Kentucky is home to the mighty box turtle. | File Photo

Pulling off a daylong music festival with six bands, a handful of beer and food trucks, an expanded children’s area and hundreds of arts and crafts is quite a feat, especially if the venue covers 6,600 acres of forest. But year after year, the organizers of Jefferson Memorial Forest’s Forest Fest pull it off seamlessly.

But more on that in a second, because it’s not until Saturday, May 18.

Before the music and general merriment fill the forest, staff first want to recognize one of their beloved residents — the slow and steady turtle. “Turtle Takeover” will delight all fans of the shelled reptile, as the free program on Saturday, May 11, features an up-close and personal experience turtles in the forest’s Nature Center, which is typically only open to school field trips.

Of course Jefferson Memorial Forest is home to several species of turtles, like the box turtle and snapping turtle, and globally there are 356 known species.

Also on view at the “Turtle Takeover” will be the forest’s rare soft-shell turtle, as well as games for children and the opportunity to design your own turtle species. All of this is in anticipation for World Turtle Day on May 23.

“Turtle Takeover” runs from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 11, at Jefferson Memorial Forest’s Nature Center inside the Horine Reservation. The event is free, but registration is required by calling 368-5404.

Now onto the Forest Fest …

Americana folk-rockers Grizzly Goat will headline Forest Fest. | Courtesy

This event also is free, although it’ll cost you $10 per car to park. The kid-and-dog-friendly fest runs 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, and will feature music by bluegrass and Americana bands and musicians like Michael Cleveland, Becky Buller, Amythyst Kiah, Relic, Grizzly Goat and Ida Clare.

As we mentioned above, there will be food trucks and beer and wine sales, along with arts and crafts vendors, activities for kids and much more. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets, too, but leave tents and canopies at home.

It will be held at the Horine Reservation, located at 12304 Holsclaw Hill Road.