BEREA, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear is encouraging Kentuckians to support local businesses and buy Kentucky products this holiday season. To show her support, Mrs. Beshear today presented a proclamation at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea declaring December “Give a Gift Made In Kentucky” Month.
“The Commonwealth is filled with local shops and businesses offering unique Kentucky-made products this holiday season,” said Mrs. Beshear. “Whether you need a good gift idea or a food selection for you holiday party, Kentucky-made products are easily accessible, quality choices. I encourage everyone to buy Kentucky gifts and support local economies this upcoming season, and discover the exceptional service and personal touch of Kentucky small business.”
The Kentucky Artisan Center features items created by more than 650 Kentucky artisans, including hand-crafted gifts such as woven scarves and blankets, glassware, ornaments, fine furniture, quilts and a wide range of functional and decorative pottery. Other gift ideas available at the center include Kentucky artists’ paintings and photographs, jewelry, books, music, children’s toys and Kentucky Proud food products. The center is located at I-75 exit 77/Berea and is open daily 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov.
“There’s no better way to show your appreciation than to purchase a handmade gift from a Kentucky artisan,” Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow said. “The Kentucky Artisan Center is a great place to purchase Kentucky-made products.”
Throughout the state there are a variety ways to find and purchase Kentucky-made gifts, some resources include:
Kentucky Heritage Council – Kentucky Main Street Program
The Kentucky Main Street Program is again encouraging consumers to Shop Downtown This Holiday Season! With more than 5,600 small businesses located in 71 participating Kentucky Main Street Program communities, downtowns offer the perfect destinations for holiday shopping, dining and visiting. For more information, visitwww.heritage.ky.gov/mainstreet.
Kentucky Historical Society
Located in the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the 1792 Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) Store has a wide selection of books, Kentucky crafts and other specialty items. People can also purchase KHS gift memberships, where members receive free admission to the KHS history campus, special prices on research services and members-only discounts on special events. Call 502-564-1792 or visit www.history.ky.gov for details.
The Kentucky Arts Council
The Kentucky Arts Council has partnered with organizations across the state to promote Kentucky artists and support local businesses. Subscribers to Kentucky Monthly magazine will receive a special Holiday Gift Guide featuring items produced by artists who have been selected for Kentucky Arts Council programs. Work by these artists and hundreds of others can also be reviewed from the agency’s artist directories at http://bit.ly/KACartistdirectories. Also, search #giveagiftky on Twitter for daily holiday shopping discounts and updates.
Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
From Broadway to ballet, to the masterpieces of orchestra or the hottest pop stars performing today, The Kentucky Center brings a variety of musical talent to the Commonwealth. Kentucky Center for the Arts gift certificates are available in any purchase amount and can be applied toward any show. Call the Kentucky Center Box Office at 584-7777 or (800) 775-7777, or visit www.kentuckycenter.org.
Kentucky State Parks
Kentucky State Parks are a great place to visit during the winter months with lodge room rates starting at $49.95 a night. Special events such as holiday gatherings, light displays, New Year’s Eve parties and wildlife viewing weekends are among the popular attractions. Visit www.parks.ky.gov for information and reservations. Click here for a complete list of holiday parks events and discounts.
Kentucky Horse Park
The Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop Holiday Open House is December 7 and 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests can enjoy free parking, refreshments, door prizes, storewide discounts, and discounts on park admission as well as park tickets and memberships. The Horse Park is also featuring its annual Southern Lights Christmas display, which runs from 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. daily through Dec. 31. Visit www.kyhorsepark.com or call 859-259-4200 for more information.
Fish and Wildlife Resources
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources offers gift certificates which can be used to buy licenses, permits and magazine subscriptions for that hard-to-buy-for hunter or angler on your list. Normally reserved only for subscribers, the 2013 Kentucky Afield calendars is now available for purchase at $7.50 a piece. In addition to outstanding photography, the calendar provides season dates, outdoor tips and nature notes for each month. Gift certificates, the calendar and more are available online at www.fw.ky.gov.
Kentucky Proud labeled products offer a quality guarantee that the item is Kentucky-made. Kentucky Proud products are unique and make great selections for holiday parties and great gifts for anyone on a Christmas list. Support a Kentucky farm family or town market this holiday season by purchasing Kentucky Proud. Find products, producers and recipes at http://www.kyproud.com/.
Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Gift Card
The Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Gift Card is good at all Kentucky State Parks, the Kentucky Artisan Center, the Kentucky Horse Park and the Kentucky Historical Society museum and gift shop in Frankfort. Unbridled Spirit Gift Cards can be purchased at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Historical Society museum and gift shop as well as at Kentucky State Parks. Cards also may be purchased by calling 1-800-255-PARK (select option 5) or online at http://www.parks.ky.gov/gift-cards/.
Support local businesses
In addition to buying Kentucky-made products, it is also important to support the businesses in your local area. Many communities have resources available such as local business directories. Here are a few examples:
Local First Lexington (LFI)
LFI is a registered nonprofit organization formed in 2008 as an alliance of locally owned, independently operated Lexington businesses. The goal is to keep Lexington a unique, interesting and economically stable place to live and work. They encourage Lexington citizens to think “Local First,” so local, home-grown businesses will continue to grow and prosper—and so will Lexington. For more information, visit www.localfirstlexington.com.
Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA)
LIBA’s mission is to preserve the unique community character of the Metro Louisville area by promoting locally owned businesses and to educate citizens on the value of shopping locally. For more information and a member list, visit www.keeplouisvilleweird.com.