(Kentucky Downs / Coady Media)

From the Kentucky Downs Media Team:

The Race Is On! (for summer fun)

Coming up at The Mint Event Center at KY Downs

June 22 — Ron Crites’ George Jones tribute

July 2 — Annual fireworks display at Kentucky Downs

July 27 — Etta May and the Southern Fried Chicks

Also: July 4 fireworks at ‘Splash’ right by The Mint Cumberland

Ron Crites’ George Jones tribute tickets

Etta May and the Southern Fried Chicks tickets

FRANKLIN, Ky. (Tuesday, June 18, 2024) — Summer is heating up, and The Mint Gaming Hall at Kentucky Downs has upcoming special events in air-conditioned comfort in addition to the daily and nightly action of electronic gaming and betting on horses.

Noted George Jones cover/tribute artist Ron Crites will perform Saturday June 22 at The Mint Event Center on The Mint Gaming/Kentucky Downs property. The venue also will feature its first comedy act on Saturday July 27 with Etta May and the Southern Fried Chicks. And Kentucky Downs once again will host the annual Franklin-Simpson fireworks display on Tuesday July 2.

The details:

Since his first cover performance in 1972, Crites not only sounds like Jones but perfected the mannerisms and look of the iconic country singer-songerwriter who died in 2013. “Nobody can fill his shoes, I just want to keep ’um walkin’,” Crites likes to say.

Crites’ stated goal is to make his audience feel “as if George Jones is still in the house,” to not only bring back fond memories to those who knew the George Jones sound but to entertain a new generation of fans.

Tickets starting at $9.99 are available here for the “George Jones Tribute Show Featuring Ron Crites.”

Etta May is the stage name and alter ego of the award-winning comedian from Lexington, Ky., who specializes in finding hilarity in the mundanity of everyday life. Etta May and the Southern Fried Chicks performance also will feature comedians Leslie Norris and Jodi White. They’ve been described as “Think Blue Collar Comedy Tour with better hair and a bigger attitude!”

Etta May, a recipient of the American Comedy Awards “Comic Of The Year,” has appeared on Oprah, Showtime, Comic Strip Live, MTV and as a guest commentator on “CBS Sunday Morning.” Her website EttaMay.com describes her as the only girl in a family of nine boys, whose early jobs included as a school-bus driver and bingo caller and who collects material as it unfolds in real life. “I just wait for my husband or kids to do something stupid, and then I write it down,” she says.

Etta May tickets, starting at $29.00, are available here.

Guests must be 21+ to purchase tickets and attend the performances. Doors open at 7 p.m. CT, with the events beginning at 8 p.m.

Bang for your buck: The July 2 fireworks show on the Kentucky Downs grounds is free to attend and park. The fireworks begin approximately 30 minutes after sunset (scheduled for 8:09 CT that evening). Come and enjoy the fun show!

Catch a glimpse of Ron Crites’ George Jones tribute in this promo video for TSE Entertainment

A sampling of Etta May sass

Fireworks also in Williamsburg near The Mint Cumberland

Guests at The Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland in Williamsburg on July 4 can get a close-up view of the fireworks display launching a half-mile away at Kentucky Splash Waterpark and Campground. Billed as the largest fireworks show in Southeastern Kentucky, the pyrotechnics will launch at dark (sunset is 8:59 p.m. ET). With its elevation, The Mint Cumberland’s parking lot promises to be a terrific location to enjoy the fireworks.

While the gaming floor is restricted to those 21 and over, The Mint Cumberland’s Backyard Grill has a direct-to-public entrance that allows families to enjoy the Southern-inspired menu, including breakfast, along with games such as cornhole.

“Folks who aren’t ready to call it a night after attending the fireworks at Kentucky Splash Waterpark are just minutes away from enjoying gaming and sports betting at The Mint Cumberland,” said Shannon Taylor, marketing manager for The Mint Cumberland. “We’ll be open before, during and after the fireworks and Kentucky Splash Waterpark’s other July 4 activities.”

All Mint Rewards members are eligible for The Mint Cumberland’s July 4 Red, White and Blue Spin and Win Drawing, starting at 5 p.m. ET. Guests can win up to $4,000.