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Bardstown, Ky., celebrates National Bourbon Day with lots of specials

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May the trail rise up to meet you as you continue to roam,

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and the sun forever shine on Bourbon’s Kentucky home.

May Bardstown’s spirit of friendship continue to grow

with new rickhouses and stills to continue the flow.

So raise your glasses with me, let’s sample our spirit,

to Bardstown – bourbon’s capital – and all who live in it.

Saturday, June 14, is National Bourbon Day, a day set aside to honor the birth of bourbon when, in 1789, the Rev. Elijah Craig first produced whiskey distilled from corn. Since that legendary discovery, countless distilleries have sprung up in Kentucky where – at any given moment – millions of barrels of bourbon are aging (and beautifully so). At the epicenter of these distilleries and the heart of Bourbon Country is Bardstown, the Bourbon Capital of the World.

To celebrate Craig's discovery (and the untold legions of folks who have been happily sipping this liquid gold ever since), Bardstown is inviting everyone to join in a special toast to National Bourbon Day during Opening Night of “The Stephen Foster Story,” a Broadway-style musical that takes place in the amphitheater not far from the real “My Old Kentucky Home.” This is the home, named Federal Hill, that American composer Foster made famous in his song of the same name.

Audience members can raise their glasses at 7:30 p.m. to toast America’s only native spirit and then enjoy Kentucky's Official Outdoor Drama as it unfolds under the stars beginning at 8:30 p.m.

For those who can't make the show, there are plenty of special activities and discounts throughout the day on June 14:

Distilleries

Barton 1792 Distillery, 501 Cathedral Manor – 11: 30 a.m.: Take the new 1792 Estate Tour, an in-depth tour limited to just five people. Get 20% off all retail merchandise, excluding alcohol.

Heaven Hill Distilleries® Bourbon Heritage Center, 1311 Gilkey Run Road: With each purchase of a bottle of bourbon, choose one of the following complimentary items: Evan Williams Wing Sauce; Evan Williams Blackberry Jam; Evan Williams Honey Mustard; or Evan Williams Single Barrel Pumpkin Butter.

Dining and overnighting

The Old Talbott Tavern, 107 W. Stephen Foster Avenue: Sample the 2013 Kentucky Bourbon Festival Grand Champion Drink: Sidecar Named Desire. Stay for dinner and try the Tavern’s new Bourbon Walnut Chicken.

Bourbon Manor Inn, 714 N 3rd Street: Any reservation made on this date (Sat., June 14) for a future stay may be redeemed any time through the end of 2014: Make a two-night reservation and receive a third night free (excluding holidays or festival weekends; applies to new reservations only; may not be combined with other discounts; upgrade to a Jacuzzi Guest Room for only $25 more).

Shopping

Fine Arts Bardstown Society (FABS), 90 Court Square: Come take your photo in the new Stephen Foster cut-outs and browse one-of-a-kind bourbon art.

Hurst Soda Fountain and Gifts, 102 N. Third Street: Scoop up a free single scoop of ice cream with a $15 purchase.

Kentucky Bourbon Marketplace, 110 W. Flaget – 11 a.m.: Bourbon and Food Pairing. Sample different foods and experience how they harmonize with bourbon ($12 per person). 1 and 3 p.m.: “How to Make the Perfect Mint Julep.” Learn how to make this Southern cocktail made famous at the Kentucky Derby. Ticket price includes a Mint Julep served in a souvenir Mint Julep cup ($20 per person). In the spirit of the Stephen Foster Festival/ Doo Dah Days, the drink special here is the “Doo Dah.”

Shaq & CoCo, 111 N 3rd Street: Get 10% off Makers Mark and Kentucky Bourbon Trail® merchandise.

The Olive Spout, 118 N. Third Street: Enjoy 20% off all bourbon-related products, including bourbon-smoked spices, sauces and chocolate bars with bourbon at this new shop.

The Peacock on Third, 122 N. Third Street: Take half off “Bourbon Sippin’ Girls” t-shirts.

White Oak Salon, 117 N. Third Street: Complimentary treatment masque (a $20 value) with each hair service.

If You Go

For information about accommodations and restaurants in Bardstown, visit www.SampleOurSpirit. For tickets to "The Stephen Foster Show," visit www.StephenFoster.com.

See story on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail here.

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