Locals visit Duncan Hines Exhibit at Kentucky Museum ahead of ‘Duncan Hines Days’

The festivities unofficially started at the Kentucky Museum on Sunday, June 4.
Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 8:42 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Kentucky Museum on the campus of Western Kentucky University is displaying the Duncan Hines Exhibit as part of the leadup to ‘Duncan Hines Days’ in Bowling Green.

Hines, one of the more well-known names to come out of South Central Kentucky, was a renowned food critic and pioneer in the American restaurant industry. What better way to pay homage to his legacy than a week-long celebration of food, entertainment and Duncan Hines himself.

The festivities unofficially started at the Kentucky Museum on Sunday, June 4, where visitors of the Kentucky Museum had the opportunity to explore the Duncan Hines Exhibit and get a better understanding of the history behind his name.

“I think it is important for people to really understand the magnitude of Duncan Hines and what he gave to our nation,” said Brent Bjorkman, Director of the Kentucky Museum.

Duncan Hines was a pioneer of the food industry, he became trusted by the public because of his food criticism. That made his stamp of approval very important for restaurants around the world.

“There were signs erected over restaurants and hotels that would say “Recommended by Duncan Hines.” He was very smart. He required a year to be put on it, so it had to be approved every year and they paid rent on both sides. If they did not meet his exacting standards, then the sign was removed,” said Jonathan Jeffrey, a guest speaker at the Duncan Hines Exhibit.

“That was the difference between a make-even and prosperous business. It was very important. People knew they better abide by his standards.”

Duncan Hines was a proven businessman. He was able to take his business from Bowling Green - to become an internationally recognized name. This adds to the fondness the Bowling Green community has for one of their own.

“I think that it is a prideful thing for Bowling Green. I think that is why we want to have this today and why we have Duncan Hines Days. I think we are all proud that we were part of a lot of the things in South Central Kentucky, but he certainly is a personality that really resonates,” said Bjorkman.

The week-long celebration of food, entertainment and Duncan Hines himself officially kicks off June 5-11. For more information and a full list of events throughout the week, click here.