Cultural Attractions in Danville, KY
Danville is one of five cities in Kentucky to be designated a Cultural, Arts and Heritage District, thanks to attractions that draw thousands of visitors here each year.
The Great American Dollhouse Museum is an entire village of crafted and displayed miniatures along with a playroom, classroom and gift shop. Meanwhile, the Ephraim McDowell House Museum is the former home of Dr. Ephraim McDowell, who performed the first ovarian tumor removal in 1809. His National Historic Landmark house hosts daily tours.
For festivals, Danville has been home to the Great American Brass Band Festival since 1990, with the event featuring live brass band music from Friday until Sunday as well as a parade, fireworks extravaganza and a Great American Balloon Race. The Boyle County Fair & Horse Show also occurs annually in Danville with a week-long lineup of pageants, talent shows, pet shows, horse events, drag racing and tractor pulls, while the Forkland Heritage Festival & Revue in Gravel Switch allows attendees to experience what life was like in simpler times with old-time country music along with artists and craftspeople at work.
The town of Perryville hosts two of the county’s most beloved annual events. The Red, White & Bluegrass Festival is held in July, while a commemoration of the Battle of Perryville, the largest Civil War battle in Kentucky, is held the first week of October.
The Community Arts Center in the downtown district has become a key gathering place for Danville's arts community. It hosts classes in dance, music and visual arts, plus there are numerous exhibits and performances throughout the year.
The Jones Visual Arts Center is on the Centre College campus and home to the studio and gallery of glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell. JVAC also hosts all arts classes for Centre College students.
The 85,000-square-foot Norton Center for the Arts is also on the Centre College campus, welcoming an array of concerts and other live performances. The 2012-13 entertainment lineup has included Huey Lewis, Alison Krauss, Phil Vassar and the musical Hair.
Pioneer Playhouse is Kentucky's oldest outdoor theater, offering dinner and a live show every Tuesday through Saturday from June through August. Famous alumni include John Travolta, Lee Majors, Bo Hopkins and Jim Varney.
West T. Hill Community Theatre has been performing plays and musicals in Danville for 30 years. It was named for Dr. West T. Hill, former chairman of the dramatic arts department at Centre College.
Constitution Square is a historic park that encompasses Boyle County Courthouse, where Kentucky’s first 10 constitutional conventions were held. The park still includes early meeting houses, school houses and a post office.
Danville National Cemetery is a half-acre site first established in 1862 for the burial of Civil War soldiers. Other key historic attractions in the region include Perryville Battlefield where the most devastating Civil War battle in Kentucky occurred, and the Confederate Monument in McDowell Park that commemorates the Confederate States of America and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Check out more on the arts in Danville, KY.