As summer comes to an end, it is again time to celebrate the best of Kentucky at this year's Kentucky State Fair. This year's fair spans 11 days, taking place Aug. 15-25.

Since it was created by the General Assembly in the early 20th Century and first held in 1902, people from throughout Kentucky and neighboring states have traveled to Louisville for the annual event, providing tourism, employment and entertainment opportunities. The fair contributes thousands of dollars to the regional economy and provides both temporary and permanent employment to hundreds of Kentuckians.

Things have come a long way since the early years of the fair, when it actually rotated through different counties. It was moved to Louisville in 1908 and found a permanent home at the Kentucky State Fairgrounds and Exposition Center in 1956. Today, the fair attracts approximately 600,000 people to the 520 acre fairgrounds. The fair is also home to the World's Championship Horse Show, an internationally-recognized horse show that features an average of 2,000 saddlebred horses.

While originally created to highlight the state's agricultural and industrial advancements, it has grown to feature so much more. You can hear live music performed by musicians like Lauren Daigle, King and Country, the Oakridge Boys and Montgomery Gentry. Or, you can stroll through the 1.2 million square feet of indoor exhibition space where you can buy one of a kind art, see winning contest entries from county fairs, or watch a livestock competition. There are plenty of food options and, of course, a great midway with rides and games for children of all ages.

If you are interested in the Kentucky State Fair, visit www.kystatefair.org for more information.

While fair-goers enjoy the concerts, shows, games, rides and exhibits, many of my colleagues and I will be attending legislative committee meetings. Members of several interim joint committees will be meeting - including Agriculture, Local Government, State Government, Economic Development and Workforce Investment. The Interim Joint Committee on Tourism, Small Business and Information Technology will also meet. While several topics will be discussed, we will also be hearing updates on this year's fair and its impact on our state.

As always, I will share an update after the Interim Joint Committees meet. In the meantime, I hope you will write or call about this or any other issue that interests you. I can be reached here anytime, or call the toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181. Those with hearing impairments may call the TTY message line at 1-800-896-0305.

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