Bourbon on the Banks - Wilderness Trail Distillery, Fresh Bourbon Distilling Co., Painted Ladies

Bourbon on the Banks is a whiskey festival that takes place on the picturesque banks of the Kentucky River in downtown Frankfort, Kentucky’s River View Park. Not only is Frankfort Kentucky’s state capital, but it is also home to several nearby distilleries. In fact, as soon as you get out of your vehicle to walk to the Festival you are met with the smell of fresh mash in the air as it travels down the river from Buffalo Trace Distillery. This year’s festival welcomed more than 1,400 bourbon fans with bourbon, sunshine, music, food and fun on Saturday, October 1, 2022. 

The festival features large heritage distilleries as well as smaller craft distilleries from miles around. This year’s event featured more than 50 distilleries from Indiana, KentuckyOhio, Tennessee and as far away as Washington. In addition to whiskey the festival features a variety of food trucks, shops with handmade collections of bourbon-themed art, and an eclectic collection of acoustic musicians each performing in their own pop-up tent about every 150’.

Bourbon on the Banks is a bit different from other whiskey festivals in that it’s a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. Funds are privately raised and primarily derived from corporate sponsorships and event ticket sales. A portion of the proceeds fund student scholarships to the Kentucky State University (KSU) Fermentation & Distillation program and/or students from Frankfort/Franklin County to attend any distillation and spirits college accredited program. Proceeds also serve to stimulate economic development in the downtown district of Frankfort. A portion of the proceeds also go toward White Oak Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and sustainability of the white oak which is used in the manufacturing of bourbon.

Bourbon on the Banks 2023 Dates

Bourbon on the Banks takes place the first Saturday in October. So, next year’s 2023 Bourbon on the Banks will take place Saturday, October 7, 2023 along with a VIP event on the evening of Friday, October 6, 2023.

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