Don’t Miss This!
From small batch bourbon to hand made soap, fine cuisine to taco stands, antiques to barber shops and everything in between, Downtown Paris is evolving into the kind of place you want to spend your day. With a diversity in businesses like nowhere else, Downtown Paris is becoming a standout destination for day trippers and weekend get-a-ways alike. You can find just about any style of food up and down our main street, often referred to as “Kentucky’s longest and most beautiful Main Street! Combine that with our mix of shopping and it’s easy to see why Paris is on everyone’s to do list.
Over the past half-century, Hollywood moviemakers, authors, artists and horse racing enthusiasts have sought to capture the spirit of famed Triple Crown winner Secretariat, who spent many breeding years in racing retirement right here in Bourbon County at Claiborne Farm, where he is now buried.
Nicknamed “Big Red,” Secretariat is still considered by many to be the greatest racehorse in history, setting Triple Crown racing speed records that remain unbroken to this day and siring a line of successful racehorses continuing his legacy.
Founded in 1910 and in its fourth generation of family ownership, Claiborne Farm remains an iconic and successful working Thoroughbred breeding farm while offering a general tour, shuttle bus tour, and exclusive experiences for the most ardent horse racing fans.
Secretariat Mural & Park
With rippling muscles and shown at full gallop, a three-story tall Secretariat is depicted in his majestic prime in a new downtown mural on the side of The Baldwin Hotel building at 519 Main St., overlooking the new park that bears his name.
The world’s largest Secretariat mural to date, it was created by artist Jaime Corum, and shows the signature blue and white checkered silks of owner Penny Chenery on jockey Ron Turcotte’s shirt and Secretariat’s blinker hood.
On November 11, 2023 — 50 years to the day that Secretariat came home to retire to stud at Claiborne Farm — Secretariat Park will officially open in the 500 block of historic Main Street in Paris.
Along with lush plantings, benches, picturesque walkways and stone slabs inscribed with Secretariat’s Triple crown winning history, the park will have a new life-sized bronze sculpture of Secretariat portrayed at Claiborne Farm by Washington-based artist Jocelyn Russell.
Another area honors notable Bourbon County horses and horse farms.
A project of the nonprofit Secretariat Park Foundation, the park was funded by presenting sponsor Claiborne Farm, where Secretariat once lived and is now buried, as well as donations from local citizens and businesses.
Trackside at the Depot
The Paris Train Depot was constructed in 1882, handcrafted completely from wood and topped with a tin roof. It was expanded in 1908 and 1911 by L & N Railroad, the property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
During the depot’s heyday, the station was crowded with regional business travelers and students commuting to college in Lexington and Georgetown. Racehorses were frequently shipped from local thoroughbred farms to New York and Baltimore, with the owners behind them in Pullman cars, the first-class travel of its time.
Eventually, the depot was given to the city on a lease which could be terminated at any time, but the railroad kept the land underneath it – a key reason it sat vacant and decaying for a large part of the last 50 years.
In 2017, local residents Darrell and Debbie Poynter, along with their son Chris, acquired the depot from the city under the condition that it be historically restored. The Poynter family also purchased the land underneath the depot – making a renovation possible.
Finally, Paris businesswoman Dottie Spears, who long dreamed of a restaurant that served great food at good prices to locals and tourists, opened Trackside Restaurant and Bourbon Bar in the Depot.