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Multi-million dollar economic impact expected from several big events in Lexington this weekend

A Lexington tourism official said 40,000 people a day are expected to attend the Railbird music festival at the Red Mile.
Red Mile
A Lexington tourism official said 40,000 people a day are expected to attend the Railbird music festival at the Red Mile.

A Lexington tourism official said several big events this weekend will provide a major economic shot in the arm. The University of Kentucky is hosting a NCAA baseball regional and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s state track and field championship, and the Red Mile is the site of Railbird music festival. Martina Barksdale, the communications director for Visit Lex, said they expect a multi-million dollar impact.

“Just with the NCAA baseball regionals alone, the team and officials and staff members, they've already filled up for hotels that is generating over $100,000 per day.”

Other visitors will be attending Friday’s high school graduation ceremonies at Rupp Arena. Barksdale said the Red Mile will also be a very busy place Saturday and Sunday.

“With Railbird, that is over 40,000 people a day. So we're, they've already sold out of their partner hotels, which I believe they had six partners. So yeah, we're looking for a few million dollars in economic impact over the next few days.”

Barksdale said new economic figures from the state show tourism in Lexington last year provided more than 11,500 jobs and an economic impact of $1.6 billion. Lexington police have issued a traffic alert to remind motorists to be extra cautious this weekend.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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