Lexington Winter Traditions

Image

For many people, the holiday season brings cheer and magic during the wonderful month of December. Although we come from many different places in Kentucky and beyond and each celebrate our own holiday traditions, Lexington offers fantastic events that can become new traditions for all.

Nutcracker Play at the Opera House

The most famous ballet of all time comes to Lexington every year in December. For two weeks, The Kentucky Ballet Theatre returns to the Lexington Opera House to present The Nutcracker.

Evening performances will be at 8 p.m. on Friday, December 9; Saturday, December 10; Friday, December 16; and Saturday, December 17.

Ice Skating At Triangle Park

This new winter tradition in Lexington will have you slapping on your skates and hitting the ice! Ice-skating is now open in the heart of downtown at Triangle Park. The rink is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays, noon to 8 p.m. Sundays, 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 to 10 p.m. Fridays. Skating will be $10 for 90 minutes with or without skate rental.

Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park

Lexington is considered the “horse capital of the world,” so celebrating the most wonderful season of the year would naturally include something equine-esque.

Southern Lights takes place at the Kentucky Horse Park every night November 18 through December 31 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Bring a carload of friends and pay $15 per car ($20 on Fridays and Saturdays).

Sledding in the Willy T. Library Bowl

Every year when it gets a little colder and the first snow starts to stick to the ground, University of Kentucky students grab their makeshift sleds and head the library to sled. Now we don’t condone skipping school or procrastinating on homework to romp in the snow, but this is one winter tradition you must complete before graduation!

Lexington Christmas Parade

Christmas isn’t complete without a lovely parade through downtown Lexington. Come out early and wave to Santa at the Lexington Christmas Parade on December 10 beginning at 10 a.m. It runs between Main Street and Midland Avenue. It’s the state’s largest holiday parade and best of all it’s free!

Advertisements

Tips for the Registration Rookie

It’s that time of year again. The time when campus has an air of frenzy and students seem more stressed than normal. These are the days of registering for next semester’s classes. And while there are no exams that will follow, most students are feeling the pressure. I’ve watched as my classmates check their computers hourly to make sure the classes they want are still available, and I’ve heard the cries of anguish when they aren’t. And, I’ll admit it. I, too, have had to remind myself to take deep breaths each time the number in the “seats available” column for my most-desired class goes down. Let’s face it–registration can be a daunting task, especially for the registration rookie. But it doesn’t have to be a nail-biter. In fact, I’ve come to see it as a game of strategy, and I’ve learned that it’s all about what you do before your registration window opens. Here are some ways to be proactive, and make sure you always come out a winner.

  • Meet with your adviser. Not only is an adviser meeting required for all students by the university before they register for classes, but advisers can be extremely helpful. They can let you know if you’re on the right track and make suggestions about specific classes. Go to your meeting with questions and you’ll leave feeling prepared.
  • Check for holds on your account. Holds can be placed on your account for a number of both academic and financial reasons (i.e. unpaid parking tickets) and will keep you from being able to register. To avoid a possible panic attack on your registration day, get these taken care of beforehand. You can check your account for holds by clicking on the “myInfo” tab on myUK and choosing “my stops and holds” on the left side of your screen.
  • Know when your registration window opens.  You can find out when you’re eligible to register online by logging on to myUK and clicking the “Registration” tab. Here you’ll find the date and time when  you’ll be able to choose your classes.
  • Plan ahead. It’s important to have an idea of what classes you’d like to take before you log on to register so that you aren’t stressed at the last minute. There are several tools that can help out with this. First, check out the course catalog, found under the Registration tab on myUK. Here you can view information about all classes being offered next semester. Other online sources, like ratemyprofessor.com or myedu.com, can also be helpful in planning the perfect schedule.
  • Establish a plan B. After creating your dream schedule, it’s important to create a list of what I like to call “plan B courses.” These classes are your second choices–your backups. This way, if a class on your A list fills and you’re unable to snag a spot, you don’t feel the pressure of finding a new class last-minute.

After completing these steps, the next task is to take on the open registration window. So make sure your WiFi signal is strong (there’s nothing worse than slow internet when you’re registering for classes) and take a deep breath. You’ve been a proactive student, and you’re ready. In fact, planning ahead may even give you the time to tackle more important questions, like how to avoid the dreaded 8 a.m. class. So, here’s to a victorious registration season and the best spring semester ever!

K Book Love,

Morgan

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Oh, Keeneland. The most wonderful time of the year. Personally, I think it’s almost…almost… as great as Christmas, and the best part is that it happens not once, but twice a year. You can find me there at least twice every weekend, and if I’m lucky I make it out there three times. Yes, if you haven’t figured it out already, saying I’m obsessed is a bit of an understatement.

But then again, what’s not to love? You get to spend your weekends at the track, enjoying the beautiful fall weather with family and friends while getting in touch with your Kentucky roots and watching some ponies run around the track. And who knows, if you’re lucky you may even make a buck or two while you’re at it.

So, aside from what I just said, what’s so great about it anyway? Well, let me tell you a few of my favorite Keeneland things…

The tradition: Keeneland is a timeless tradition that has been going on since 1936. They are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year and believe me, there is much to celebrate. Some of the best jockeys and horses from around the world have raced at Keeneland, and many Derby and Triple Crown winners have been on the track. Staying true to its original vision, Keeneland remains a place where people can watch the highest level of Thoroughbred racing.

The crowd: People watching is great at Keeneland. From bow ties and jeans and cowboy boots to cute dresses and fancy hats, you can check out the latest fashion trends…or in some cases faux pas. And you just don’t see everything, but you hear everything too – from shouts of excitement and sometimes anger as people either win big or lose a lot on the races. Listen to the roars from the crowd as the horses come down the homestretch. People go crazy cheering for their horses, and it’s usually quite evident who those lucky few are at the end of a race.

The food: For some reason, the food at Keeneland is delicious. Yes, it is a bit pricey but trust me it’s worth it. They have hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos and ice cream, all of which taste better than your normal concession stand regulars. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the bread pudding or the true classic, burgoo – there’s nothing like it on those chilly fall days.

The betting: Whether you do an exacta box, a trifecta or a simple $2 bet, be sure to cross your fingers. I think the biggest secret to betting is that there are no secrets. It’s pretty much just luck. Sure there are a few clues that can help you narrow it down, but you never know when that longshot will sneak on in at the last leg of the race. I think my six-year-old cousin walked away with more money than me last week by betting on the horses whose names he liked best. So if you’re a handicapping pro or just in it to test your luck, you never know when you may get to cash a big ticket. Even if you don’t bet at all, you’re sure to have a good time with no money on the line.

The end: One of the best-kept secrets. Ever wonder where the horses go after a race? While everyone else is heading for the main gates at the end of the day, I head in the opposite direction…to the stables. After all the cheering and fun, this is one of the most calming and relaxing parts of Keeneland. It is so quiet and you get to see an entirely different side of the track. Depending on how you time it, you can see the horses being brought up for the next race or being washed down after their latest sprint around the track. You may even be able to get up close and personal and pet one of the horses depending on which stable you walk through. The coolest part about it? You could be standing right by the next big winner.

So, for those of you who have yet to venture over to the beautiful land of Keene, it’s not too late. You have one more weekend to bet on the ponies and the weathermen are saying it’s going to be a nice one…but you never really can trust the Lexington forecast, can you? Regardless, rain or shine, you can bet your bottom dollar that the horses will be running and there is a good time to be had by all.  I’ll see you at the finish line!

K Book Love,

Abby

What every Wildcat should have in their backpack

This week Sabrina and I tried out this new venture… a video blog.  Being my awkward self I volunteered to do one of the first blogs on-camera, not knowing what to expect or really having any idea of what we were going to do!  Sabrina and I met in the basement of the UK Public Relations building with our backpacks filled with all sorts of fun things and shot the video in one take.  If you watch the clip you will notice how many times I say “Of course” and you may notice my little quirky comments here and there which were a result of how nervous I was!  I did drama in high school but having a camera right there in my face was more intimidating for me than having an audience that sits farther away.  This was just a fun, and hopefully entertaining video that gives you all a hint of what some of us nerds carry around in our backpacks. I gotta be prepared in case, you know, I am trapped on campus one day. We hope you enjoy watching the video as much as we enjoyed making it!
K Bookers,
Lindsey and Sabrina

Keeneland Fashion: What Every Wildcat Needs to Know

And they’re off…to the fabulous boutiques and stores in Lexington, that is.  Keeneland Opening Day is here, and the many women of UK’s campus are looking for that special attire for the beginning of fall horse racing in the Bluegrass.

Not only is Keeneland an awesome UK tradition, it’s a celebration of our rich heritage and horse racing at its finest. My freshman year I was completely oblivious to the marvel that is Keeneland. Young and clueless, I scheduled Friday classes that were during Keeneland hours and had no idea what to wear as Lexington fashion has a mind of its own. I had an experience I’ll never forget, regardless, and Keeneland has become one of my favorite times of the year in the Bluegrass. It is my job is to help you have the best experience at the races, looking chic, fashionable and maybe leaving a couple dollars richer!

Here are a couple of great places to look for all of your fabulous Keeneland fashion attire! You’ll be sure to make a “winning” statement. (Boys, scroll to the bottom of this post for an important tip!)

The Peppermint Palm:  Who doesn’t love them some Lilly Pulitzer!? Peppermint Palm is your number one Lilly location found in not only Lexington but in Louisville as well! Filled to the brim with newly released Lilly fashions as well as some great accessories, this story will help you be one of the best dressed girls on the paddock!

Bella Rose: If you’re looking for that “big city fashion with small town charm” this is the place for you! With a sweet southern feel to it, this cute boutique on E. Maxwell has been a Lexington favorite for years.

Calypso: Looking for more of a boho chic look? Calypso is one of the best places in Lexington to find great deals just for your look. From beautiful vintage cowboy boots to dresses ordered just for Keeneland and tailgating, you will be making heads turn. Not only does this boutique have a fun name, they also offer fun deals all the time on their Facebook page.

Bluetique: This new boutique has plenty of “blue” options just for you! If you’re going for the “trifecta” and you want to be game day ready too, you definitely want to wander over to the corner of E. Maxwell and Woodland where this cute store is located! All of the prices are totally reasonable, and you get a FREE Ale 8 if you go!

World’s Apart: With their beautiful accent pieces that I absolutely love and their great selection of clothes you will be in the most perfect little spot in the world. This store is a little bit pricier so be sure to come with a fluffy wallet or bring mom in on a girl’s shopping day. She won’t be able to say no to all of the beautiful things that you may find.

Rent the Runway.com: For high New York and Hollywood fashions for a fraction of the cost, look no further! Designers such as Lilly Pulitzer, Tibi, Herve Leger, and Christian Siriano are just some of the fabulous designers featured on this website. The best part is you can rent it, wear it, and return it!

Fayette Mall: A #1 go-to place for all of Lexington, Fayette Mall can be your one-stop shopping experience. With places like Arden B., J. Crew, Francesca’s, Dillard’s, Macy’s and more, you may come out with more than just Keeneland opening day attire.

Runway Couture: Brand new to Lexington and found downtown in Victorian Square, this fashion headquarters is ready to be used.  Cute and affordable fashions can be found in this little boutique in the heart of downtown culture.  I came upon this place by chance and I’m glad I went in! I found some great sandals and beautiful clothes that added that extra flare to my wardrobe! Runway Couture is just waiting to be your new Keeneland top spot.

AJ’s: Tibi and Tory Burch are just some of the favorite fashions featured at this locally-owned boutique on the corner of Euclid and Tates Creek. For anyone familiar with the Tibi and Tory style, you know this look is perfect for the runway and the racetrack. But  these clothes are just too hard to pass up, so don’t torture yourself if you are running on a ramen noodle budget. Tori doesn’t come cheap, unfortunately.

Some of the best places on earth can be found right here in your own backyard! As a freshman, I had no idea any of this existed, and let me tell you, it would have made my life a WHOLE lot easier. I am confident that no matter what location you go to above, you will be making even the horses notice!

And as for the couple dollars richer, that’s about all I have won at the races. But you could be that lucky one who lands the coveted trifecta win and walk away with closer to a couple hundred dollars rather than my lowly $2 profit. If you want to be sure to learn all the lingo that you need to know to place your bets, check out your K Book in the Lexington section and you’ll be in good hands. Now if you want a little more expertise than betting terminology, you may just have to check out Horse Racing for Dummies found a bookstore near you.

Now for the boys! There are some fashion skills every guy needs to know–especially if he’s going to survive the Keeneland season. One of them: How to tie a bow tie! Check out the video below for a lesson from K Bookers, Ethan and Taylor.

K Book and Keeneland Love,

Candice

How I survived K Week on $7.20 and a chicken burrito

Ah, I remember my freshman year like it was yesterday.  Rolling up to Patterson Hall with my entire wardrobe from back home, promptly sending 75% of said wardrobe back with my parents, the repetitive conversations (“You’re an undeclared major too?!?”) and of course, K Week.  Lots of things have changed since Fall 2008, but if you can count on one thing, it’s that you will be bombarded with free stuff in your first nine days as a student.

I love K Week.  By “love,” I mean I print the schedule out every single year, download the app on my phone, and build my entire schedule around those hectic few days.  This year, however, was bittersweet.  As a senior, I knew that this was my last time to score a ridiculous amount of swag in the shortest possible time.  As such, I made a pact between my wallet and me: for this last K Week, I would make it through the week without buying or preparing a meal.

Living off campus as an upperclassman does have its benefits, the obvious one being that I have retired my shower sandals.  However, venturing off campus also means that you leave behind your trusty meal plan, and after a few months of living in an apartment I was pretty tired of a ham and cheese sandwich every…single…day.  It became clear to me that K Week presented the opportunity to take a vacation from my feeble domestic skill-set and actually enjoy some quality food.

So I downloaded the app, printed off the schedule, and went to work like never before.  Every lunch, dinner and CSF midnight pancake run was meticulously planned, choreographed like the finest Broadway show.  By Wednesday I had scored some international cuisine at We Are UK, about 243 slices of pizza, the aforementioned pancakes (I tried pancakes as my main lunch on Tuesday…not the best idea) and the finest dining UK Catering has to offer.  My pride in this accomplishment was shattered on Wednesday evening when I arrived late to the Alumni Association welcome back dinner and missed their O’Charley’s buffet.  Seriously, O’Charley’s.  Of all the meals to miss.  With my tail between my legs, I walked across the street to Qdoba and purchased a chicken queso burrito for $7.20.  I couldn’t even enjoy the finely wrapped slice of goodness due to the pain I felt at my own inadequacy.  Thankfully, the rest of the week went off without a hitch, and I considered the final K Week of my UK career an overwhelming success.

In my search for the free meal, I was reminded about how many outstanding opportunities you’ll find at UK.  Even as I senior, I was taking food from some student organizations I had never heard of before, but it was with great excitement that I saw hundreds upon hundreds of freshmen eager to find out about ways to get involved on campus.  Even if you missed out on the free food, don’t throw away your chance to build your time at UK into the greatest experience of your life.  Get involved, get plugged in and build the relationships that will make your time at UK unforgettable.

And eat tons of free pizza.

K Book Love,

Taylor

It’s Football Time in the Bluegrass!

It’s Football Time in the Bluegrass!

Yes, it’s that time of the year again; time for tailgates, touchdowns and the ‘ole-so-bothersome tan lines (if you were at Saturday’s game you know what I’m talking about). The first Saturday of football in Lexington ushers in the fall season and the feeling that the college year has actually begun. There is nothing better than enjoying a game on the gridiron alongside a metropolis of Wildcat faithful. Saturdays are all about taking in the “atmosphere” of Commonwealth Stadium, both in the stands and outside its gates. For me Saturdays are epitomized by three essential things: food, friends and of course football! To truly enjoy a UK football game, you need to do a little more than show up and cheer on your team. Hopefully some of these basic tips will help to make your experience as a part of Big Blue Nation a little more meaningful.

Attire

Bottom line, your clothes should show that you’re game-day ready and bleed blue. You can approach this in two ways: the classic UK fan or maybe a little “Klassy with a K.” Depending what mood you are in that day (and probably the weather), you can choose between t-shirts, polos and even blazers, or for those special occasions maybe a little blue and white paint. Greeks usually dress to impress with a wardrobe including blazers, summer dresses and the all-so-important croakies; others prefer a simple UK t-shirt with shorts or pants.  Either is acceptable. The true fans are a little more creative. They come to the games in painted bodies and the occasional costume. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little. I for one like to keep it fresh and mix and match from Saturday to Saturday. The main thing is to show your UK pride, wear something blue and cheer on the cats to a victory.

Tailgating

If you are one of those people who show up right when the game starts, then that’s what we at the K Book like to call #notwinning! To truly enjoy the atmosphere and get the most out of your day at Commonwealth, you’ve got to do a little tailgating. Whether it’s stuffing your face with hamburgers or hanging out with your family and friends, tailgating adds a little spice to your game-day experience. Food inside the stadium will cost more than the tailgate you share with your family and friends, so it’s probably a good idea to fill up before going inside to cheer on the Cats. Cornhole or a quick game of two-hand-touch are always tailgating favorites. Tailgating is a time to socialize and chow down before the real fun begins.

Game Time

There is no better experience than the sights and sounds of Commonwealth Stadium on a Saturday (besides maybe a basketball game at Rupp). In the past, students have been able to tailgate right up till game time and then walk in when the game is about to start, but now you may want to plan ahead a little bit. All seating this year is first come first serve, so if you want great seats you’re going to have to show up pretty early. This year gives all students a chance to grab some seats for the game unlike in years past. Of course this applies only to students with season tickets, which remember requires a student I.D. for admittance into the stadium. If you weren’t lucky enough to be a UK or BCTC student with student tickets you can always check for extras at the ticket booth in the Joe Craft Center before gameday or at the stadium the day of the game (get all the details online at http://www.ukathletics.com/tickets/). While being a junior, I miss the assigned seating and the ability to walk into the stadium at any time and know my seat was waiting for me. I actually showed up 30 minutes early on Saturday and still ended up close to the top of the lower level. As a freshman, I can see how this would give you a fair chance at getting good seats, but having a few years under my belt I hope they give the upperclassmen back the seniority on the seats. Students, especially freshmen, will be eager to get the best seats so you may want to plan accordingly this year. Grab your buddies and head in early to get lower level, or if you’re satisfied with upper level seating, take your time and enjoy your tailgates and the social scene a little longer.

As a longtime fan of UK football, I can assure you that more than likely the games may start off slow, but they are bound to have an exciting end. Last year UK defeated then top-10 ranked South Carolina with a 4th quarter comeback and we were only 3 points away from defeating national champion Auburn as well. So I advise you to stick it out even when the games look in hand, because you never know when the Cats will surprise you. Come early, cheer loud, and Scundy as a part of Big Blue Nation!