(I read through this before I posted it…and couldn’t have been more disappointed. Most annoying part was the continual referral to it as “Lexington-Fayette.” No one calls it that. Let me know what you think!)
1. Folks in Lexington-Fayette Never Say Neigh to a Day At the Races
Lexington is known as the “Horse Capital of the World” since it’s right in the heart of bluegrass country, but Lexingtonians do far more with horses than just simply raising them on the best by God grass on God’s green (or blue) earth. They’ve also got the Keeneland Racecourse, the Red Mile harness track and the Kentucky Horse Park, where famous racers retire to a life Hugh Hefner can only dream about.
(I feel like these paragraphs were written by someone who has no clue why the majority of people go to Keeneland.)
2. People in Lexington-Fayette Are Bourbon Snobs
So much so that the Lexington-Fayette area even includes a county named after the booze that made Kentucky famous. Lexington is home to the Town Branch distillery, and within easy (designated) driving distance of several other stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. While the mint julep may be forever linked with the state due to its association with the Kentucky Derby, folks in Lexington are too proud of their high-quality Bourbon to dampen their spirits with anything other than maybe a little ice or possibly the tiniest splash of branch water.
(The county that is being referred to in the above paragraph is Bourbon County, and isn’t any part of LFUC. What this article fails to mention is LFUC is different than the Lexington-Fayette Metro area, which includes 5 other counties besides Fayette. Sadly though, I haven’t seen many people be “bourbon snobs” other than being 100% certain that bourbon is the best liquor in the world (regardless of preference). Many settle for Ezra Brooks or whatever well is because we all know bourbon gets the job done. Except Kentucky Gentleman. That’s just an insult.)
3. When they’re not drinking bourbon, the drink of choice is always Ale-8.
Ale-8, or, to use its full name Ale-8 One, is little known outside its native Kentucky, but in Lexington, you can pick up a bottle of this citrusy cousin to ginger ale in just about every grocery store or gas station. Ale-8 is available in cans, but locals know better, it’s best when drunk from a green glass bottle.
(Ale-8’s birthplace is Winchester.)
4. People in Lexington-Fayette Pledge Allegiance to the Fried Chicken at
The Parkette Drive-In The Parkette, which opened in 1951, was, for years one of Lexington’s best-kept secrets. That is, until some Lexingtonians decided their hometown fave deserved a wider audience and staged a write-in campaign to have the restaurant featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Now not only is the secret out, but blabbermouth Guy Fieri even revealed the reason why their fried chicken is the best of the best: it’s fried in lard. Ok, so Lexington might not make any top-10 lists for healthy living on account of this, but at least their chicken’s finally getting its props.
(Lexington’s “best kept secret” almost didn’t make it. Not only was it not a secret, but Parkette closed abruptly in 2003 much to the dismay of the hardcore fans. After a revamp, the drive-in reopened to renewed love and appreciation from locals, and they then rallied to get Guy Fieri out there. Also left out of this article is the “Poor Boy,” another classic from Parkette.)
5. And They Also Know Their Burgoo is the Real Deal
While Kentucky’s signature stew is usually associated with the western region of the state, it actually originated in Lexington when French chef-turned-Confederate cavalryman Gus Jaubert started dishing out his creation at a Lexington eatery he opened after the Civil War. Burgoo is still on the menu at many Lexington restaurants, with some of the best being served up by Billy’s Bar-B-Q, but every Lexingtonian knows their family recipe is best.
(No, really — go out west to get the good burgoo.)
6. All of Lexington-Fayette is Wild About the Wildcats.
Basketball is king here, and even the team’s first public practice, dubbed “Big Blue Madness,” draws hordes of screaming fans to a spectacle that rivals a major rock concert for all its flash and razzle-dazzle. The Rupp Arena holds the record for world’s largest basketball-only arena, as well it might, since just about the whole town turns out for every single game.
7. Play the Song “Rocky Top” for Someone From Lexington At Your Own Risk
UK’s gridiron heroes are, unfortunately, not quite as successful as their phenomenal hoopsters. The rivalry with Tennessee is a particularly bitter one, which has resulted in several decades’ worth of drubbings dished out to the boys in blue. Not only is the song “Rocky Top” the soundtrack for all that pain and humiliation, but, to make matters worse, The Osborne Brothers, who first recorded it, were a pair of turncoat Kentuckians. Let’s never speak of this again…
8. Folks in Lexington-Fayette Ain’t Got a Care In the World
What’s to worry about? Lexington’s strong economy and low unemployment rate mean the dreaded job hunt sequence never takes too awful long, and the affordable housing and low cost of living means that you can even afford to pay the bills if the job you do land doesn’t come with the title of CEO.
(Clearly written after one of our worst crime spikes in years)
9. Lexingtonians Are Quite A Bit Smarter Than the Average Bear
And speaking of the best and the brightest, Lexington certainly doesn’t come up short in this area. Nearly 40 percent of Lexingtonians hold at least a bachelor’s degree, which puts it in the ranks of the top 10 most educated U.S. cities. While not all of those degrees are from UK, Lexington does attract a very clever crowd. Well, obviously, or they wouldn’t have picked such an awesome place to live, right?
10. People In Lexington-Fayette Are Anything But Hicks From The Sticks
Lexington earned its nickname “Athens of the West” back in the day—like, 200 years back, when it was by far the wealthiest, most cultured city west of the Alleghenies. Today’s Lexingtonians aren’t any less cultured than their forebears, as they all enjoy spending time at the city’s numerous museums, theaters, art galleries and annual celebrations including the Mayfest Arts Fair, Festival of the Bluegrass and Woodland Arts Fair. And we’d be remiss if we failed to mention the über-highbrow annual Halloween reenactment of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.
(“über-highbrow.” haha! I laughed.)
Do you think Lexington has any stereotypes?