Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Southern Lights holiday festival, presented by Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc., returns to the Kentucky Horse Park November 22 to December 31. In addition to reaching the milestone of two decades as a tradition for Kentucky families, Southern Lights, produced by the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, has also achieved status as a premier holiday event in the region and nation. More than 115,000 individuals in more than 27,000 vehichles attend Southern Lights annually.
From 5:30 until 10:00 pm each evening, visitors will be awed by the majestic light displays against the winter landscape. The drive begins at the Kentucky Horse Park Campground, and will proceed through an enhanced dreamland of dazzling lighted and often animated figures. While many displays represent the holiday season, favorites are customized to represent the Bluegrass state.
This year’s displays include the Christmas Village, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Keeneland Race Track, Show Jumping, Steeplechase and the Spires of Churchill Downs — displays comprising thousands of twinkling lights. New this year will be several Wizard of Oz light displays featuring favorite characters Dorothy, Toto, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion, and the Wicked Witch.
After enjoying the drive, visitors will be able to leave their cars behind and visit inside the other attractions inside the park to see a multitude of holiday happenings and seasonal entertainment. Enjoy shopping the Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop and holiday craft vendors. Bring the little ones to meet and have their picture taken with Santa Claus and Frosty. There will also be an exotic petting zoo, pony rides, camel rides and, new this year, an encounter with live reindeer. Catch a ride on the Mini Train Express as it goes chug-chug-chugging around the Man o’ War statue. Then be sure to stop by and see the model trains and antique dollhouses, visit the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate, and enjoy a festive dinner in the Bit & Bridle Restaurant.
The American Bus Association (ABA) selected Southern Lights as a Top 100 event for 2013 and 2014, which is an annual compendium of the best events for group travel in the United States and Canada. Winners are chosen from hundreds of celebrations, festivals, fairs, commemorative events, and more that have been nominated by ABA members. The Southeast Tourism Society has again selected Southern Lights a Top 20 Event among states across the Southeast, and the Kentucky Travel Industry Association annually selects Southern Lights as a Top 10 Winter/Holiday Event in Kentucky.
The Southern Lights Stroll, on Thursday, November 21, is the only night the lights can be viewed on foot. Featuring a competitive 5K race in addition to the leisurely stroll available to families, the Southern Lights Stroll is $15 for pre-registered adults ($20 walk-up) and includes a long-sleeved T-shirt for the first 500 registered adults; $10 for pre-registered kids 7-12 ($15 walk-up) includes a souvenir holiday item for the first 200 registered children. Sponsored in part by John’s Run/Walk Shop, the event features race awards, prize drawings, refreshments, entertainment, the Mini Train Express and more. For more information about the Southern Lights Stroll, visit here – http://www.kyhorsepark.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=4931.
All proceeds support the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. The 2013 Shining Star Presenting Sponsor is Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.; the Holly & Ivy Sponsors are Kerr Brothers and Cafe Press, Inc.; and, the Ribbons & Bows Sponsor is Kentucky Utilities.
For more information on Southern Lights, group admissions, and the Southern Lights Stroll registration, contact the KHP Foundation at (859) 255-5727 or at
ADDITIONAL ATTRACTIONS -
Kentucky Horse Park Gift ShopHoliday Craft FairPony Rides and Camel Rides ($)Exotic Petting ZooReindeer EncounterSanta Claus with visits from Frosty and pictures with Santa, with Lexington Rotary Club ($)Mini Train ExpressLive Entertainment and Activities for ChildrenBluegrass Railroad Club Model TrainsThe Bluegrass Miniature Society Dollhouses International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian AffiliateBit & Bridle Restaurant, home of Santa’s Workshop
SPECIAL NIGHTS/WEEKENDS (included with admission) -
November 29-30: Christmas Carriage Parade Covered ArenaDecember 6-7: Breyer WeekendDecember 13-14: Frosty's Family FunhouseDecember 17 (Tuesday): Military Night (must show valid military ID for one personal vehicle admission)
Dates & Times: November 21, 2013 – Southern Lights Stroll- 5:00 pm registration, 6:45 pm stroll beginsNovember 22 - December 31, 2013 - 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm each eveningDriving tour only on Thanksgiving night, November 28, and December 24-31 (indoor closed)
Admission:Personal Vehicle Sunday – Thursday $15.00Friday and Saturday $20.00Other VehicleExtended Van $30.00Limousine $30.00Mini-Bus $50.00School Bus $75.00Motor coach $125.00
Location & Parking:Enter at KHP Campground entrance to drive through lights,Park in Main Visitor Parking to go to additional attractions inside the park
Directions to the Kentucky Horse Park: http://kyhorsepark.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=610&Itemid=336Please note that some electronic map services available on Apple and Android mobile and auto GPS devices are not providing accurate directions to the Kentucky Horse Park. We recommend that visitors use home computers to access a mapping service for directions, use the directions provided on the KHP website, follow the brown highway signs or call ahead to double-check their route. Additionally, we recommend that out-of-town visitors use Interstate 75, Exit 115 (Newtown Pike) instead of Exit 120 (Georgetown Road) to access the Southern Lights entrance at the KHP Campground to help avoid congestion and a left-hand turn across traffic into the park.
Help us set the holiday season in motion by coming out for the 12th annual Southern Lights Stroll, Thursday night, November 21, where you can run, walk or stroll through the holiday displays in the heart of horse country.
With the return of the Southern Lights holiday festival, presented by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc., the Southern Lights Stroll also returns on the festival's opening night on Thursday, November 21. This is the only evening of the seasonal event when the public is allowed to experience a major portion of the lighted route on foot. Now in its 12th season, the Southern Lights Stroll has proven popular, from casual walkers and families who bring out their children and dogs to get photos and see the lights outside of a car to serious runners who come to compete in the 5K portion of the “stroll.”
Visitors will take in displays of the Christmas Village, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Keeneland Race Track, Show Jumping, Steeplechase and the Spires of Churchill Downs — displays comprising of thousands of twinkling lights. New this year will be several Wizard of Oz light displays featuring favorite characters Dorothy, Toto, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion, and the Wicked Witch.
John’s Run/Walk Shop has donated its services to the competitive 5K race, and awards will be given to winners. Additional activities include complimentary Mini Train Express rides, refreshments, prize drawings and more. A food drive for God’s Pantry and a local animal shelter will be held in conjunction with this event. All participants are asked to bring non perishable items to help local families and animals in need.
Pre-registration through November 10 is $15.00 for adults and $10.00 for kids 7-12. Registration after November 10 is $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for kids 7-12. Walk-up registration on November 21 begins at 5:00 pm, and the stroll begins at 6:45 pm. Check-in is at the park’s Visitor Information Center. The first 500 registered adults receive a free souvenir T-shirt and the first 200 registered kids receive a free holiday souvenir.
All proceeds support the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. The 2013 Shining Star Presenting Sponsor is Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.; the Holly & Ivy Sponsors are Kerr Brothers and Cafe Press, Inc.; and, the Ribbons & Bows Sponsor is Kentucky Utilities. Additional sponsors are Pepsi, SafetyTec and John's Run/Walk Shop.
The Southern Lights driving route is open to vehicles from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm nightly from November 22 to December 31, 2013. The additional attractions inside the park will be open every night except November 28 and December 24 - 31. The cost is $15.00 per car Sunday through Thursday evenings and $20.00 per car on Friday and Saturday nights. To learn more about Southern Lights, visit here – http://kyhorsepark.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=4932.
Pre-registration for the 5K is available, but walk-ups are welcome too! For more information about the Southern Lights Stroll and to register, visit here - http://kyhorsepark.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4541&Itemid=438.
Dates & Times: November 21, 2013 – Southern Lights Stroll- 5:00 pm registration, 6:45 pm stroll begins
Registration: Pre-registration through November 10 $15.00 for adults $10.00 for kids 7-12
Registration after November 10 $20.00 for adults $15.00 for kids 7-12
Location & Parking: Check-in at the Visitor Information Center Park in Main Visitor Parking Lot
Directions to the Kentucky Horse Park: http://kyhorsepark.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=610&Itemid=336
Please note that some electronic map services available on Apple and Android mobile and auto GPS devices are not providing accurate directions to the Kentucky Horse Park. We recommend that visitors use home computers to access a mapping service for directions, use the directions provided on the KHP website, follow the brown highway signs or call ahead to double-check their route. Additionally, we recommend that out-of-town visitors use Interstate 75, Exit 115 (Newtown Pike) instead of Exit 120 (Georgetown Road) to access the Southern Lights entrance at the KHP Campground to help avoid congestion and a left-hand turn across traffic into the park.
Join the Challenge in a race to the finish line! The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation is participating in the 2013 GoodGiving Guide Challenge, making us eligible for thousands of dollars in cash prizes!
What is the GoodGiving Guide Challenge? It’s a partnership between Blue Grass Community Foundation and Smiley Pete Publishing (Chevy Chaser Magazine, Southsider Magazine and Business Lexington) to promote online charitable giving to local causes. In addition to the GoodGiving Guide’s online efforts, Smiley Pete Publishing will be reaching out to its reader base with a print edition of the Guide, which will provide a detailed profile of the 108 Lexington nonprofits that are participating in the Challenge.
To help us compete for cash and prizes against 107 other organizations, we need friends and supporters, like you, to make a gift of any size between 8:00 a.m. on November 1, 2013 and 11:59 p.m. December 31, 2013. The faster you give online to the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation at https://www.goodgivingguide.net/kentucky-horse-park, the greater our chance of winning. Plus, there are many great incentive prizes for donors who give through the Challenge. After making your gift, please tell all of your friends, family and colleagues about us and the GoodGiving Guide Challenge!
Look for updates about how we’re doing by visiting the homepage of our website and our Facebook page. You can also watch the leaderboard at GoodGivingGuide.net to see how we are doing in real time!
Cross Country Schooling Days organized by the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, combine the rare opportunity to school your horse on the Kentucky Horse Park’s world-renowned cross country course. Obstacles range from novice to advanced, and combinations are similar to those found in competitions. All skill levels are welcome. The proceeds from the event help the foundation continue to maintain and improve the park’s competition facilities year-round.
On-site registration is available and current coggins and health certificate are required. Riders must wear an ASTM/SEI approved helmet, body-protecting vest, and approved medical armband. Stabling is available, but not guaranteed for all schooling days. For riders who are not stabling at the park, a one-day $20 trailer pass or $75 seasonal trailer pass must be purchased at registration. Seasonal trailer passes may also be purchased in advance. For further stabling inquiries, please call 859-259-4219.
For more event information or in the case of inclement weather, please call the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation at 859-255-5727, or visit www.khpfoundation.org.
Summer 2013 Dates (two available sessions each day):
May 28, 2013 - 12:00 to 4:00 pm and 4:30 to 8:30 pmJune 1, 2013 – 8:00 am to 12:00 pm & 12:30 to 4:30 pmSept 7, 2013 – 8:00 am to 12:00 pm & 12:30 to 4:30 pm
Admission:$35 per horse and rider for four-hours ($20 of which is donation)
The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation is hosting a benefit trail ride March 13 and 14 in conjunction with the Road to the Horse event being held at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena March 15-17, relocating to Kentucky in 2013 from Tennessee. All proceeds from the trail ride will support the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation – a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to enhancing, expanding, and improving the Kentucky Horse Park.
The “Ride the Park on the Road to the Horse” trail ride will provide participants with a unique opportunity to bring their personal horses and ride on many trails marked throughout the park especially for this event. The trails will be open for the exclusive use of registered participants from 10 am to 4 pm both March 13 and 14, subject to weather conditions. Riders can enjoy the trails at their own pace on this unguided exploration of the park grounds.
Dates and Times:
Wednesday and Thursday, March 13 and 14, 2013 – 10 am to 4 pm
$50 per horse/rider combination – allows unlimited access to trails on either or both days
$20 per night stabling fee
Registration forms are available here - http://khpfoundation.org/Latest/2013-trail-ride.html
and are available by calling 859-255-5727 or by simply visiting www.khpfoundation.org.
For more information on Road to the Horse, visit www.roadtothehorse.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky (Dec. 15, 2011) - The Kentucky Horse Park is proud to announce its expanded Kentucky Horse Park Literacy Program (KHPLP), which combines horse-themed books and experiences with live horses to inspire a life-long love of horses and reading.
Formerly known as the Black Stallion Literacy Project, the program has already distributed in excess of 15,000 books to more than 10,000 first- and fourth- grade children in its first two years. Now operating as the Kentucky Horse Park Literacy Program, it will expand to other grades to broaden literacy and the love of horses to a greater number of schools in more counties.
This year, the program has already introduced "War Horse" by Michael Morpurgo, prior to the opening of the film based on the book. The program also will include Meghan McCarthy's "Seabiscuit, the Wonder Horse" for younger children. "We love children. We love horses. And in Kentucky we need them both to succeed, so we are delighted to be able to expand our Kentucky Horse Park Literacy Program which will allow us to reach out to far more children across the Commonwealth," said Mollie Jameson, volunteer chair for KHPLP.
"Literacy and horses are each vital to Kentucky's future," said Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director John Nicholson. "In our Kentucky Horse Park Literacy Program, not only do children develop a love of reading, but we also hope that they will begin to appreciate the tremendous gift that they have inherited as heirs of the Horse Capital of the World.
"We are especially pleased to include 'War Horse' this year. It's a wonderful tale of honor, courage, nobility, duty and sacrifice on the parts of both the people and the horses in the story. And with Steven Spielberg's movie - based on the book - coming out soon, we know that the books will be a big hit with school-age readers."
Books for first graders will be delivered to participating schools by one of the Kentucky Horse Park's resident horses in February and March. Once the children have each taken a turn meeting the horse in person, each is given "Seabiscuit the Wonder Horse" by Meghan McCarthy, to read and keep. After reading the book, most classes will visit the Kentucky Horse Park on April 10. They will watch a live reenactment of the famous Seabiscuit/War Admiral match race, including music, live horses, real jockeys, period costumes, antique cars, award ceremony and paddock scene. They will also be invited to visit the gravesite of the real War Admiral, who is buried at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Fourth-grade students in Fayette, Woodford, Bourbon, Grant, Scott, Clark and Madison counties have already received 4,500 copies of Michael Morpurgo's "War Horse" book. On March 29 in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, these fourth-graders will enjoy a live equine production. They will also have the option of touring the blockbuster exhibition, "The Horse," in the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate, at a special discounted school rate.
The KHPLP has already reached out to share the love of reading and horses to children at the UKHealthCare Kentucky Children's Hospital. Also, 2120 books recently were delivered to seven elementary schools in Clay County, where every child in kindergarten to sixth grade received an age-appropriate book published by Scholastic. Toys for Tots received 600 books written by Walter Farley for its Christmas drive in Scott County, and the Blue Grass Farms Charities received 60 books to distribute to children of local horse farm workers.
The Kentucky Horse Park Literacy Program is funded entirely through private donations and led by a dedicated group of community volunteers. The program's 2011-2012 sponsors include: Kentucky Bank, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, UKHealthCare Kentucky Children's Hospital, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, PNC Bank, The Little Foundation, Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, and other generous donors.
For more information contact Mollie Jameson, 859-509-1915 or email
Editor's Note: Watch a short video overview of the program: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2fGTmyBLq0&;feature=youtu.be