Gatti Group Favorite Community Events
Every year on the first Saturday in May, our lovely city of Louisville is flooded with locals and tourists taking in Churchill Downs and everything horse racing. As the first (and in my humble opinion, the best) leg of the triple crown, it is easy to feel the history walking through the green and white gates at Churchill Downs. Known for being the most exciting 2 minutes in sports, the race culminates with a thoroughbred champion being adorned with red roses as a crowds' uproar fills the grandstand. Mint Juleps are flowing. In fact, rumor has it that more than 120,000 Mint Juleps are crafted on this May day. Hats, fascinators, bowties and all things fancy are sported in abundance. If you don't mind a crowd, The Kentucky Derby provides an incredible atmosphere and usually a day of fun. As a Louisville native, it's one of my favorite local events and one completely unique to the Ville!
Thunder Over Louisville
Kicking off the Kentucky Derby festival, is one of North America's largest annual firework displays (and don't forget the aweome airshow during the day). This event takes place on a Saturday night in April at Waterfront Park over the Ohio River and fireworks usually start lighting up the sky around 9:30pm. For almost 30 years, popular tunes of the past and present harmonize the fireworks and it's just fun! Tons of display booths, fair food and planes over head will entertain you during the day. The Louisville Bats usually have a home game on this April Saturday which provides a great opportunity to take in a little baseball and then have great seats for the fireworks!
Louisville Jack O'Lantern Spectacular.
Orginating in Oxford Massachusetts, this spectacular is Louisville's largest display of carved pumpkins! Enjoy the 1/4 mile stroll through Iroquios Park as the over 5,000 pumpkins illuminate the walking trail. This fun Halloween art show runs daily from early October to early November and proceeds benefit the Louisville Parks Foundation. If you want to dodge some of the lines, I recommend a week day evening in early October.
Brew at the Zoo (and Wine too!)
If you are a big fan of the zoo but want more of an adult day, you should love Brew at the Zoo! Sample some of the best from craft breweries, wineries and local restaurants while taking a stroll amongst the lions, tigers and bears. There is also a generous selection of non-alcoholic products as well as plenty of snacks. Let the live music entertain you and take a peek at the animals. Tickets sell out fast for this annual August event so get yours early if you plan to attend.
St Patrick's Day Parade
It may be chilly or it might be 75 degrees, either way every March for the past 45 years there is a St Patty's Day Parade on Bardstown Rd in the Highlands. All ages are welcome, just make sure to have on at least a little green! Molly Malone's and Flanagan's are typically packed wall to wall as the parade rolls down the street around mid afternoon. The Ancient Order of Hibernians' parade draws quite a crowd and you are sure to see decorated cars, elaborate floats, adorable kids and probably a pipe band. If you somehow forgot your green, don't worry...just grab a green beer and find a great spot along the side walk.
This award winning international festival takes place over Labor Day weekend and admission is free! Come stroll along the Belvedere and immerse yourself in a variety of cultures through food, crafts and entertainment. Three different stages provide music, dance and education from the late morning into the late night. Saturday boasts the Parade of Cultures which rolls through downtown Louisville and countries are represented with flags and traditional outfits. On Saturday and Sunday, the Global Village provides an opportunity to interact with individuals from more than 20 nations as Louisville's increasingly diverse culture is represented.
St James Court Art Fair
In the heart of historic Old Louisville, an annual arts and contemporary craft show is held every October. A fantastic variety of sculptures, paintings and crafts from over 700 artists are displayed amoung the beautiful Victorian homes of St James Court. Its basically a historical architectural tour of one of country's largest collection of Victorians homes and an amazing art fair that has ran for over 60 years...2 for the price of nothing because admission is free! See already completed pieces as well as artists at work displaying their passion and talent. There is no shortage of great events in our lovely city of Louisville but don't miss St James which is annually recognized as one of the top 10 art shows in the nation!
Want to hear a variety of music while chilling down at Waterfront Park?? I know...it sounds fun! This weekend music festival is held annually in mid July and boasts great lineups that churn out 3 days of fun and jams. For over 25 years, this summer festival has attracted tens of thousands of fans as well as a who's who of musical acts. Find a souvenir from one of the local artists and dance into the sunset on Louisville's 85 acre Waterfront Park!
Lights Under Louisville
You won't have to travel far to see the world's only underground drive through Christmas lights display. The Louisville Mega Cavern features over 1.2 miles of Christmas lights that seem to create a magical show of twinkle and warmth during the the chilly holiday season. You won't need headlights in this dark cavern as the dazzling lights will guide you through a variety of holiday themes and local landmarks created all from strands of lights. Over 2 million lights and over 850 displays make for a memorable holiday tradition (or at least one Christmas season visit).