The weekend of September 18-20 lends a picture-perfect autumn backdrop to the 8th Annual Bourbon County Secretariat Festival in historic Paris, Kentucky, honoring the 1973 Triple Crown winner and showcasing the Commonwealth’s pride in its Bluegrass heritage. This year the Secretariat Festival is bigger and better than ever, expanding the schedule of events over the course of two days, inviting visitors of all ages to the heart of horse country to celebrate its most famous resident.
Pre-Festival activities begin Thursday evening, September 17 at 5:30 pm at the “Third Thursday” gathering in Paris with the Barrel Mane-ia Preview. This event features the display of select hand-painted Kentucky oak mini-barrels, creatively embellished by regional artists to reflect the area’s spirited heritage and equine culture.
Friday, Sept. 18 – Downtown Paris: Paris Artwalk – Main St., 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Bill Nack Storytelling event, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Oasis Event Hall, 610 Main St.
Seattle Slew Decanter signing with jockey Jean Cruguet and trainer Billy Turner, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Barrel Mane-ia Bourbon Tasting Party and Auction, Oasis Event Hall, 610 Main St., 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 20 – Bourbon County Fairgrounds, Free admission – Gates open at 9:00 a.m.:
Celebrity Autograph Signing (tentative signing times shown, please check back prior to event to confirm):
Penny Chenery – Secretariat’s owner (beginning at 11:45 a.m.)
Ron Turcotte – Secretariat’s Triple Crown winning jockey (beginning at 10:00 a.m.)
Charlie Davis – Secretariat’s exercise rider (beginning at 10:00 a.m.)
Bill Nack – acclaimed author of Secretariat: The Making of a Champion (Time TBA)
Otto Thorwarth – actor/jockey who portrayed Ron Turcotte in Disney’s “SECRETARIAT” (beginning at 1:00 p.m.)
Kentucky Derby winners:
Jean Cruguet and trainer Billy Turner– Seattle Slew, 1977 Triple Crown (beginning at 10:30 a.m.)
Jacinto Vasquez – Foolish Pleasure, 1975 & Genuine Risk, 1980 (beginning at 12:00 p.m.)
Pat Day – Lil E. Tee, 1992 (beginning at 12:00 p.m.)
Chris McCarron – Alysheba, 1987 & Go For Gin, 1994 (beginning at 1:30 p.m.)
Mike Manganello – Dust Commander, 1970 (beginning at 1:30 p.m.)
Bobby Ussery – Proud Clarion, 1967 & Dancer’s Image, 1968 (dq) (beginning at 10:30 a.m.)Official Secretariat Merchandise and Memorabilia Store
Adena Springs Farm Tours – 9:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m.
Claiborne Farm Tours every hour beginning at 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Equine Exhibitions beginning at 9:45 a.m.
Secretariat Archives Auction (closes at 4:30 p.m.)
Children’s Activities including “Ride Like a Jockey” on the North American Riding Academy Mechanical Horse Simulator
Food, Entertainment, and Live Music featuring Dale Pyatt and the ChickenGrease Band
Advance Signature Purchase for Penny Chenery autographs is now available
Sunday, Sept. 20 – Explore Secretariat’s Kentucky
LOUISVILLE EVENTS –
Located at Kentucky Derby Museum, 704 Central Ave. – Secretariat Guinness Record Attempt Shoe Unveiling – Kentucky Derby Museum, 1:00 p.m. Meadow Stable team appearance and signing to follow. Museum Gates open at 11:00 a.m.
Churchill Downs – Live Racing – First Post – 12:45 p.m., Racetrack Gates open at 11:30 a.m.
Transportation from Lexington to Louisville events available via Big Red Bus excursion option
LEXINGTON EVENTS – Located at Kentucky Horse Park, 4089 Iron Works Parkway
Darley Stud Farm Tour – 9:00 a.m. departing from the Kentucky Horse Park, check in at main lobby
Kentucky Horse Park – Open 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., featuring a wealth of equine-related attractions
Kentucky Derby Tours members heard all about the Secretariat Festival when Debbie Blair, Director of the Festival joined us for lunch in Lexington. Go to Secretariat.com for more information