A strong delegation from Kentucky Tourism entertained the trade at Sin É in Dublin, led by Commissioner Kristen Branscum who gave an interesting overview of Kentucky, which is perhaps most famous for its horses, bourbon and bluegrass music – some 95% of the world’s bourbon is made in Kentucky!
The team (above) comprised Zach Davies; Nicole Twigg; Lu Ann Pelle; Julie Kirkpatrick; Margaret Romine, International Marketing Co-ordinator; Kristen Branscum, Commissioner; and Mary Quinn Ramer.
Kentucky is a southeastern state bounded by the Ohio River in the north and the Appalachian Mountains in the east, with Frankfort the state capital – and is within one day’s drive or a two-hour flight from 75% of the US population. The largest city, Louisville, is home to the Kentucky Derby, the renowned horse race held at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May. The race is preceded by a two-week festival and celebrated in the Kentucky Derby Museum year-round.
The movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, which is about a secret spy organisation, ended in Kentucky and the director, Matthew Vaughn, felt that he hadn’t done Kentucky justice so for the second film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle (due to be released in Ireland tomorrow, Wednesday 20th September), he decided he could film it anywhere in the USA but decided it was ‘his love letter to Kentucky’.
Julie Kirkpatrick introduced the ‘top’ of Kentucky, mentioning that WOW air will be flying direct from Dublin via Reykjavik to Cincinnati from 9th May 2018, and how Newport was the centre of gambling in the USA before Las Vegas.
Mary Quinn Ramer then spoke about the 415 horse ranches and 12 local brewerys in Lexington.
Nicole Twigg highlighted Louisville, the home of the Kentucky Derby, which has been running for 143 years on the first Saturday in May, as well as the urban trail with its 36 bars and restaurants, the baseball factory and Muhammad Ali Centre.
Margaret Ramine introduced the western part of Kentucky and its bluegrass music, of which Bill Munroe was the father, the National Corvette Museum, and the Daniel Boon Forest – if your clients want an outdoor holiday this is the place for them to go to enjoy its lakes and caves.
The presentations were then followed by a comparison between Slane Whiskey, Woodford Reserve and Bourbon, and then a mini-quiz with two bottles of bourbon as prizes:
First question: Who was the father of Bluegrass? Bill Munroe
Winner: Deirdre Grant, Joe Walsh Tours
Second question: What is Kentucky’s motto? United We Stand, Divided We Fall.
Winner: Cian Scanlon, JustSplit.com