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"Bourbon & Belonging": Kentucky's Queer Bourbon Week Launches in October 2024


Queer Kentucky, a diverse LGBTQ+ run non-profit, is proud to introduce "Bourbon & Belonging,” Kentucky’s Queer Bourbon Week, a state-wide LGBTQ+ inclusive event, set to take place October 2-6, 2024.


Bourbon & Belonging is launching with the support of eight Kentucky-based Destination Marketing Organizations, which have joined together to showcase the state’s rich Bourbon and hospitality cultures to LGBTQ+ visitors. The inaugural Bourbon & Belonging will feature events in these official sponsor destinations: Bardstown, Bullitt County, Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville, Northern Kentucky, Paducah and Winchester.


"As an organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ advocacy, we couldn't be more excited to be launching Bourbon & Belonging, the nation’s inaugural Queer Bourbon Week,” said Missy Spears, Executive Director, Queer Kentucky. “It underscores the necessity of creating spaces of acceptance and celebration in regions where it's most needed."


“Bourbon & Belonging will showcase Louisville’s immense diversity, Bourbon culture, and the southern hospitality that brings it all together,” said Cleo Battle, President & CEO of Louisville Tourism. “As the Commonwealth’s largest city, we want to lead the way in championing Kentucky's dedication to inclusion. Participating in events like Bourbon & Belonging reinforces that we are a welcoming and inclusive destination.”


This event features a growing superstar lineup of Bourbon partners that represent the state of Kentucky: Angel’s Envy, Bardstown Bourbon Company, Barrel House Distilling Co., Bourbon Capital Alliance, Bulleit Bourbon, Evan Williams, James B. Beam Distilling Company, James E. Pepper, Lawrenceburg Bourbon Company, Lux Row Distillers, Maker’s Mark, New Riff Distilling, Old Forester, Ponyboy Slings, Second Sight and Wenzel Whiskey.


“It's more than just bourbon,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, President of VisitLEX. “It's about carving out a space where everyone feels at home. This week will emphasize the genuine hospitality, charm and warmth that Kentucky has to offer to everyone.”


A variety of host hotels have also committed to partnering with the event, including 21c Museum Hotels, Common Bond Hotel Collection and Hotel Covington.


This week-long event was inspired by “Gay Wine Weekend” in Sonoma and “QueerBeer Fest'' in Washington DC. Participants will be offered a range of activities, tastings, and gatherings designed to foster safety, belonging, and togetherness while raising vital funds for Queer Kentucky and other Kentucky-based LGBTQ+ community service organizations. “'Bourbon & Belonging bridges our state's rich traditions with its vibrant future, emphasizing the unity and diversity that make Kentucky special,” said Julie Kirkpatrick, President and CEO of Meet Northern Kentucky.


If you’re interested in attending or learning more about Bourbon & Belonging, visit www.bourbonandbelonging.com and sign up to receive email communications to be the first to know about ticket releases and upcoming events.


A schedule of events will be announced this summer. Queer Kentucky will be working with Kentucky tourism partners and local non-profits to create and host events during the week.

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