Kentucky State Fair offers a chance to celebrate Kentucky agriculture

By Sen. Ralph Alvarado

Suppose you have ever visited the beautiful Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. In that case, you probably remember the rotunda, featuring a statue of President Abraham Lincoln and other famous Kentuckians, such as statesmen like Henry Clay and pioneers like Dr. Ephraim McDowell. If you look above them toward the inside of the Capitol dome, you will see four murals, which unites elements significant to Kentucky’s history.

The murals represent the Commonwealth’s Culture, such as music and dance, art, faith, law, and more; Industry includes our world-renowned bourbon industry, the state’s river, stream paddlewheel heritage, Kentuckians’ work ethic, and architecture; Civitas, or our shared civilization, progress, and strength; and finally, Nature, which naturally represents Kentucky’s rich agrarian foundations.  

Kentucky’s agriculture industry is wide-reaching. It is at the foundation of our thriving horse racing industry and provides food for store shelves of Kentucky small businesses and the tables of Kentucky families. Farmers in our Commonwealth provide goods far beyond the borders of Kentucky. Products created locally can be identified by their “Kentucky Proud” logo.

Kentucky’s agriculture industry will be on full display starting next Thursday, August 19, at the 2021 Kentucky State Fair. The fair is hosted at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville at 937 Phillips Lane.

The Kentucky State Fair has served as a celebration and display for the agriculture industry for well over a century. The first official Kentucky State Fair was held all the way back in 1902 when, according to reporting by WHAS11 News from 2019, over 75,000 people attended and endured “ill” weather. In 1904, the fair was canceled after it had funds tied up in a lawsuit. Two other cancellations occurred in 1942 and 1943 at the height of World War II.  That happened to state fairs nationwide as fuel, tires, and space were conserved to support the war effort. Seventeen buildings at the fairgrounds were converted to house an ever-expanding requirement of Tube Turns for airplane and motor cylinder manufacturers.  

As you can see, Kentucky does not just have a rich history of providing Kentucky Proud products and keeping bellies full. The history of our State Fair also includes providing direct assistance to the war efforts and defending freedom and liberty. This year’s state fair is an excellent opportunity to use our liberties to support Kentucky agriculture. As your State Senator, I am proud to support our agriculture industry in the Kentucky General Assembly. 

The State Fair will be hosting several legislative committee meetings, including several on Thursday, August 26, such as the Health, Welfare, and Family Services Committee (8:30 a.m.), on which I serve as co-chair, and the Local Government (11 a.m.); and State Government (2:30 p.m.) Committees, both of which I serve on as a member. The meetings will be broadcast live at ket.org/legislature.

Following COVID-19’s impact on last year’s state fair, which allowed for participants only and no members of the general public, I encourage you to help make this year’s Kentucky State Fair a glowing success. There is so much to do at the State Fair. Keep in mind that some mask requirements apply in certain settings and may be subject to change.

The fair features rides, talent competitions, the World’s Championship Horse Show, animals such as dairy and beef cattle, goats, mules, and sheep. “AgLand” features 4-H programs, Future Farmers of America exhibits, and so much more.

Support Kentucky’s farmers and the agriculture industry while enjoying a great time with friends and family. You can find tickets by visiting kystatefair.org/tickets. We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of Kentucky’s farmers. Their talents are on full display next week during the Kentucky State Fair.

I hope you and your loved ones can enjoy a fun time at the Kentucky State Fair. Be safe. God Bless.

Senator Ralph Alvarado (R-Winchester) represents the 28th State Senate District, including Clark and Montgomery Counties and the eastern portion of Fayette County. He serves as co-chairman of the Interim Joint Committee on Health, Welfare, and Family Services, and is a member of the Interim Joint Committees on Banking and Insurance; Local Government, and State Government.  He also serves as a liaison member of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Human Resources. Additionally, he serves as a member of the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Statutory Committee, the Severe Mental Illness Task Force, and the Unemployment Insurance Reform Task Force.