All of southern Kentucky participated and celebrated the inaugural Duncan Hines Days events running June 5-11 of this year. Dedicated to the heritage the Bowling Green-native and real man behind the cake mix left behind, this weeklong event featured the best of our food and drink, entertainment, and adventure. As one of the first roadtrippers and food/entertainment published reviewers ever, beginning with Adventures in Good Eating in 1936, Duncan Hines’ label became the most famous and trusted household brand in food and dining in midcentury America.
Bowling Green and Warren County hosted over 20 events with a Duncan Hines-related theme, while 28 events around our region were included in the promotions. A majority of the biggest events were hosted throughout venues in Downtown BGKY.
Based on tracking at our attractions and venues, especially with zip codes for tickets and purchasing, we believe we’ve tracked at least 16,000 people attending a Duncan Hines Days event, from at least 28 states, with at least $2.28 million in spending and fun brought to our southern Kentucky economy during the week of June 4-11.
This is a special thank you to all our downtown businesses, venues, attractions, and stakeholders for participating in Duncan Hines Days. Between events being held at Circus Square Park, the BG Ballpark with the BG Hot Rods, the Capitol, SoKY Marketplace pavilion and its community kitchen, the Historic RailPark & Train Museum and Trolley, The Kentucky Museum at WKU, the College Street bridge and Downtown boat ramps, and Fountain Square, there was no shortage of events to participate in! We had several Fountain Square merchants also promote these events, offering unique menu options and cocktail specials, or offering unique weekend-only retail items.
The Duncan Hines Days stakeholder committee first met on June 16, 2022 – and exactly 1 year later, the statistics for year one were published to media. The Bowling Green area media did a phenomenal job telling Duncan Hines Days stories leading up to and during all the events – truly embracing it and making the event part of the community.
Want the full recap of events, attendance at each, estimations, and more? Click here.
We also learned a few valuable lessons in community event building and emergency operations, thanks to WKU Parking & Transportation, Emergency Management Services, BGPD, and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. During the peak hours of Saturday, June 10th’s evening, we believe there were at least 9,000 people attending events downtown, and our existing infrastructure of free public parking and mapping was a great success – not all lots even filled! Our parking infrastructure can hold more people than you may think!
The core Duncan Hines committee included members from the City and SoKY Marketplace, so this is a special thank you to these ladies as well. Please direct any questions to:
-Telia Butler (Marketing, Promotions, Sponsorship) Downtown Development Coordinator, City of BG – email@example.com
-Karen Foley, (Logistics, Operations) Neighborhood Services Manager, City of BG – firstname.lastname@example.org
-Emily Angel, (Logistics, Operations) Community Engagement Coordinator, City of BG – email@example.com
-Sarah Cline, Director of Operations (Hospitality, Logistics) SoKY Marketplace, firstname.lastname@example.org
-Tessa Norris (Music & Production, Hospitality, Logistics) SoKY Marketplace & American Red Cross, email@example.com
Here are just a few of our favorite shots from the week! Please post yours to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and tag @duncanhinesdays so we can engage with it and share!
Mark your calendar for June 3-9, 2024 and thanks to all who made this inaugural year so incredibly special! Visit the Duncan Hines Days site here to stay updated.
Telia Butler, Downtown Development Coordinator, City of Bowling Green