Over two hundred years ago Lexington and the surrounding Bluegrass was a woodland paradise for pioneers seeking freedom and land of their own. William McConnell and a group of explorers were camping down by the Springs when word came of the Battle of Lexington and the start of the Revolutionary War. In honor of that event, the explorers decided to name our community Lexington, and did so in 1775 when the town was founded.

Enjoy celebrating Lexington’s history at the Annual McConnell Springs FREE Founders’ Day event!


My son and I went out for the 2017 event and we had such a fun time exploring all the events going on!  He loved the tomahawk throw, got the chance to shoot with a bow and arrow, played games, saw great artifacts and crafts and enjoyed seeing various ‘camps’ set up recreating what life was like in the late 1700s.

When you arrive there are activities in the visitor’s center, music, food for purchase and even more just at the front of the center.  As you walk through McConnell Springs you’ll see ‘camps’ set up that are showing how life was like in the 1700s.  You can see and touch goods that are recreations of items they would have made and used during their time as pioneers exploring and building their lives in Central KY.

There are games to try and even a bow and arrow and tomahawk throw.  My son spent much of his time there!  It’s a great way to experience history right here locally!  You can stay for just a little or spend the day.  There are picnic tables you can use if you choose to pack a lunch.  Parking and admission is FREE!

May 16, 2020  10 am – 4 pm

With Spring comes our 25th annual Founders’ Day celebration at Lexington’s McConnell Springs on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

Experience frontier life of 1775 for yourself!  Celebrate Lexington’s official “birthday” with a full calendar of activities for the whole family to commemorate the city’s founding in 1775 at McConnell Springs. Free event! Rain or shine.

Colonial Crafts, Demonstrations of Frontier Life at the Log Cabin, Hands-On Activities, Live Traditional Music all day!

Food available, period reproductions for purchase from vendors demonstrating their skills. Storytellers, animals, and more!

Main Stage Events
• Bagpipe & Drum Corps
• Kentucky Frontier Folk parade / Opening
• Moira Levant – Traditional Irish Fiddler
• Folk Songs of Early Kentucky – Robert Tincher
• Jennifer Rose & Family –
Traditional Appalachian Songs
• Berea Festival Dancers
• Si Bheag, Si Mhor – Scots-Irish Ballads & Love Songs
Jonathan Hagee – Colonial Balladeer
Moira Levant – Traditional Irish Fiddler
• Fred Keams – Native American Indian Flute

Amphitheater & Concurrent Programs
• Cultural / History Exhibits & Demonstrations –
Education Center
• Various Frontier Life demonstrations
(log cabin & meadow)
• Tomahawk, Bow & Arrow, Settler & Native Cooking,
• Winchester Dulcimer Group – Strings of Friendship
Tent – by pond
• Traditional Music in the Education Center
(Hammered Dulcimer)
• Moira Levant – Roving Fiddler
• Frontier Folk talk – Pioneer Gear (Clothing, Gear &
• John Kiefer – Geology Tour
• Jerry McClure – Cherokee/Shawnee storyteller
• Building of the Log Cabin at McConnell Springs
(by cabin)
• Tom Sproat / Kentucky the Owl – “A Pioneer’s
Perspective of the Environment”
• Kentucky Wildlife Center animal presentation
• Frontier Life at the Founding of Lexington
(at the log cabin)
Preliminary schedule, subject to change

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