Welcome to Lexington, Kentucky’s Annual Summer Guide for 2023.
There’s indoor fun, outdoor fun, old and new. Lexington is such an embarrassment of riches in the summertime, it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening and when.
Long before a pandemic entered the lexicon and kept everyone at home, Lexington has always been brimming with summer staycation options.
Once again, the city is anything but sleepy this summer.
From live music to movie series and dozens of Fairs and Fests, Lexington has something for everyone, in every neighborhood, every day this summer.
*As always, times and dates are subject to change. Confirm with the venue.
ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT
JUN 16 Maserati Mingle, Summit
JUN 17 L&N Day, Berea
JUN 17 Paint the Town, downtown Lex
JUL 7 Berea Craft Festival
JUL 15 Concours d’Elegance, Keeneland
JUL 15 GonzoFest, Louisville (10th and final year)
AUG 5 Shaker Village Craft Fair
AUG 12 Picnic with the Pops (Disco), Keeneland
AUG 19 Woodland Art Fair
Lexington’s annual downtown plein air painting event, Paint the Town, is Jun 17. Artists will spend the day painting cityscapes throughout downtown Lexington.
The 2023 Keeneland Concours d’Elegance will feature Cadillac as the Featured Marque and will include two classes of Cadillacs. The June 16 Maserati Mingle is at the Summit. The July 15 Concours d’Elegance is at Keeneland.
Eat and Drink
JUN 10 Beer Cheese Festival, Winchester
JUN 16 SoulFeast Week, Lexington
JUN 17 Kentucky Wine and Vine Fest, Nicholasville
JUN 24 Annual Ashland Lawn Party, Ashland Henry Clay Estate
JUL 20 Lexington Restaurant Week
SEP 14 Bourbon and Beyond, Louisville
SEP 15 Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Bardstown
To join the Ace Eats Out Facebook group,click here.
Fairs and Fests
JUN 8 Bluegrass Fair begins
JUN 10 Southland Street Fair
JUN 10 Bourbon & Blues Festival, Midway
JUN 24 Lexington Pride Festival
JUL 4 Lexington’s July 4th Festival
AUG 12 Small Town America Festival, Mt. Sterling
SEP 8 Festival of the Horse, Georgetown
SEP 16 Midway Fall Festival
Concerts, Tours & Fests
JUN 1 The Great American Brass Band Festival, Danville
JUN 3 Railbird (Sat & Sun), new venue at Red Mile
JUN 5 Boz Skaggs, Lexington Opera House
JUN 10 Bourbon and Blues Festival, Red Mile
JUN 15 George Strait, Kroger Field
JUN 22 Thomas Rhett, Rupp
JUL 18 Melissa Etheridge, Lexington Opera House
AUG 12 Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lexington Opera House
AUG 18 Big Stomp, Louisville
AUG 24 Sam Bush Band, Lyric Theatre
Transitions: Railbird Festival returns in 2023 with a new location at Red Mile.
The Midway Bourbon and Blues Festival is at Francisco’s Farm, replacing the Francisco’s Farm Art Fair.
Big Band/Jazz Series
Big Band & Jazz is Lexington’s longest running and outdoor concert series held weekly from 7-8:30 pm at Moondance in June and Ecton Park in July.
JUN 6 Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra
JUN 13 Tim Lake and the Blue Jazz Persuaders.
JUN 20 Brett Evans Trombone Jazz Ensemble
JUN 27 Lexington Summer Concert Band
JUL 11 DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra
JUL 18 Walnut Street Ramblers
JUL 25 Miles Osland Little Big Band with Vince DiMartino
AUG 1 Ross Whitaker Quintet
AUG 8 Marlin McKay Quartet
AUG 15 Osland/Dailey Jazztet
Northside Nights return for a second year at Castlewood Park in 2023. Thursdays at 6:30 pm on the lawn of the Loudon House at Castlewood Park. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets for seating and enjoy a fun evening of great R&B, soul, funk and dance music. All concerts are held every other Friday, from July 14 to Aug. 25, at Castlewood Park.
JUL 14 Rhythm and Soul
JUL 28 1 SoundBand
AUG 11 Honeychild
AUG 25 Tim Talbert Project
Southland Jamborees at Beaumont Center’s Moondance Amphitheatre are on Thursdays at 7 pm.
JUN 1 Fast Track
JUN 8 Ida Clare
JUN 15 Wildfire Griffins
JUN 22 The Daltons
JUN 29 Branchwater Kin
JUL 6 Gibson Davis & Copper Valley
JUL 13 Wolfpen Branch
JUL 20 Dove Creek
JUL 27 Kentucky Just Us
AUG 3 Rickey Wasson Band
AUG 10 Old Towne Project
AUG 17 Hammertowne
AUG 24 Fenced In
AUG 31 EKU Bluegrass Band
SEP 7 (Rain date)
Summer Nights in Suburbia
Summer Nights in Suburbia 2023 brings a wide variety of local and regional acts to Lexington’s Moondance Amphitheater each summer. Attendees are invited to enjoy the free concerts, bring their own picnics, or purchase food and drinks from local vendors. Summer Nights shows begin at 7 pm.
JUN 9 Bedford
JUN 23 Run Katie Run
JUL 7 The Minks
JUL 21 Born Cross Eyed
AUG 4 Milenio Salsa Band
AUG 18 Honeychild
SEP 1 Baja Yetis
Thursday Night Live
Central Bank Thursday Night Live 2023 returns to Fifth Third Bank Pavilion in downtown Lexington on Thursday evenings from 5-8 pm.
JUN 1 Five Below Band
JUN 8 Positive Movement Band
JUN 15 Paul Childers
JUN 22 The Johnson Brothers
JUN 29 Vanguard
JUL 6 Lauren Mink Band
JUL 13 The BANDj Experience
JUL 20 Kimberly Carter & Carryin’ On
JUL 27 Nightflyer (Eagles Tribute Band)
AUG 3 64West
AUG 10 Tim Talbert Project
AUG 17 The Twiggenburys
AUG 24 Kenny Owens & Group Therapy
AUG 31 Mercy Men
SEP 7 Hi-5
SEP 14 Witness Protection
SEP 21 Canvas
SEP 28 Rebel Without a Cause
OCT 5 Mojo Tones
OCT 12 Rags and Riches
JUN 2 Lunafest, Lyric Theatre
The Kentucky Theatre has launched Freaky Fridays to satisfy your cravings for cult film, once a month, at 10 pm.
JUN 16 Police Story (1985)
JUL 21 Tetsuo: the Iron Man (1989)
AUG 18 KOYAANISQATSI (1982)
SEP 22 House (1977, Japanese Horror)
Free Friday Flicks at Jacobson Park
Friday Flicks offers an evening of activities and a movie beginning Fridays in June. Pre-movie activities include children’s games, free temporary tattoos, petting zoo, non-profits, and a preshow themed around that night’s movie. Activities begin at 7 p.m. with the movie starting at dark.
JUN 2 Turning Red
JUN 9 Lightyear
JUN 16 The Bad Guys
JUN 23 Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
JUN 30 Minions: The Rise of Gru
For almost two decades, The Kentucky Theatre has screened classic films every Wednesday (matinee and evening) from late May until early September. Over the years, this summer series has proved to be a perennial favorite. Each movie will include a Wednesday matinee and a Wednesday evening show.
JUN 7 Raging Bull (1980)
JUN 14 Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
JUN 21 The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
JUN 28 His Girl Friday (1940)
JUL 5 Rebel without a Cause (1955)
JUL 12 Jaws (1975)
JUL 19 The Maltese Falcon (1941)
JUL 26 Pinocchio (1940)
AUG 2 The Princess Bride (1987)
AUG 9 Adam’s Rib (1949)
AUG 16 Goodfellas (1990)
AUG 23 The Last Picture Show (1971)
AUG 30 Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975)
SEP 6 The Big Lebowski (1998)
As one of only 52 PGA Tour events each year, The Barbasol Championship returns July 13-16 to the Champions at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville. The 2022 winner of the Barbasol Championship was Trey Mullinax.
Pro soccer is here with the inaugural season of Lexington Sporting Club. The team has seven home games for June, July, and August. Matches are played at Toyota Stadium in Georgetown, mostly on Saturdays or Sundays.
Professional baseball is back in the Bluegrass with the Lexington Counter Clocks making their debut in 2023.
JUN Polo practices and matches begin, KY Horse Park
JUL 10 Lexington’s Junior League Horse Show begins, KY Horse Park
JUL 14 Breyerfest, KY Horse Park
JUL 29 Hats off to Kentucky Horses Day, KY Horse Park
JUL 23 Live Racing, Red Mile (thru Sep 19)
SEP 1 KHP Foundation Battle in the Saddle, KY Horse Park
SEP 8 Festival of the Horse, Georgetown
SEP 11 Keeneland’s September Yearling Sales begin
OCT 6 Keeneland Fall Meet begins
OCT 25 National Horse Show, KY Horse Park
RUN FOR IT
JUN 3 Funnel Cake 5k (Frankfort)
JUN 10 Run for the Nun 5k, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
JUN 17 Wild Hearts Superhero 5k
JUN 24 Donut Dash 3k
JUL 4 Bluegrass 10,000
AUG 12 Midsummer Night’s Run
Lexington’s 2023 Ace Summer Guide appears on pages 6 through 11 of the June 2023 issue of Ace. To subscribe to digital delivery of the print edition of Ace, click here. To join the Ace Eats out Facebook group, click here.