A Giveaway You’ll Love…

Still hunting for that perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Enter to win two tickets to a Fresh Food Adventure at Shaker Village!

Growing up in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Chef Bruce Ucán was exposed early on to the flavors and techniques of his family’s Mayan cooking. He came to the U.S. in 1987 where he cooked in several local restaurants in Louisville, Ky. Entrepreneurial in nature, Chef Ucán always wanted to own his own business and create his own food. In 1996, he started a food truck business, the Gypsy Van, that sold tacos, salbutes and tamales at farmer’s markets, construction sites and festivals. Just a year later, he opened a restaurant on East Market Street called the Mayan Gypsy, which he later transformed into the The Mayan Cafe, his current endeavor. There, he fuses traditional Mayan recipes and flavors with local, seasonal ingredients. He grew up eating the fruits and vegetables grown around him and is committed to sharing this philosophy for food with his customers.

Chef Ucán is taking over the Trustees’ Office on March 10! Join us as we celebrate the flavors and techniques of Mayan cooking. The event is also featuring Copper & Kings brandy. Limited tickets are available here.

Giveaway has ended. 

Giveaway valued at $200. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on February 19, 2018. 

Maker Spotlight: Smoke & Spirits


Smoke & Spirits is featured on this year’s Craft Fair postcard.

Business: Smoke & Spirits
Owners: Matt and Chrissy Rippetoe
Website: shopsmokeandspirits.com

Have you ever been a vendor at the Shaker Village Craft Fair?
No, we haven’t! But we were very excited to be accepted as vendors this year! The Shaker community is known worldwide for handmade craftsmanship of the highest quality and we view the Shaker Village Craft Fair as an excellent way to keep that spirit alive – we couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of it.

Where did your business name come from?
Our business name was inspired by a trip to a local cooperage. We were struck by the visuals of fire and smoke rising up as the interior of the white oak bourbon barrels were charred by the coopers, knowing that this process was a key part of transforming the spirits that the barrels would soon hold. Our name and every product we carry is inspired by Kentucky bourbon. It’s our way of paying homage to the incredible part it plays in the history and heritage of Kentucky.

Rustic Wood Coasters

What’s your favorite bourbon?
We both enjoy the sweeter finish of wheated bourbons and both of our favorites come from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Chrissy’s favorite is the sweet smoky finish of Eagle Rare.
Matt’s favorite is W.L. Weller, which for a long time was the best kept secret in Kentucky, but the secret is getting out and it’s becoming harder and harder to find.
What’s your favorite Kentucky pastime?
A day on the lake! Relaxing on Lake Cumberland, waterskiing, enjoying the scenery and watching the sun go down over the hills is paradise to us.
Where can people purchase your products?

Our products are carried in various shops around central Kentucky and at ShopSmokeAndSpirits.com.


Matt and Chrissy Rippetoe

Anything else you want to tell us about your business?
Smoke & Spirits began by accident. For our wedding in 2016, we wanted to give our groomsmen a Kentucky-themed gift. We acquired our first bourbon barrel staves and made bottle openers from them. What started as gifts for friends turned into orders here and there, and now it’s growing nearly too quick to keep up…but we love every minute of it.

Find Smoke & Spirits and more than 80 other vendors on August 5 + 6 at the Shaker Village Craft Fair!

An Illuminated Village

If you’ve ever been to Shaker Village after sunset, you know it gets dark. Really dark. While we relish in that peaceful darkness most of the year, we take advantage of the holiday season to highlight this already beautiful property. The holidays at Shaker Village mean all hands on deck for decorating trees, stringing twinkle lights, wrapping fresh greenery in red ribbons to make fragrant swags and more. All of our elves… er, employees jump in and lend a hand in making our site shine bright for the month of December. Seeing the Village lit up at night is definitely a different experience and is bound to ignite some holiday spirit within you!


The Water House

The Meeting House

Sunset in the Village

The Turnpike

The Entrance


The Meeting House at Sunset

Old Stone Shop



Join us around the fire pits this weekend as we celebrate our last Illuminated Evenings of the season! Make time to delight in life’s simple gifts with family and friends, as lively music, merriment and candlelight illuminate the Village! Stop by the Elf Shop, take a ride on the Jingle Bell Shuttle, enjoy special holiday music in The Meeting House and more.

Admission for ages 6 and up is $5. Children 5 and under are FREE!  Learn more.

Pausing for Thought at Shaker Village

We have exciting news! For the first time in its series history, Live From Lincoln Center takes its show on the road, presenting performances by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) filmed right here in 2015. Live From Lincoln Center’s “Simple Gifts: The Chamber Music Society at Shaker Village” will air tonight, Friday, September 9, at 9:30 pm on PBS.

We are thrilled to present our 11th annual Chamber Music Festival of Bluegrass in partnership with CMS artistic directors David Finckel and Wu Han in May 2017.  In anticipation of tonight’s big premier, Finckel shares his thoughts about the Festival:

With the sun’s warm rays raking the pasture to my left, I watch two men – one from France carrying a violin, and one from New York carrying a viola – ascend the side staircase to perform the first concert of the Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass. I can’t believe I sat here exactly ten years ago and did the same thing: yes, this is the tenth anniversary season of a now-historic partnership between Shaker Village and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

When a gentleman named George Foreman (no, not the prizefighter, but the former director of performing arts at Centre College in Danville) and I grabbed a bite to eat together some twelve years ago in an Applebee’s, George proposed the idea of a chamber music festival in a nearby Shaker village. Having been an American antiques aficionado all my life, and a particular fan of Shaker furniture and architecture, it took very little work to imagine the setting. A trip to the village to look at the tobacco barn which was proposed for the concerts confirmed the viability of the project, and just like that, we were off on the always-wild and perilous ride of a performing arts startup.

During the first critical ten years, the trustees of Shaker Village took ownership of the festival and truly made it an integral part of their mission. The Village’s entire staff, from cooks to groundskeepers to carpenters, now know us, and we know them. When we return here each May, we reconnect with our Kentucky family. It is a truly joyous time.

I’m sure that as the Village was considering the move to formally adopt this festival, the question must have come up as to how the culture of chamber music would fit into and connect with that of the Shakers. The Shakers, from what I’ve learned, were apparently not big on music, save for hymns. So how would five concerts in a weekend filled with music by Austrians, Russians, Germans, French, Norwegians (among others) composed over the last four hundred years, and performed by musicians hailing from some eighteen different countries, find an appropriate place in a village built with such a clear and strong mission of its own? This question kept me up at night, a bit.

At the risk of sounding presumptuous, it didn’t take me long to come to a conclusion that what we were going to do did indeed align with so much of what this miraculous place is all about. I’m not prepared to categorically state that playing classical music is a faith-based profession; however, there is not a serious musician I know who does not sense working for a higher authority. For us performers, that father figure is always the composer; we are on the stage to represent the great geniuses of our art. And for those composers, from where did this great music come? I’m equally sure that each of them would likely characterize themselves as simply vessels, through which divine inspirations found their way to ink and paper. Indeed, the music we play is imbued with such timeless greatness that we freely admit: it is much better than it can ever actually be played. We performers are therefore on an endless, yet joyful quest, in search of an ever-better interpretation, one more compelling, beautiful, and fulfilling of the composer’s dream.

On the Dixie Belle

2016 Chamber Music Festival musicians enjoy an evening on The Dixie Belle Riverboat at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

While ruminating on potential paths of logic for our residency in Shaker Village, a further turn of thought opened up another perspective: that of the composer. Many of the giants of our art – Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms – never made it to the New World. But one of them, the Czech master Antonín Dvořák, did come to America in the 1890’s, summoned to head the new National Conservatory in New York and to assist our nation in finding its own musical voice (American composers had been imitating European styles since the 18th century). Dvořák found roots for a distinctly American tradition in the music and dances of African and Native Americans, imbuing his now-iconic works composed here with genuine American spirit. I believe that not only Dvořák, but all of his mighty predecessors would have not only been fascinated by and admiring of the Shakers, but might well have composed music inspired by their spiritual principles and incomparable work ethic

My assumption – that composers long gone, who never set foot in America, would be thrilled that their music was being played on such storied ground – seals my personal case for feeling that when I come here, I come not to intrude, but to be “kindly welcomed” and to contribute to this place art which extols decency, was created through both divine inspiration and plenty of hard work, and like this place, has stood the test of time, existing today with endless energy, relevance, and beauty.

David Finckel, Artistic Director, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Live From Lincoln Center’s “Simple Gifts: The Chamber Music Society at Shaker Village” will air tonight, September 9, 2016, at 9:30pm on PBS. Click here to learn more.

Pre-order the Simple Gifts CD >>