Gallatin County | Big things happening in state’s smallest county

Professional sports fans in Northern Kentucky never want for entertainment, which includes Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. The 1.5-mile tri-oval speedway has hosted ARCA, NASCAR and Indy Racing League racing since it opened in 2000. Kurt Busch, above, won the Quaker State 400 race there in 2019, besting his brother Kyle.

Along the banks of the Ohio River in the northwestern portion of Northern Kentucky, Gallatin County has been known to use the phrase “Little, but in the middle of it all,” in honor of its proximity to and location between Cincinnati, Lexington and Louisville. At 99 square miles, Gallatin County is the smallest county in Kentucky in area, yet thousands of the nation’s NASCAR fans attend races at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., every year. In July 2019, Kurt Busch beat his younger brother, Kyle Busch, by 0.076 of a second to win the Quaker State 400, an annual race presented by Walmart. The 2020 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series will take place on Thursday, July 9 at the Kentucky Speedway, with the NASCAR Xfinity on July 10 and the NASCAR Cup Series on July 11.

A new airport broke ground in Sparta in October 2019. Scheduled to be the 58th general aviation airport in the state, this will be the first local airport in Gallatin County to serve the area of I-71 from Louisville to Cincinnati. After the land is cleared and graded, a runway will be constructed and lighting and striping will be installed, all of which could take up to two years. Then hangars will be built, with the expectation of housing up to 50 large airplanes and corporate aircraft.

Gallatin County

Estimated 2020 population: 8,832

Households: 3,007

Median household income: $50,250

County seat: Warsaw, Mayor Charlie French, cityofwarsawky.org

Judge/Executive: Ryan Morris, gallatincounty.ky.gov

Chamber of Commerce: Gallatin County Chamber of Commerce, gallatincountykychamber.org

Economic Development Authority: Kentucky I-71 Economic Development Alliance (KEIDA), ky71connected.com