Tuesday, December 18, 2012

SxSE: Lexington, Kentucky

Thoroughbred Park
Photo by Bryan Sherwood flickr.com

Our South by Southeast virtual road trip heads into the home stretch, arriving at Lexington, KY, a several-horse town and home of the Kentucky Wildcats.

♦ Lexington is the 3rd closest SEC town to Columbia, 459 miles away (428 air miles).  Kentucky is in the SEC East Division.

Fun Facts about Lexington, Kentucky:
  • 2010 Population 299,803 (metro area 687,173)
  • Lexington is known as the Thoroughbred City or the Horse Capital of the World)
  • In 1833, 500 of the 7,000 residents died in a cholera outbreak
  • In 1958 Lexington became the first city to establish an "urban growth boundary", in order to protect the  many horse farms and bluegrass landscape that are key to the tourism industry.  This boundary is, not surprisingly, the subject of continual debate and tinkering by the city and county government.
Brady Deaton
Kentucky alum
♦ There are 5 Chik-fil-a locations in Lexington

Thoroughly Horse Crazy (visitlex.com)
There are many indicators that Lexington is Horse Capital of the World. Some are obvious. More than more than 30 national, state and regional equine organizations are head-quartered here.
. . .
But there are other, more subtle indicators. Here’s one recently discovered while trying to find a friend with the last name "Thornton" in the phone book: Lexington companies use “Thoroughbred” in their name, in many cases for no reason other than, well…it’s Lexington. There are the obvious companies related to the horse industry, of course-- like Thoroughbred Times or the Thoroughbred Center. But what about Thoroughbred Internet Services, presumably not meant to be internet services FOR horses, or Thoroughbred Barbershop, presumably not a barbershop for horses? You’ll find Thoroughbred Auto Sales, Thoroughbred Chem-Dry, Thoroughbred Energy, Thoroughbred Homes and Construction and Thoroughbred Masonry. Perhaps Thoroughbred Allergy and Asthma caters to people allergic to horses? And then there’s Thoroughbred Limousine, when your horses wants a night out on the town in high style. We have Thoroughbred Mortgage for horses wanting to refinance. Thoroughbred Painting (maybe that’s how the Visitor’s Bureau got their infamous blue horse) Thoroughbred Publications, Thoroughbred Restaurant…..well, you get the idea.
♦ The largest church in Lexington (78th largest in America) is Southland Christian Church (9,148 average attendance).  It's lead minister, Jon Weece, is from Columbia, MO (Rock Bridge HS), and grew up an avid fan of Mizzou. (Statistics from Hartford Institute for Religion in America)

♦ The Lexington Ice Center includes a miniature golf course featuring Biblical themes.

♦ Kentucky is the only state among the longstanding SEC states that did not officially secede from the Union at the time of the Civil War.  Like Missouri, Kentucky was a deeply divided border state.

♦ According to DumbLaws.com, in Lexington it is is illegal to transport an ice cream cone in your pocket

The SEC Guide to Kentucky's Home Turf offers several suggestions for feasting and relaxing in town, including this grammatically mangled list:
The must-do lists when visiting Kentucky: Keeneland during the Spring and Autumn meets. When dining at a local establishment, you order Bourbon, not whiskey. Try visiting local wineries, Kentucky is known for having the first commercial vineyards in America. Eat a Hot Brown. Visit the Bourbon Trail, to see how Bourbon is made and even sample a taste.

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