Menu

6 Gifts Your Holiday Host Will Give Thanks For

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
There’ll be parties for hosting
Insta’s for posting
And houses alight with a glow. . .

Tis the season for holiday gatherings. Whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner, an informal post-turkey day do, holiday tea party, tree trimming affair, cocktail bash or other occasion, bringing a thoughtful and personal gift for your host is always in style. And with nearly two dozen locally owned shops lining its downtown streets and surrounding area, Winchester has lots of gifting possibilities.

Here are ideas from a half dozen Winchester merchants:

Dirty South Pottery

Find handmade gifts for every budget, from ornaments to mugs to kitchenware, including the shop’s new Fireside Collection. Additionally, the shop partners with another local business, Creative Coffees Roastery, to create customized gift boxes for its seasonal Holiday Shop. (A favorite is the irresistible Mystery Mug Gift Set, which includes a mug with its own unique shape and glazing and the shop’s signature blend of coffee.)

A gift that a host will love for its versatility is Dirty South’s Dessert Stand ($60-$65), shown in Ocean Jade. Handmade from start to finish, it is a one-of-a-kind piece that is perfect for showcasing much more than cake – it can show off anything from fruit to charcuterie. Useful and beautiful, it is made with porcelain clay and measures approximately 5 inches high and 11 inches wide. The Dessert Stand is available exclusively at Dirty South Pottery’s Winchester shop.

Continue reading 6 Gifts Your Holiday Host Will Give Thanks For

6 Always Original Adventures for Leaf Peepers

Follow the turning leaves to catch the colors of autumn while enjoying an Always Original adventure in Winchester: hiking, biking, dining, winding down country roads, sipping and picking out the perfect pumpkin to carve.

Here are six ways Winchester wows during fall:

  1. Hike the 1-mile loop to the earthen fort built 160 years ago by Union soldiers to defend ford and ferry during the Civil War at the Civil War Fort at Boonesboro. The trail’s wooded setting is ablaze with color and hikers are rewarded with sweeping views of the Kentucky River and surrounding countryside. Dial 859-592-9166 and make it a self-guided cellphone tour.
  2. Bike one of the scenic byways of Clark County. Depending on how long your legs hold out, choose the Winchester Alley Tour and cycle through downtown Winchester and its neighborhoods by alleyways; mountain bike the dirt road at the 1,000-acre historic Mt. Folly Farm; or pedal the 28-mile River Route along the banks of the Kentucky River.
  3. Pique your palate with Winchester’s culinary gift to the world: beer cheese. Grab a Cheese Log and follow the Clark County Beer Cheese Trail to 14 stops to sample this original and unique Kentucky delicacy, stopping at a brewery, farmers market, diner/grocery and Winchester’s original fire station (now a pizza pub), among other distinctive venues. You’ll want to pace yourself for the sake of your tastebuds and tummy; each stop features its own delicious spin on beer cheese.
  4. Pick up a picnic lunch from Gaunce’s Café & Deli (home of the famous Smitty’s Country Ham) for a road trip into Winchester country to enjoy views of fall color, towering limestone cliffs and historic stone fences along the Daniel Boone Heritage Trail. Download the trail brochure for inspiration on where to pull over to picnic amidst autumn’s splendor.
  5. Get ready to sip . . . at Harkness Edwards Vineyards’ tasting room – breathtaking views on the side; locally crafted brews spiced with the flavors of Octoberfest at Abettor Brewing Company; or the refreshing citrus- and ginger-spiced Ale-8-One soft drink, Kentucky’s Official Soft Drink and a Winchester original founded in 1926.
  6. Pick up a pumpkin or three at Beech Springs Farm Market as the centerpiece for your fall holidayscape or for carving and lighting up on Halloween night. Find mums, jams and jellies and local honey, plus freshly baked apple pies made with apples from the farm’s own apple orchard. Mmm.

Did You Know? The tradition of pumpkin carving began in Ireland in the early 1800s to warn off a folktale character named Stingy Jack and other evil spirits.

2021 Pioneer Festival!

Join us in Downtown Winchester for the 42nd annual Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival Saturday, September 4th from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM and Sunday, September 5th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

There are a variety of wonderful events throughout Clark County, but no event draws people to the community like the Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival. For many this festival serves as a homecoming, bringing family from all over the nation to celebrate our heritage. For others this is the opportunity to travel to Winchester and experience nationally renowned entertainment and handmade arts and crafts.  

Continue reading 2021 Pioneer Festival!

Summertime in Winchester

by Cameron Correll

Winchester Traditions is a cooking series written by local resident Cameron Correll. Each recipe is inspired by the rich history of Clark County.

Summers in Winchester are sprinkled with memories of picking fresh blackberries, cold Ale-8s, and the feeling of grass on barefoot feet. My mom would fold the fresh blackberries into a mix of oatmeal, sugar, and butter and then baked until bubbly and golden. If you drive down Boone Avenue in the summer, you might notice a lush blackberry plant growing right outside of downtown. When the plant was heavy with berries, we plucked buckets full to can or freeze. I grew up near the old corner market on Combs Ferry Road. My dad would drive me for a sausage biscuit and a frosty Ale-8 for our regular Saturday morning breakfast date. Even today, as a grown woman, he will treat me to lunch once a week, where I’ll order an Ale-8 Zero. These memories are baked in and remembered with each sip of a cold Ale-8 or bite of a blackberry.

Continue reading Summertime in Winchester

All Things Beer Cheese

by Cameron Correll

Pull Apart Pretzel Skillet. Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Winchester Traditions is a cooking series written by local resident Cameron Correll. Each recipe is inspired by the rich history of Clark County.


With Winchester’s Beer Cheese Week fast approaching (June 7-13), I thought it would be fitting to talk about the wonderful, creamy, and spicy goodness that got its start in Winchester, KY!

Continue reading All Things Beer Cheese

No Nuts Derby Pie!

by Cameron Correll

Photo courtesy of The Spruce

Winchester Traditions is a cooking series written by local resident Cameron Correll. Each recipe is inspired by the rich history of Clark County.


I have been cursed with a very unfortunate allergy to nuts and peanuts. This allergy eliminates so many delicious treats from my diet, probably for the better. When April turns to May and Derby season nears, I do have one trick to help enjoy a classic favorite, Derby Pie. My mother-in-law first introduced me to this trick, and I have found it makes a great swap in a dessert that traditionally calls for walnuts or pecans. A simple substitution of crushed pretzels gives the same salty crunch that a nut would in this recipe. If you don’t like pretzels, oats help achieve the same consistency. This trick also works for pecan pie, another southern favorite.

Continue reading No Nuts Derby Pie!

“Let’s go fly a kite! Up to the highest height.” Mary Poppins

April is National Kite Month.  According to the National Kite Month website “April was chosen as National Kite Month because it was the month that perfectly symbolized hope, potential, and joy. As the first month in Spring, it is when most kite fliers are starting to bring their kites out of the closet and prepare for a summer on the beach.” Here in Winchester, we fly our kites over the rolling hills of the Bluegrass. More about this in a moment, but first here’s a bit of kite history.

Continue reading “Let’s go fly a kite! Up to the highest height.” Mary Poppins

Ashley Norman – Lady of the South

Ashley Norman’s introduction to molding clay was not intentional rather a requirement for graduating with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. For her, working in clay was intimidating at best terrifying at worst. She had to give up all control.  She says clay is a constant reminder of how outside forces create change. You have to surrender to the elements and the process to create beauty.

Continue reading Ashley Norman – Lady of the South

Before Abolition: African Americans in early Clark County, KY

Lydon Comstock’s Before Abolition: African Americans in early Clark County, KY (2017) includes information about more than seven thousand black people who lived in Clark County, Kentucky before 1865. One of these inspiring individuals is Fanny Cole, a former enslaved woman and black entrepreneur, or as Comstock refers to her “a most enterprising woman”.

Continue reading Before Abolition: African Americans in early Clark County, KY

The Civil War Fort at Boonesboro

The Civil War Fort at Boonesboro provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy warmer weather, stretch your legs, walk your dogs and brush up on Clark County’s unique heritage.

Walking along the self-guided trail, visitors are greeted with interpretive signs that tell not only the history of the fort and the Civil War, but a history of the overall area including the early settlements, geology, geography and more. Remnants of the fortification walls and trenches overlook a picturesque view of the Kentucky River as visitors are able to stand within the walls of the once occupied Union fort.  

Continue reading The Civil War Fort at Boonesboro

African American History in Clark County

Looking for opportunities to celebrate Clark County’s African American history? Look no further than the Bluegrass Heritage Museum. The Winchester-Clark County Unity Committee and the Bluegrass Heritage Museum are honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the museum through February 19th. Special Exhibits highlight local African Americans who have shaped our community.  

Peter Bruner

One of the most important exhibits on display at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum pays homage to Peter Bruner. Born into slavery, Peter ran away numerous times before reaching Camp Nelson, where he enlisted in July 1864. He served with the 12th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery and was only one of over 600 colored troops to have fought in the Civil War. Bruner went on to retire from Miami University in Ohio, and penned his autobiography A Slave’s Adventures Toward Freedom”. His story was adapted into a play and performed at Winchester’s Leeds Theater several years ago.

Continue reading African American History in Clark County

Winchester-Clark County Tourism Wishes You a Happy New Year!

couple enjoying beer cheese and Ale 8 One

Take some time this year to find out why Winchester is the home of original experiences, such as popping the top off a cold Ale-8-One. Named “Kentucky’s Official Soft Drink” this ginger, citrus soda in the green bottle has been bottled by the same family since 1926.

Speaking of original, Clark County is the Birthplace of Beer Cheese! This spicy cheddar dip and spread was first served, in 1940 on the banks of the Kentucky River, at Allman’s Restaurant. Beer Cheese isn’t just delicious, it’s our culture. Heck, we even celebrate it at our annual Beer Cheese Festival each June.

Continue reading Winchester-Clark County Tourism Wishes You a Happy New Year!