Festivals and Events in Glasgow, KY

Annual events and festivals such as the Glasgow Highland Games draw thousands of spectators to Glasgow, KY each year.

By Jessica Mozo on January 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm EST
Glasgow Highland Games in Glasgow, KY


There’s always a reason to celebrate in Glasgow and Barren County. Community members gather several times throughout the year for annual festivals and events that draw spectators from near and far. These events not only provide entertainment, but also unite residents and showcase the people and beauty of the county.

Glasgow Highland Games

In May and June, Glasgow residents celebrate their Scottish heritage during the highly anticipated Glasgow Highland Games. The three-day event attracts nearly 10,000 people and takes place at Barren River Lake State Resort Park. It has been named a Top 10 Summer Event by the Kentucky Tourism Council.

“Probably the most common bond shared is a sense of belonging – a sense of family,” says Maureen Frazer Hendrick, executive secretary for the Glasgow Highland Games. “It’s one of the happiest places to be every year. About 65 percent of Barren County has Scottish heritage. I am one of 10 children, and whether you’re an only child or one of 18, as soon as you get to the Games field, you feel like you belong there.”

Spectators can try their hand in the haggis and caber toss competitions, and there is live Scottish music, children’s activities, Scottish clan tents, an enchanting Tartan Ball, a Celtic rock concert under the stars and a country ham breakfast Saturday morning. 

The Games have been a Glasgow tradition since 1986.

Fourth of July Concert on the Square

When July rolls around, more than 3,500 Glasgow residents converge on the courthouse lawn for the annual Fourth of July Concert on the Square. The impressive musical celebration began in 1999 and features either the Louisville Orchestra or the Nashville Symphony along with local bands playing patriotic and classical tunes.

“The concert is special not only because it is a unique opportunity for a community of our size, but also because it is free of charge, presented as a gift to the community from local donors,” says Samuel Dickinson, chairman of the Concert on the Square Committee. “The sponsor list is made up of a great group of community-minded companies and individuals.” 

The concert is held the weekend closest to July 4. In addition to patriotic music, local first responders and National Guard perform their duties, a clown entertains the children and vendors sell food.

Cruise Into Fall Car Show

Car enthusiasts descend on downtown Glasgow on the second Saturday in October each year for the Glasgow Renaissance-Main Street Cruise Into Fall Car Show. A tradition since 2000, the show had more than 350 exhibitors in 2012, including classic cars, trucks, street rods, motorcycles and more.

“It’s a great, laid-back atmosphere,” says Becky Barrick, co-chair of the Cruise Into Fall Car Show. “People come together and visit, and we have lots of groups come from other towns and states. The Kiwanis Club and restaurants around the square sell food, and we give away door prizes and awards in several categories.”

At 3 p.m., exhibitors line up for a cruise while spectators look on.

“It’s quite spectacular to see so many wonderful vehicles driving together,” Barrick says. “People especially love seeing the kind of car they once had as a teenager.”


Harvest of History Tour

In September, the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center presents its annual Harvest of History Tour at Glasgow Municipal Cemetery. Costumed actors bring history to life by portraying Barren County historical figures who are buried in the cemetery, including war heroes, teachers and even a farmer who cared for horses owned by the Jesse James gang.

Check out more fun events in Glasgow, KY.

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