Creative minds thrive in Danville-Boyle County, as the area is home to various cultural opportunities. History buffs can get their fix, artists can find their inspiration and festival fanatics can stay occupied – all in Danville.
Constitution Square is a historic park that plays an integral part in Kentucky's statehood. The Boyle County courthouse was the location for the 10 constitutional conventions and Kentucky's first governor was a Boyle County resident. The park includes early meeting houses, school houses and a post office.
The Danville National Cemetery is a half-acre site first established in 1862 for Civil War soldiers. Perryville Battlefield holds its place in history as the site of the most devastating Civil War battle in Kentucky. The battlefield now includes a museum and a war reenactment is performed each October. The Confederate Monument in McDowell Park commemorates the Confederate States of America and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
By providing art education and exhibits, the Community Arts Center has become an epicenter for Danville's art community. Located in the city's downtown area, the center is a non-profit facility that offers classes in dance, music and visual arts. In addition, workshops are available, focusing on everything from fabric patterns to painting to belly dancing. Those who visit the Community Arts Center can also enjoy exhibits, performances and various events.
The Jones Visual Arts Center, located on the Centre College campus, is home to the studio and gallery of glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell. The 85,000-square-foot Norton Center for the Arts hosts an array of performances and events for Centre College and Danville-Boyle County. Pioneer Playhouse, Kentucky's oldest outdoor theater, offers entertainment with dinner and a live show every Tuesday through Saturday. Named after its founder, the West T. Hill Community Theatre has been performing plays and musicals in Danville for 30 years.
The Ephraim McDowell House Museum is the former home of Dr. Ephraim McDowell, who performed the first ovarian tumor removal. The house, a National Historic Landmark, is an example of Georgian architecture and tours are given daily. With an entire village of masterfully crafted and displayed miniatures, the Great American Dollhouse Museum is a unique attraction. The museum also includes a playroom, classroom and gift shop.
Festivals and Events
Boyle County plays host to a number of annual festivals that draw visitors to the region from across Kentucky and the southeast. Since 1990, Danville has been home to the Great American Brass Band Festival, which features continuous live brass band music from Friday until Sunday, a parade, a fireworks extravaganza and the Great American Balloon Race.
The Boyle County Fair also happens annually in Danville, which lasts for a week and features pageants, talent shows, pet shows, horse shows, drag racing, tractor pulls, cornhole competitions and more. The Constitution Square Arts Fest takes place in Danville's historic Constitution Square, and celebrates all things art each September. The Forkland Heritage Festival & Revue allows attendees to experience what life was like in simpler times, hear old-time country music and see artists and craftspeople at work.