Chicken fried in a wicked big skillet highlight of upcoming Kentucky festivals

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Gaslight Festival Gaslight Square, Jeffersontown Sept. 13-20 I've been out of town since this week-long festival began on Sunday, so I haven't had the chance to evaluate my previous proclamation: "I don't see the appeal of this festival, but as it's been going on for 40 years and attracts 200,000 people, there's a great case to be made for my not knowing what the heck I'm talking about." But based on the festival's events--motorcycle rally, golf scramble, 5k run/walk, parade and balloon glow, bike tour, children's playground, arts and crafts booths--I'll still take my uneducated opinion over that of 200,000 other people. The costs depends on the event. Idea Festival Various locations, Louisville Sept. 23-26 Growing up, I thought I had an original idea. But then my mom told me indoor plumbing had been around for a while and perhaps I should start using it. Founded in Lexington in 2000, the the Idea Festival "is a world-class event that attracts leading and highly diverse thinkers from across the nation and around the globe to explore and celebrate innovation, imagination and cutting-edge ideas." This year's highlights include "Wired" writer Daniel Roth, best-selling author A.J. Jacobs and America's sweetheart, Tony Bourdain. Tickets come in a variety of costs. World Chicken Festival Main Street, London Sept. 24-27 When people ask me, a recent transplant from the Washington, DC, area, how I like living in Kentucky, I correct them: I don't live in Kentucky; I live in Louisville. There are important differences. For example, in Louisville a festival usually consists of hipsters clad in ironic bowling jerseys quoting a slacker comedy or modern-day hippies doing weird dances to jam bands. In Kentucky a festival consists of the world's largest stainless steel skillet frying up more than 10,000 chicken dinners. The meal is $9 and comes with 1/4 chicken, potato salad, baked beans, a roll and a lot of gas. "Mark it 8, Dude." Bluegrass Balloon Festival Bowman Field, Louisville Sept. 25-27 Known for "family fun," a euphemism for an event with minimal boozing but plenty of teenage girls in tight shorts with "sassy" written across the backside (have I mentioned that I'm about to have a daughter and am a bit wigged out about the prospect?) the 11th annual festival will add just as much color to the Louisville skyline as Thunder, but without all the noise. Unless a balloon pops. For more information: Danger Run, a "Halloween-themed road rally," starts on Sept. 25.
About Zach Everson
Travel news/travel buzz editor at MapQuest. Previously, I was a freelance writer, contributing to The Wall Street Journal, Air Canada's enRoute, Eater, USA Today, Condé Nast Traveller, BlackBook, Curbed, Gridskipper, Deadspin, and Fox News. I also was the founding editor of Eater Louisville and the director of content and editorial strategy for Louisville.com.
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