Lexington KY Year in Review 2022

Lexington KY Year in Review 2022

“I myself am finding the whole thing rather intoxicating. Our little town, the site of an international sports event like this. You have no idea how much wrangling it took to get them here. I lobbied the coordinators for weeks. It was a lot of ouzo and karaoke.”

Taylor Doose, Gilmore Girls

With all due respect to Dickens, 2022 was the best of times, it was the worst of times for Lexington, Kentucky. Covid and its economic after-effects have not disappeared as hoped — but long-delayed growth and expansion still ruled the day in Lexington in 2022. 

In April, state and local officials celebrated the dedication of the $310 million Central Bank Center Expansion project. Major upgrades to Rupp Arena were teased in October 2019 with the unveiling of new seats and new concession offerings. In January 2020, naming and re-branding rights were announced.

April’s dedication came two years after a 2020 beam-topping ceremony when crews placed the final structural steel beam atop the new exhibit hall space. Per construction tradition, the 15-foot beam was adorned with stakeholders’ signatures, an American flag and a live evergreen tree—signifying good luck and prosperity—in celebration of the completion of the structure’s skeleton.

Lexington Center Corporation Board President Bob Elliston said at the time, “Quite simply, this project is, by far, the most important and single largest public investment the city of Lexington has undertaken in almost 50 years.” Completion of the expansion project came after more than 10 years of planning and construction. 

In October, another decade-long journey concluded with a ribbon cutting that officially celebrated the opening of the Town Branch Commons Trail. December’s coverstory interview is with project manager Mike Sewell. 

The December 2022 print edition of Ace also includes Kristina Rosen’s Annual Year in Food wrap-up, along with highlights from Lexington’s big Year in Sports. 


  • The 2022 Breeders’ Cup returned to Keeneland in November, atoning beautifully for a 2020 run that was held without spectators. Flightline closed out his career undefeated.
  • The Votes are in and Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton has been re-elected.
  • The Kentucky Theatre celebrated its 100-year anniversary in October 2022. 
  • Railbird sat out 2022 in Lexington but has announced a June 2023 return of the festival, this time with a new location at Red Mile.
  • After seven decades, The Parkette closed its doors for the final time in June.

This article appears on page 8 of the December 2022 print edition of Ace Magazine. Click to subscribe to the digital edition of Ace, delivered to your inbox.