Living in Louisville, Kentucky provides residents with access to the beauty, history, and vibrancy of the Bluegrass Region. There is a wide variety of things to do in Louisville, including viewing the lovely historic mansions, listening to the latest live Indie music or free summer concerts, and exploring the extensive parks system. Take advantage of these and other events and become a part of the vibrancy of the city.
Kentucky’s Special Olympics chapter raises funds for its athletic competitions each year by holding major statewide events called Polar Plunges. Called Freezin’ for a Reason, participants enroll sponsors who pledge varying amounts if they will agree to be dipped in freezing water in the cold weather.
There are outrageous costume contests that grant the Golden Plunger to the most outrageous attired. Super Plungers raise a minimum of $1,000 and participate in three of the five statewide events. Whether you participate as a Plunger or sponsor one, you need attend to see the results, as this event is a great yearly attraction.
Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
Not many people are aware that Louisville annually hosts one of the country’s largest Saint Patrick’s Day parades. Louisville’s Father Abram J. Ryan Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians sponsors the event. The parade consists of about 150 marching units, decorated vehicles, and groups. As many as 100,000 people line the route to enjoy the festivities.
A grand parade is not all that the Hibernians present for Saint Patrick’s Day. They give The Shillelagh Award to the winners of the annual Saint Xavier and Trinity High Schools football game. This intense rivalry is a lot of fun to watch. The celebrations culminate with The Wearing O’ the Green, an evening celebratory event that includes live music, a buffet, a cash bar, a silent auction, and the Barrel of Cheer raffle.
Kentucky Derby Festival
What would Louisville be without the world renowned Kentucky Derby? Held the first Saturday in May, horse racing fans everywhere tune into watch both the horses race and the spectators celebrate in the Derby’s inimitable style. Trust Louisville’s fine citizens to take one event and turn it into a celebratory extravaganza that stretches over weeks.
The Kentucky Derby Festival has won the Best Overall Festival award of the International Festivals & Events Association five times. More than 1.5 million people participate in the series of more than 70 celebrations. The festival starts with Thunder Over Louisville, a fireworks extravaganza.
For the next two weeks, there are sporting events, paddle-wheel races on the Ohio River, the Pegasus Parade, hot air balloon events, and even live bed races. There are formal events and casual events for the entire family. If you are living in Louisville in May, take advantage of the state’s largest event.
Mayor’s Fall Hike and Outdoor Adventure
In the fall, take the entire family to explore nearby Jefferson Memorial Forest for the Mayor’s Fall Hike and Outdoor Adventure, an event that acquaints attendees with all that is offered by the forest. Volunteers and staff show visitors animal exhibits, native-plant gardens, and an education pond. There are events for children and adults alike. You can climb the Alpine Tower, try archery, hike along a guided trail, or enjoy a canoeing demonstration. There is also a 5k Fleur de Lis Classic race, a brunch, pumpkin decorating contests, and hayrides.