. A lot of Kentuckians really led the effort to determine the direction for the country. It’s cool for the state to learn about its history.”

While the fair will head back in time to celebrate our history with the Civil War, it’s also taking huge steps forward in technology with its first-ever cell-phone application that allows visitors to search for concert listings, admission prices and other general information. A specialized app will be available for fairgoers with smartphones. Visit to download the app.

The Kentucky State Fair also offers a ton of other great attractions, including livestock exhibits, roving acts, food tents and concerts. There’s something for every age and a different experience every day at the fair.

“We just want everyone to come out and enjoy it,” Storment said. “It’s a whole lot of fun and there’s a lot of new things to try plus the tried and true.”

Coca-Cola Talent Classic Sponsored by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Louisville – Saturday, Aug. 20; Sunday, Aug. 21; Saturday, Aug. 27.

The singing contest is for amateur singers at least 13 years of age and no older than 21. Entries will be accepted in the categories: vocal, instrumental, variety, dance, acrobatics/gymnastics.

Babaloo Music & Fun
A one-man musical comedy act.

Eric Buss, Comedy Imaginator
Comedy magic utilizing pogo sticks, wigs and Barbie dolls.

Handsome Little Devils
This show features classic Vaudeville comedy, high-skill circus acts and a plot rooted in American melodrama with high-energy acts like The Human Cannon, the Ladder of Love and Chainsaw Juggling.

JUMP! The Ultimate Dog Challenge
Championship trick dogs show off balancing and jumping acts in water.

Miller’s Border Collies
Trained dogs execute herding techniques on command.

Nerveless Nocks All-American Stunt and Thrill Show
The “Nerveless Nocks” are synonymous with staging spine-tingling shows. They are among the most respected aerial stunt artists known today.

Sinbad High Dive Show
Sinbad and his band of gold seekers showcase their amazing high dives in their quest to find the lost treasure of the fabled Golden Pineapple.

Greg Frisbee
He juggles knives with his hands on fire, escapes from a straitjacket upside-down or arranges dates between audience members.

Statue Viva
Watch a stone-faced artist stand expressionless, striking famous poses from the past. But observe closely because all of a sudden, the statue comes to life.

(Gate attendants accept cash only, no credit cards or checks will be accepted.)
Adults: $10; children (3-12) and seniors (55+): $6; children 2 and under: free. Parking: $8.

Gates open at 7 a.m., with exhibits open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thrillway rides run Monday-Thursday, from 2 p.m. to midnight, and Friday-Sunday from noon to midnight.

More info

Ky. State Fair Concerts

Def Leppard

Def Leppard

Main Stage concerts

  • Lady Antebellum with special guest Lee Brice: Thursday, Aug. 18.
  • Def Leppard with special guest Heart: Friday, Aug. 19.
  • Jason Aldean with special guests Chris Young and Thompson Square: Saturday, Aug. 20.Maroon 5 and Train with special guest Matt Nathanson: Sunday, Aug. 28.

Free concerts

  • Ted Nugent with special guest Lisa Bouchelle: Thursday, Aug. 18.
  • Boyz II Men: Friday, Aug. 19.
  • Candlebox with Cowboy Mouth: Saturday, Aug. 20.
  • The Oak Ridge Boys with special guest the Grascals: Sunday, Aug. 21.
  • Tenth Avenue North with Francesca Battistelli: Monday, Aug. 22.
  • Joe Nichols with Phil Vassar: Tuesday, Aug. 23.
  • The Happy Together Tour 2011 with The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, The Association, The Grass Roots, Mark Lindsay and The Buckinghams: Wednesday, Aug. 24.
  • John Michael Montgomery with special guest Lorrie Morgan: Thursday, Aug. 25.
  • The Carnival Of Madness Tour featuring Theory Of A Deadman, Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Adelitas Way and Emphatic: Friday, Aug. 26.
  • Luke Bryan with Candy Coburn: Saturday, Aug. 27.

Contact writer Ashley Anderson at

photos courtesy of The Kentucky State Fair

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Ashley Anderson

Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).

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