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Woodford County awarded state fair opening day sponsorship

The Kentucky State Fair Marketing and Sponsorship Department announced last week that Woodford County will have an extraordinary chance to showcase its local businesses, agriculture, and tourism attractions as the official 2016 Fair Opening Day Sponsor on Aug. 18. This is the first time the county has been invited to participate in state fair activities at this level, greatly increasing exposure to thousands of fair-goers from across the commonwealth and beyond. This designation was made possible through the efforts of state Rep. James Kay and Woodford Reserve Distillery's Beth Pritchett in obtaining a $15,000 donation from the distillery to cover the sponsorship costs. "We are excited about this opportunity to work with the people of Woodford County," said Diana Brey of Woodford Reserve. "We are happy to give back to the community that has been so important to us." The sponsorship includes a variety of benefits. In addition to receiving publicity throughout the Aug. 18 to 28 run of the state fair via billboards, public address announcements, "Today at the Fair" schedules handed out at the gates, website links, and Facebook/Twitter promotions, Woodford Reserve Distillery and Woodford County will be the title sponsors at the fair's opening reception, when 1,000 invited guests from all over the commonwealth will enjoy Woodford County food, entertainment, and displays. The Woodford County Volunteer Workgroup and the Woodford County Tourist Commission in partnership with Ruggles Sign Company will also present their award-winning "Pride of the Counties" exhibit booth for the entire 11 days of the fair. The 2015 "Bourbon, Wine, and Bloodlines" theme will be expanded this year. A "selfie" station will allow fair-goers to "picture" themselves in Woodford County standing next to a replica of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, taking a scenic drive down county roads, walking through a vineyard, or sitting on the front porch of Woodford Reserve Distillery. Information about Woodford County will be highlighted and distributed, and door prizes - which must be redeemed in person from Woodford County donors - will be awarded. All Woodford County individuals, groups, businesses, and attractions are invited to participate in this year's state fair activities. Several options are offered. Display table space is available at no charge for the opening reception on Aug. 18. The "Pride of the Counties" exhibit will "showcase" different Woodford County organizations each day. Volunteers are needed to staff the exhibit as greeters, working 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 3 to 9 p.m. shifts. All working staff at either venue will receive free admission to the fair. Donations of items and/or coupons for merchandise or services are needed to present as door prizes to opening reception and exhibit visitors. The Woodford County Tourist Commission and Woodford Reserve will fund the cost of the expanded exhibit space, but donations to cover other expenses are still needed. Anyone who would like to present an opening reception display, to volunteer as a "Pride of the Counties" showcase organization or greeter, or to donate door prizes or funds is urged to sign up to participate as soon as possible. For information and to sign up, contact Woodford County Volunteer Workgroup Chair Lillie Cox at (859) 608-4008 or at lillie.cox116@gmail.com. In addition, fair planning meetings are open to the public. Notification of meeting dates is by email, so anyone interested in attending may supply contact information to Lillie.

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