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Bourbon Chase runners to return to Stanford

STANFORD – If you are a driver who becomes easily frustrated with the slightest amount of traffic or road detours, then your best bet Friday evening would be to stay away from downtown Stanford.

The streets of Stanford will be a little busier than usual this Friday evening as the 2019 Bourbon Chase makes its way through town once again, bringing with it thousands of runners, vans, support crews and supporters.

According to Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Director Andrea Miller, the first of over an anticipated 2,400 runners are expected to come through Stanford about 6:15 p.m. Runners will continue coming through into the early hours of Saturday morning.

“We’re going to have a lot of visitors in Friday,” said Miller. “Thousands come through with the Bourbon Chase so be careful, super careful for runners. People can leave their porch lights or outside lights on to help light the way.”

The annual race is an overnight relay that travels along the historic Kentucky Bourbon Trail, beginning at the Jim Beam Distillery near Bardstown and finishing in downtown Lexington at Triangle Park.

The theme for this year’s 200-mile journey across the rolling hills and scenic backroads of Kentucky is “Superheroes and Villains.” Stanford homeowners and residents are encouraged to decorate their homes and/or dress up as their favorite superhero or villain or create one of their own to show your spirit.

As the winner of five Most Spirited Community Awards voted on by the runners, Stanford has become a favorite stop for Bourbon Chase runners and their followers.

“The runners love to get encouragement and we love to do it,” said Miller. “Main Street will be busy with games and music as we wait for the runners to come through.”

Stanford aims to contend for “Most Spirited Community” honors again by offering refreshments, hot and cold drinks, bathrooms and massages for the runners as well as other activities. At the same time, there will be games being played on the streets and plenty of music provided by Tim Estes.

Dubbed “Cookie Town” by past Bourbon Chasers, Stanford hopes to live up to its nickname with plenty of cookies for participants. There will even be a giant cookie (Debbie Ernst) downtown to greet the runners. Donations of cookies are still being accepted and can be dropped off at the Lincoln County Chamber office or at Kentucky Soaps and Such.

“It’s going to be a busy and fun night,” Miller said. “We have photo opportunities, the games will be fun and Tim will be here after the (Lincoln-Corbin) football game to provide the music. So come on down after the game and cheer on the runners and join in the fun.”

Miller added that there were some Bourbon Chase commemorative ornaments which say “Had a barrel of fun in Stanford, Kentucky” still available for sale.

The local Bourbon Chase event committee has been in charge of setting the stage for this year’s race, with Alexis Gooch, Megan Ralston and Kayla Faulkner providing much of the art work.

“We’re just so excited. We’re excited about what we’ve got going on for this year,” Miller said. “The committee has worked really hard to make it a fun experience not only for the runners but the community as well.”

Other communities along the Bourbon Chase race route include: Shepherdsville, Bardstown, Springfield, Perryville, Danville, Harrodsburg, Lawrenceburg, Versailles, Midway and Lexington.

Main Street and Lancaster Street will be blocked off for most of the evening to accommodate everyone at the event.

Car Cruise-In Trunk of Treat

The Bourbon Chase is not the only event going on in downtown Stanford Friday evening, though, with the Car Cruise-In Trunk or Treat set from 5 to 8 p.m.

To avoid confusion, Cruise-In Trunk or Treaters are asked to enter Main Street from the east end of town (off U.S. 27). The Lincoln County Public Library parking lot is reserved for Bourbon Chase vans.