Lexington, KY -- Inspired by the 40th anniversary of the “Festival of the Bluegrass”, a group of local music, civic and city leaders announced a weeklong celebration called “Best Of Bluegrass” – also being referred to affectionately by its acronym - “BOB”. The new event, to be held June 3-8, will take place at venues all over the Lexington area as well as the traditional location at the Kentucky Horse Park.
An eclectic mix of entities are involved, including the Lexington Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Cornett-IMS, Downtown Lexington Corporation, LAMA, LFUCG, Lextran, Natasha’s, Smiley Pete Publishing, Red Barn Radio, Southland Jamboree, Willie’s and Woodsongs – with even more planned to be announced later this year.
Tom Martin of Lexington Area Musicians Association (LAMA), commented, “Our ultimate aim is to make this an annual celebration uniting existing performance assets within our city --- some that are relatively new and some that have thrived since the 70’s.”
One of those is the Festival of the Bluegrass, created by the Cornett family and carried on today by Roy Cornett and his wife AnnaMarie. “The mission of our festival has been to celebrate Appalachian culture through traditional bluegrass music. But we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of “BOB” and help it grow as well as getting people to our event.”
For the first time ever, through a partnership with Lextran, trolley service will be available from the center of downtown Lexington to the Kentucky Horse Park during the Festival of the Bluegrass.
Jim Browder, President of Lexington’s Convention & Tourism Bureau, feels that BOB could be an exciting lure for regional tourists. “This will bring a wealth of new visitors here, given the popularity of the bluegrass music genre and our region’s already world class allure,” said Browder.
Starting on Monday, June 3 and continuing through June 8, various national and regional bluegrass artists will perform in prominent locales – many in the downtown Lexington area. In addition, BOB will also feature numerous “hands on” workshops with some of the top names in bluegrass music.
“This is a very exciting development for our city from a tourism and economic development perspective,” declared Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. “Our goal is to eventually make our storied bluegrass region the home of the bluegrass industry’s big events – including their two-day convention and awards show.”p