Railbird Festival is a hit, one vendor says she’s never fed so many people

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Just one day after the inaugural Railbird Festival at Keeneland, organizers say the festival should be returning for many more years to come.

Jeff Cuellar with AC Entertainment said the festival is the first of it’s kind to incorporate bourbon, horse betting and live music. That’s also what he thinks makes it successful in horse country.

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“We had a phenomenal weekend, it definitely was on a level, that I would say kinda exceeded our expectations,” he said. “A first year event you’re looking to build.”

As far as the exact amount of people who came out Saturday and Sunday, Celluar’s team doesn’t have a number yet. But, his team projected 15,000 to 20,000.

Along with craft cocktails and drinks, there was also local food to pick from.



Ranada Riley, chef and owner of Ranada’s Bistro and Bar in Lexington, was one of the vendors.

She says she’s catered a lot of events in her career, but Railbird Festival was no match for what she’s done in the past.

“We’ve never cooked for more people in one day, ever,” she said.

Riley said it was a long two days, but worth every minute.

Ranada’s Bistro and Bar fed about 2,500 people. Ranada says she already knows what she’s going to do with the profits, upgrade her restaurant.

“I’m going to get all my floors redone,” she said. “So I’m going to have all new floors because of this festival.”

She said she’s grateful for the experience and is already looking forward to next year.