Harry and Brenda Roaden know their history, so they're more than familiar with the name Richard Hollingshead Jr. In the 1930s, Hollingshead invented drive-in theaters after a series of experiments that involved setting up faux theaters in his driveway. At 27 Drive-In, the Roadens honor his vision with two outdoor theater screens, which glow with first-run releases and classic clips of Darth Vader falling out of a taxi. They broadcast movies' audio tracks over local radio stations, ensuring that viewers aren't interrupted by outside noise. Customers won't be bothered by hunger, either, as the aromas of pizza, burgers, and ice cream drift from the concession stand.
A longtime collaborator of Frank Lloyd Wright hailed for his innovative and organic structures, architect William Wesley Peters designed the 85,000-square-foot Norton Center for the Arts as a space where performance and visual art could commingle. Since its opening in 1973, the Center has championed both innovative and classical works and artists, with a world-renowned roster of talent appearing over the years, including James Earl Jones and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. Before entering its theater spaces, patrons' eyes catch the vibrant walls of the Grand Foyer that hold the Center’s collection of contemporary artwork displayed alongside a rotating lineup of secretly sentient statues and special exhibitions. Echoing with the memory of almost 40 years’ worth of show-stopping musical numbers and heart-rending violin solos, Newlin Hall’s plush red seats and cochleae-tickling acoustics contribute to the space’s renown as a setting for awe-inspiring performances. The smaller stage of the Weisiger Theatre captivates crowds with intimate performances where audience members in any seat of the house can hear the last-meal request of a tree on stage as it falls.
Now in its third year, the Kentucky Reining Cup gallops back into Alltech Arena for two days of equine competition. Riders from across the globe descend upon Lexington, each vying for more than $100,000 in total prize money and a taste of the golden salt lick during Friday's three-star reining contest and Saturday's freestyle championship. Grammy-winning country-music legend and horse breeder Lyle Lovett is set to compete for the third straight year, and rider Tim McQuay hopes to add another first-place finish to his iconic career. A judged event designed to showcase the athletic abilities of horses on a larger stage, reining calls for riders and their steeds to perform in a series of patterns, from small, slow circles and 360-degree spins to the elusive galloping moonwalk. In freestyle riding, man-and-beast duos trot in choreographed moves set to music. Meanwhile, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day, a large gathering of merchants sells goods, clothing, jewelry and art at the Sponsor Village and Trade Fair.
The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky showcases more than 4,500 masterpieces including American and European paintings, photographs, and sculpture. Oil and watercolors grace canvases by artists from around the world, including the American impressionist painting Bucks County Winter by Edward Willis Redfield and the Italian Baroque painting Madonna and Child with St. John by Agostino Carracci. The collection’s three-dimensional art forms also span the centuries, with examples of Native American ceremonial robes and a variety of outdoor sculptures that call upon contemporary amalgamations of steel, bronze, and stone. Traveling exhibitions, lecture series, and annual events aim to inspire as well as to create opportunities for patrons to gain new perspectives on how to best arrange a bowl of fruit.
When the Legends first stepped onto the field at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in 2001, they broke a nearly half-century dry spell of pro baseball in the city of Lexington. That first season, they made their presence known by winning the South Atlantic League championship and trying to rename City Hall after themselves. Since their inauguration in '01, the Legends have sent more than three-dozen players to the majors, fulfilling the promise of their name and creating their own legacy.
The Salsa Center brings Latin culture stateside with more than 14 styles of latin dances from Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, and beyond. Private or group dance lessons teach guests popular dances such as bachata, merengue, and samba, and dance-fitness classes such as salsa-fitness give visitors a chance to shed pounds to a soundtrack of upbeat rhythms.