The Hitching Post (Aurora, Ky)
If you’re familiar with my soapbox routines on Genuine Kentucky, you know I’m always preaching, “Shop local!” What better way to support our beautiful state and our wonderful neighbors than by keeping as much of our money in the state as possible.
Since this is one of my biggest soapboxes, I got an extra charge out of the following press release. Read on, you’ll see why.
First Lady Jane Beshear joined Kentucky artists, officials, arts patrons and the public in a celebration today at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. The event recognized the creative works being made by Kentucky’s talented artists and announced Governor Steve Beshear’s proclamation of December 2014, as Give a Gift Made in Kentucky month.
I encourage everyone to purchase Kentucky-made gifts this holiday season, Mrs. Beshear said. Kentuckians can find unique, quality gifts for anyone on their list, because all across the Commonwealth there are countless local shops, artist studios and businesses filled with books, food, artwork, toys and more.
Bob Stewart, secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet; and Victoria Faoro, executive director of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, also participated in the ceremony celebrating the state’s talent and encouraging everyone to Give a Gift Made in Kentucky. Regional artists Lindy Evans, and Donna and Donnie Smith were also on hand to contribute to the celebration by demonstrating their sculpted Santas and painted gourd ornaments.
Berea, known as the Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky, offers a wide variety of craftsmen studios, galleries, shops and the Kentucky Artisan Center, where wonderful Kentucky-made selections can be found for that special person on your shopping list.
There are endless opportunities to enjoy the holidays in a unique fashion when you add Kentucky-made art, craft, books, music and foods to your celebrations, said Faoro. We are proud to offer thousands of Kentucky-made items and to present artisan book signings, performances and demonstrations on Saturdays throughout the holiday season, to make your holiday shopping experience a truly memorable one.
The Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Gift Card is another way to purchase Kentucky-made gifts for that hard-to-buy-for person. Gift cards are available for purchaseat the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea and can be used at other Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet agencies such as the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Historical Society, and at Kentucky State Parks.
This celebration event with the First Lady is part of the statewide annual holiday Give a Gift Made in Kentucky campaign to promote Kentucky’s art, craft, music, books, specialty foods, and more. For additional great ideas for holiday shopping, go to the Kentucky Arts Council Give a Gift Made in Kentucky website page.
Kentucky Artisan Center
The Kentucky Artisan Center is located just off Interstate 75 at Berea Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.
The center currently features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. A special exhibit, Put a Lid On It: Containers by Kentucky Artisans, is on display through Feb. 28. For information about the center’s programming call 859-985-5448, visit the center on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentucky.artisan.center, or go to the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
See? See why I’m all charged up?? Here’s a GREAT website you’ll want to check out – while you’re all charged up, too: Kentucky For Kentucky. So many Christmas gifts just waiting to be bought!
Whether you shop online at Kentucky for Kentucky or shop in your own hometown, keeping your money in your own state is just good old fashioned common sense. It’s also the Southern thing to do – what with it being so considerate and all.
What are YOUR favorite ways to shop local? Do you have favorite Kentucky shops or products you swear by? I love The Hitching Post (Aurora), Trunnell’s Farm Market (Owensboro), The Fudge Factory (Grand Rivers), and all of the Kentucky State Resort Park gift shops. You can find wonderful Kentucky foods, crafts, jewelry, toys, and more.
I’m also head over freaking heels in love with Two Sisters, out of Louisville. I guarantee if you gave anyone a jar of their Cherry Bomb Hot Pepper Jam, you’d earn yourself a lifetime membership on their tallest pedestal.
Trust Joi on this one. She knows good food.
Share your own favorite ways to keep it local in the comments!
Two Sisters Cherry Bomb Hot Pepper Jam (AMAZING!!!)