Monday, December 22, 2008

Bluegrass Ball and Bourbon Trail

The Kentucky Distillers' Association announced today that the Bluegrass Ball will showcase the Commonwealth's signature bourbon industry at a "Walk Along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail" reception as part of the prestigious inaugural event.

The Kentucky Bluegrass Ball is the first of the black-tie celebrations for the Presidential Inauguration and historically sets the standard for the 2009 inaugural ball season. It was named an "Editor's Pick" by the Washington Post in 2005.

"Bourbon is America's official native spirit and it's uniquely Kentucky," said KDA President Eric Gregory. "Bourbon’s heritage and legacy is deep-rooted in the history of the United States, so it's an honor to be featured as part of this extraordinary event."

Seven of Kentucky's landmark distillers will feature their premium bourbons: Beam Global Spirits and Wine, Brown-Forman's Woodford Reserve Distillery, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Bulleit Bourbon, Four Roses Bourbon, Maker's Mark Distillery and Wild Turkey Bourbon.

Kentucky produces more than 95 percent of the world's bourbon, following a time-honored tradition that dates back 200 years. The Kentucky Bourbon Trail links eight distilleries and is one of the Commonwealth's most famous and fastest-growing tourism attractions.

The Bluegrass Ball, sponsored by the Kentucky Society of Washington, will start at 6 p.m. on Monday, January 19, 2009, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington D.C.

The evening’s Kentucky inspired menu was designed by renowned Louisville Chef Michael Paley of Proof on Main, who will be the guest chef at the event. The menu will feature items made with Kentucky bourbon, as well Kentucky bison, cheeses and Ale-8-One.

Flowers will be provided by the University of Kentucky. Churchill Downs' bugler will sound the call to dinner. Other Kentucky entertainment will be provided and hosted by Kentucky celebrities.

Guests will receive gift bags of Kentucky souvenirs and products, including a special Kentucky Bourbon Trail rocks glass to commemorate the event.

Over 1,400 people are expected to attend, with more than 75 percent of the guests coming from Kentucky. Attending dignitaries will include the Kentucky Governor and the entire Kentucky congressional delegation, according to the Kentucky Society.

The Kentucky Society of Washington, a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1912 with a purpose to promote goodwill, fellowship and amicable relations among Kentuckians in the nation’s Capital region.

It is one of the oldest state societies in the nation’s capital and one of the four largest state societies in Washington with 400 current members, both resident and non-resident.

The first Bluegrass Ball was held in 1949, when Vice-President Alben W. Barkley was honored by the Society.

The public may obtain information on the event from Anne-Marie Kelley, Chair of the Bluegrass Ball at 202-399-2032 or

Sponsorship information can be obtained from Brandon Kirkham, President of the Kentucky Society, at

Contact KDA President Eric Gregory for information about Kentucky bourbon or the Kentucky Bourbon Trail at, or (502) 875-9351

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