Plus, a pop sensation is coming to LEX.
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Today’s Forecast

77º | Sunny | 7% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:18 a.m. | Sunset 7:47 p.m.

⛴️ A ferry good time to be had
A photo of the Valley View Ferry.
The Valley View Ferry sits at the intersection of Fayette, Madison, and Jessamine Counties. | Photo by LEXtoday
In 1792, Kentucky gained its statehood, making it the 15th state to join the nation. But seven years prior, several local businesses were already in full bloom — and it just so happens that the oldest recorded business in the state sits in the heart of central Kentucky

Drive down Tates Creek Road, and you’ll come to where the creek’s mouth meets the Kentucky River — and that’s where you’ll find the Valley View Ferry. Curiosity got the best of us, so we dug around to find the real story behind the state’s oldest operating ferry.

A history plaque that reads, "The oldest continuous business of record in Ky. On land acquired by John Craig in 1780 through a military warrant, the Virginia Assembly granted a perpetual and irrevocable franchise to establish ferry in 1785. Ferry is presently named for the location in picturesque Valley View community."

This historical plaque is located on the Madison County side of the ferry dock. | Photo by LEXtoday

The history

In 1780, a land baron named John Craig purchased 200+ acres of land just along the Kentucky River via a military warrant. Five years later, the Virginia Assembly gave Craig permission to begin operating the ferry.

The ferry was often used to transport residents and goods as needed. After being privately operated for nearly two centuries, it was taken over by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, as well as Madison and Jessamine Counties, in 1991.

A sign that reads, "No Toll. Allowable Length At Captain's Discretion."

The 85-ft barge is believed to be one of the oldest operating ferries in the US. | Photo by LEXtoday

Taking a ride

Today, the paddlewheel vehicle transports cars up to 150 times each day — and it’s open to just about anyone (as long as your car is less than 22 ft in size).

Interested in taking this rite of passage? Here’s a few things you should know:
  • If you’re coming from Fayette County, you can reach the ferry by going south on Tates Creek Road ~11 miles.
  • The ferryboat can carry up to three cars.
  • Operations hours are Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. + Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Each ride is ~3 minutes and transports you to Madison County (Richmond).
  • The ferry may close depending on weather, so check its Facebook for updates.
Have you ever ridden the Valley View Ferry?

A. Yes
B. No
C. No, but I want to
Thursday, Sept. 14
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band | Thursday, Sept. 14 | 8 p.m. | Lexington Opera House, 401 W. Short St., Lexington | $39 | Get down to the nitty gritty with these Americana icons as they play through their classics + covers of Bob Dylan.
  • Thursday Night Live | Thursday, Sept. 14-Thursday, Oct. 12 | 5-8 p.m. | Fifth Third Bank Pavilion, 251 W. Main St., Lexington | Free | Head downtown for the perfect post-work wind down featuring live music, tasty beverages, and delicious food.
Friday, Sept. 15
  • Controlled Chaos | Friday, Sept. 15 | 6-9 p.m. | Julietta Market, 101 W. Loudon Ave., Ste 150, Lexington | $25 | Find beauty in the chaos at this uplifting, thought-provoking art exhibit.
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor | Friday, Sept. 15 | 8 p.m. | The Burl, 375 Thompson Rd., Lexington | $36 | Come see the critically acclaimed post-rock band that comes from Canada.
Saturday, Sept. 16
  • Learn to Love Gin | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 6-8 p.m. | Spirited Lexington, 110 W. Vine St., Fourth Floor, Lexington | $65 | Master your bartender skills and you’ll be rollin’ down the street, sipping on gin and juice in no time.
  • UK vs. University of Akron Football Game | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 7:30 p.m. | Kroger Field, 1540 University Dr., Lexington | $26-$70 | Watch the Wildcats take on the Zips in the last game before SEC play begins.
Saturday, Oct. 21
  • 42nd Annual Kentucky Book Festival | Saturday, Oct. 21 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 161 Lexington Green Cir., Lexington | Free | Meet your favorite writer, shop for new favorite books + visit the children’s tent at the oldest and largest literary festival in the state (kids 12 and under receive a free book).*
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News Notes
  • Good 4 Lexington, because pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo is making a stop at Rupp Arena in support of her new album, “GUTS.” The Grammy Award-winning artist will hit the stage on Wednesday, July 24, 2024 with support from PinkPantheress. Ticket registration is now open.
  • After 30+ years in business, Price Maples Sr. Art & Framing will close its doors. Show your support before owners Price and Linda Maples enter retirement by stopping by 1066 E. New Circle Rd., Ste. 8 before its last day on Saturday, Sept. 30.
  • $928,655. That’s how much the Lexington Fire Department has received as part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant. With the money, the department will focus on providing more training for 27 firefighters, who will advance from EMT-basic to an EMT Paramedic + graduate May 31, 2024. (WKYT)
  • Roy Kidd, the coach that defined EKU football, died this week at age 91. Kidd led the Colonels to 25 winning seasons in his 39 years as head coach. A visitation will take place at the EKU Center for the Arts in Richmond on Sunday, Sept. 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. (LEX18)
  • Booker T. Washington Elementary School is now home to a new mural from artist + alumni Jessica McAlpin. The 36-ft work of art features images of educator Washington himself, as well as messages of inspiration reminding students of the importance of excellence, character, and community.
  • Have a kid yearning to learn? The Living Arts & Science Center just announced its Fall Break Classes. Children Pre-K through 12th grade can sign up for classes like ceramics, drawing, and more. The sessions run Monday, Oct. 2-Friday, Oct. 6.
  • When it comes to young professionals getting their finances in order, it can be intimidating to know where to start and how to make the right decisions. The Central Kentucky team at WealthSouth gives insight into how to begin the wealth management process. (Hint: It’s easier than you think.)*
🏳️‍🌈 You better work
People playing drums in front of various Pride flags.
The Kentucky Black Pride Festival returns to bring together queer communities of color + other like-minded folks. | Photo courtesy of Kentucky Black Pride Inc.
We may associate Pride festivities with June, but Lexington likes to show its true colors all year long. It’s time to sashay around town this weekend for the annual Kentucky Black Pride festivities, which meets at the intersection of heritage, diversity, and inclusivity.

Here’s what you can expect from the weekend:

Annual Night of Elegance Gala & Honor’s Ball | Friday, Sept. 15 | 6 p.m. | The Venue at 1525, 1525 N. Limestone | $25 advance or $30 at the door | Honor and commemorate important figures in the LGBTQ+ community while enjoying live music, drinks, and food.

Pride in the Park Festival | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 12-7 p.m. | Woodland Park, 601 E. High St. | Free | Come to Woodland Park for a good ol’ fashioned Pride festival, featuring countless vendors, food, and drag performances.

Pride After Party | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 10 p.m. | The Chill Spot, 680 Lima Dr. | Free until 11 p.m. | Ready to keep the party going? Head to The Chill Spot for an after party with the community.
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I’ll be spending this weekend celebrating my birthday in Cincinnati. My itinerary includes a trip to Jungle Jim’s, seeing Patti Smith + several other personal favorite musicians, and brunch. Anything else missing? Let me know.
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