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Bourbon draws tourists


    Motuba, a Western lowland gorilla at the Philadelphia Zoo, opened a present the staff put out for him to celebrate his 31st birthday Thursday. His actual birthday was Jan. 23, but the celebration was postponed due to the blizzard.

FRANKFORT, Ky. >> Bourbon tourism is on a record-setting pace in Kentucky as more people visit the state’s distilleries.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association says nearly 900,000 guests visited the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour in 2015.

KDA President Eric Gregory says the tourism attraction has more than doubled its attendance in five years.

Bourbon tourists, on average, spend $1,000 on their trip, according to a study by the University of Louisville. The study says more than 85 percent are from outside Kentucky.

KDA says the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour, which showcases nine distilleries, set a new milestone with 762,009 visits in 2015.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour drew 133,864 visits among 10 participating distilleries.

Book festival set for fall

WASHINGTON >> The Library of Congress has announced dates for the 16th National Book Festival in Washington as well as more than a dozen authors who will participate.

The Library of Congress said Thursday in a statement that the free festival will be held Sept. 24 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Authors who have agreed to appear include Salman Rushdie, Bob Woodward and Stephen King. The Library of Congress says additional authors will be announced in the coming months.

Wedding styles on exhibit

CHARLESTON, S.C. >> A new exhibit at the Charleston Museum focuses on 150 years of Southern wedding fashions.

The exhibit, “Unveiled: Wedding Fashion and Traditions in the South,” opened last week at the museum in downtown Charleston. It shows wedding fashions and traditions and how they have evolved from the early 1800s through the mid-20th century.

Most of the items in the collection are from the South Carolina Lowcountry.

The exhibit runs through July 10.

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