The Festival's practice of featuring one State continued in 1973 under the new rubric of "Regional America", in anticipation of the Bicentennial Festival in 1976. The Commonwealth of Kentucky was featured, allowing the Smithsonian's new partner, the National Park Service, to focus attention on three national parks in the Commonwealth: Abraham Lincoln Birthplace, Mammoth Cave, and Cumberland Gap. Festival activities centered around a Kentucky tobacco barn that hosted many of the musical performances and, on July 7, 1973, the second annual Smithsonian Fiddler's Convention. Kentucky's horse culture was also a central focus of the program, with a race track and show ring for daily presentations. Kentucky's important role as a center of American traditional music - from old time to bluegrass, blues and sacred music - was celebrated with many notable performers.
Richard H. Hulan served as Program Coordinator for the Regional America program, assisted by James Moon. Within Kentucky, a corporation was created to coordinate the cooperation, the Kentucky 1973 Festival of American Folklife, Inc., with major support coming from the office of the Governor and the Commonwealth of Kentucky Department of Public Information.