What is Bourbon on the Banks Festival, Inc.?

Bourbon on the Banks Inc. is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Frankfort, Ky. Funds are privately raised and primarily derived from corporate sponsorships and event ticket sales.  The festival and associated events are produced by a full-time executive director, community volunteers, and a board of directors.

In 2023, Bourbon on the Banks Festival demonstrated its commitment to community impact by contributing $25,000 to The Bluegrass Community Fund. These funds will be used for continued improvements at Riverview Park, the festival venue, and to purchase an outdoor informational kiosk to be placed in the downtown area. This initiative aims to assist tourists in discovering all the great dining, shopping, and area attractions available.

The board set aside $15,000 for their scholarship fund. This fund supports individuals entering the distillation, spirits, bourbon tourism, hospitality, and event management degree or certificate programs or an out-of-county student attending Kentucky State University’s Fermentation and Distillation Program. Furthermore, $10,000 will be donated to The White Oak Initiative, a diverse coalition dedicated to the long-term sustainability of America’s white oak forests and the benefits they provide.

In a new initiative in 2023, Bourbon on the Banks Festival donated $5,000, with $2,500 each going to Frankfort Independent and Franklin County Schools for family resources. An extra $500 will be contributed to the Friends of the Franklin County Farmer’s Market to support the fresh food access work of the South Frankfort Food Share.

Including 2023’s contributions, the $15,000 donated in 2019, $10,000 donated in 2021, and $50,000 donated during the 2022 festival year, Bourbon on the Banks Festival has now contributed a remarkable $118,000 to its beneficiaries. 

At the Bourbon on the Banks Festival, bourbon is more than just a drink – each pour is about appreciating history and tradition, understanding the legacy and art of making bourbon, and bonding with friends.

Festival Overview

The Bourbon on the Banks Festival is a spirits tasting event that takes place along the historic banks of the Kentucky River at the River View Park in Frankfort, Ky., and occurs annually on the first Saturday in October. The upcoming festival is scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2024. Early access starts at 1 p.m., and general admission starts at 2 p.m. The event ends at 6 p.m.

Those attending the festival will be required to purchase a ticket for entry which includes samples of spirits from top distilleries in the country. A few breweries and wineries will also be represented at the event. Attendees will be able to drink and learn about a variety of whiskeys, meet influencers in the bourbon industry, and enjoy a scenic stroll along the Kentucky River while listening to live music. Attendees can also purchase delicious offerings from a wide range of mobile food vendors and shop the handmade collections of bourbon-themed artisans. In addition, there will be the option to experience several unique demonstrations and educational discussions designed as enrichment opportunities for bourbon enthusiasts.

Information for Distilleries

There is no fee to participate in the Bourbon on the Banks Festival. Distilleries should bring a tent, tables, and at least three types of products for guests to sample if possible. Creative displays are encouraged, and all setups must be approved by the event director prior to the festival. Volunteers will be available to assist with set up and breakdown.

PRESS RELEASES

Frankfort, Kentucky, January 4, 2024 — Bourbon on the Banks Festival, Frankfort Kentucky’s premier whiskey tasting event, is delighted to announce continued generosity to its beneficiaries for the 2023 festival year.

Giving Back

Once again, Bourbon on the Banks Festival demonstrates its commitment to community impact by contributing $25,000 to The Bluegrass Community Fund. These funds will be used for continued improvements at Riverview Park, the festival venue, and to purchase an outdoor informational kiosk to be placed in the downtown area. This initiative aims to assist tourists in discovering all the great dining, shopping, and area attractions available.

The board has set aside $15,000 for their scholarship fund. This fund supports individuals entering the distillation, spirits, bourbon tourism, hospitality, and event management degree or certificate programs or an out-of-county student attending Kentucky State University’s Fermentation and Distillation Program. Furthermore, $10,000 will be donated to The White Oak Initiative, a diverse coalition dedicated to the long-term sustainability of America’s white oak forests and the benefits they provide.

In a new initiative this year, Bourbon on the Banks Festival will donate $5,000, with $2,500 each going to Frankfort Independent and Franklin County Schools for family resources. An extra $500 will be contributed to the Friends of the Franklin County Farmer’s Market to support the fresh food access work of the South Frankfort Food Share.

Enthusiastic Response from Bourbon on the Banks Festival Board of Directors

“Bourbon on the Banks Festival and our board of directors are thrilled to be making a difference in our local community. It’s been our initiative all along, and seeing it come to fruition is thrilling,” said Diane Strong, Executive Director.

Bourbon on the Banks Total Contributions Top $100,000

Including 2023’s contributions, the $15,000 donated in 2019, $10,000 donated in 2021, and $50,000 donated during the 2022 festival year, Bourbon on the Banks Festival has now contributed a remarkable $118,000 to its beneficiaries. These funds benefit the local community, visitors, individuals entering the historic whiskey industry, and those committed to the sustainability of white oak—a key element in the industry.

About Bourbon on the Banks, Inc.

Bourbon on the Banks, Inc. is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Frankfort, Ky. Funds are privately raised and primarily derived from corporate sponsorships and event ticket sales. The festival and associated events are produced by a full-time executive director, community volunteers, and a board of directors.

At the Bourbon on the Banks Festival, bourbon is more than just a drink – each pour is about appreciating history and tradition, understanding the legacy and art of making bourbon, and bonding with friends.

About Bourbon on the Banks Festival

The Bourbon on the Banks Festival is a premier bourbon event that takes place along the Kentucky River at River View Park in Frankfort, Ky. It occurs annually on the first Saturday in October. The upcoming festival is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5, 2024, from 1-6 p.m. Dedicated to the celebration of all things bourbon, our event offers an intimate experience designed to bring whisky lovers closer to America’s spirit. We take pride in improving and expanding that experience every year.

FRANKFORT, Ky., Dec. 8, 2022 – Bourbon on the Banks Inc. will donate a portion of the proceeds raised from its fourth annual festival to support the Franklin County Community Fund and White Oak Initiative nonprofits and fund student scholarships.

The Franklin County Community Fund is affiliated with the Blue Grass Community Foundation, and Bourbon on the Banks Inc. will donate $25,000 to this nonprofit for improvements to River View Park in Frankfort which also serves as the event site for the festival. The White Oak Initiative is dedicated to the preservation and long-term sustainability of the white oak forests which are vital to the spirits industry as wood from white oak trees is commonly used to make barrels for aging bourbon and other American whiskeys. Bourbon on the Banks Inc. will donate $10,000 to the White Oak Initiative to support their efforts.

Bourbon on the Banks Inc. is also offering $15,000 in scholarships, up to $2,500 per individual, for those choosing to attend the Kentucky State University fermentation and distillation program and/or to qualified Franklin County residents wishing to attend other accredited, college-level distillation and fermentation science certification or degree programs. The online application and detailed information regarding the scholarship program are available on the Bourbon on the Banks website, and the deadline for submission is April 1, 2023.

“We are focused on promoting the advancement of the fermentation and distillation industry and supporting the economic and cultural development of our community, and these nonprofits and our scholarship program help with this mission,” Bourbon on the Banks Director Diane Strong said. “We are thrilled by the success of the 2022 festival and thankful for the opportunity to support such important causes.”

The Bourbon on the Banks Festival is a premier bourbon event in Frankfort and occurs annually on the first Saturday in October. The next Bourbon on the Banks Festival is scheduled for Oct. 7, 2023, and tickets are now available for purchase on the Bourbon on the Banks website.

Bourbon on the Banks Overview

Bourbon on the Banks Inc. is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Frankfort. Funds are privately raised and primarily derived from corporate sponsorships and event ticket sales. The festival and associated events are produced by a full-time executive director, community volunteers, and a board of directors.

FRANKFORT, Ky., April 4, 2023 – Bourbon on the Banks Festival Inc. has announced that Amelia Wilson of Frankfort is the recipient of the 2022 Bourbon on the Banks scholarship. She will be awarded a $2,500 scholarship toward her undergraduate education.

Wilson is a student at Western Kentucky University and earning a bachelor’s degree in strategic

marketing, minor in creative writing and certification in brewing and distilling arts and sciences. She is scheduled to graduate in December 2023 and plans to pursue a career in the brewing or distilling industry. She is currently involved in the restoration of 21 Brands Distillery in Frankfort.

The scholarship recognizes those who demonstrate academic excellence and represent the future of the distillation and fermentation industry. The application process was opened to qualified residents of Frankfort and Franklin County wishing to attend any accredited, college-level distillation and fermentation science program. Any qualified individual choosing to attend the Kentucky State University distillation and fermentation science certification program, regardless of residence, was also eligible to receive the scholarship. Adults of all ages and at any point in their educational journey were encouraged to apply.

“The distilling industry is a fundamental backbone of Kentucky. Not only has it been around for

centuries, but it is still an ever-growing presence providing livelihoods for Kentuckians across the state,” Wilson said. “I hope to be able to continue uplifting and encouraging the distillation and spirits industry here in Kentucky. As someone who has been so positively affected by it and seen my own community stand as a quintessence of what bourbon and the distilling industry as a whole can do, I wish only to give back and to further explore what it has to offer for myself and for others.”

The Bourbon on the Banks Festival is a bourbon event in Frankfort and occurs annually on the first Saturday in October. The next Bourbon on the Banks Festival is scheduled for Oct. 7, 2023, and tickets are available for purchase at the Bourbon on the Banks website, www.bourbononthebanks.org.