Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Northern Kentucky Hosts First Regional Festival and Bourbon is the Theme


When people think of Kentucky, things like horses, bluegrass, and – of course – bourbon come to mind. Soon, a new festival, planned for the fall will be added to that list.

Today during a press conference at The Grand Banquet Hall in Covington, details for what will be Northern Kentucky’s first major signature event celebrating the state’s bourbon heritage – The Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival – were announced.
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Born from a desire to shine a light on our region and heritage, the Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival will take place October 4 and 5 at venues throughout Covington and Newport, and is designed to share on a local, national, and international scale what makes Northern Kentucky special.


Organizers are thinking of the Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival as the SXSW for bourbon, with Covington and Newport as the campus. The weekend will include a free music festival on the river, a Kentucky artisan market in MainStrasse Village, and a bourbon conference at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. There will also be bourbon pairings, tastings, and musical performances at restaurants and bars spread out across the two cities.

“We believe Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival will bring tens of thousands of people to our region,” said NKY Chamber President and CEO Brent Cooper. “We have goals of bringing in an increasing number of visitors nationally and internationally to Northern Kentucky. If we can get people here and show them the high quality of life and low cost of living, we think they’ll stay, or come back and bring more people.”

The enormous task of organizing such a lofty event falls to Bill Donabedian, the brain behind events including Brandemonium and the Bunbury and Midpoint Music Festivals, and Kevin Canafax, VP Regional Public Affairs at Fidelity Investments, and co-founder of Brandemonium and Suits That Rock. When they created the international branding and marketing conference, Brandemonium, they had a vision of a signature event in Northern Kentucky. Once NKY’s own bourbon experience, the B-Line, was established by meetNKY last year, inspiration struck. Donabedian and Canafax set about designing a festival that would highlight bourbon and the urban footprint of Northern Kentucky, the result is Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival.

“Bourbon is one of the things that makes Kentucky, Kentucky,” said Canafax. “It’s what gives us our edge, and one of the things we do best. This is an exciting opportunity to showcase the best of our region, and the Commonwealth.”


The main star of the Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival is, of course, the bourbon. But the event is also meant to celebrate Kentucky’s heritage and culture as a whole.

“We want everyone to come and participate in this celebration of our region’s distinguished distilling past and future,” said Donabedian. “We’re celebrating all that makes this region special and Kentucky’s Edge will only be successful if we work together and show the world what the northern edge of Bourbon Country is all about.”

Hotel and ticket packages for the Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival will go on sale Friday, March 1 at noon. Individual event tickets will be available late March/early April.

“Every aspect of the Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival aligns with the core mission at the NKY Chamber - promoting business growth and an improved economy,” added Cooper. “This is Northern Kentucky’s first big regional festival, and we think it will be a win for everyone.” 

For the latest information about the Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival, including sponsorship information, visit www.KentuckysEdge.com.

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