Experience the nation's largest rock music festival, cultures from around the world, and an abundance of Bourbon, all without leaving Louisville this September.
Urban Bourbon Trail | The Month of September
Take in the flavors of Louisville's Urban Bourbon Trail®️, a mouthwatering cocktail and culinary experience highlighting the city’s best Bourbon bars and restaurants. This appetizing adventure will have you sipping Kentucky’s finest at dozens of local establishments, each stocked with at least 60 different varieties of bourbon. Come hungry and savor bourbon-infused food dishes from appetizers to entrees to desserts. Check-in from at least six different locations to receive a coveted UBT t-shirt. To celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month, any trailblazer who redeems their passport at the Louisville Visitor Center will receive a bonus "I'd Rather Be Drinking Bourbon" water bottle.
Parrotheads in Paristown | September 2-3
Parrotheads in Paristown is an all-new, two-day music festival featuring a stellar lineup of the nation’s top Jimmy Buffett tribute artists and trop rock bands. "Parrotheads" and live music lovers alike will love this first-ever event taking place over Labor Day weekend at the newly redeveloped Paristown district.
WorldFest | September 2-5 | FREE
Louisville’s WorldFest is one of the region’s largest international festivals, with nearly 150 international-themed arts, crafts, merchandise, and food booths. Taking place every Labor Day Weekend in Downtown Louisville on the Belvedere, the four-day festival highlights cultures from around the world and will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022.
Whiskey Walking Tours | September 7 & 28 | FREE
Immerse yourself in Louisville’s remarkable bourbon whiskey history by taking a free “Whiskey Walking Tour.” Follow a tour guide along a ten-block journey through downtown, learning knowledge of pre-Prohibition Louisville and the bourbon boom on Whiskey Row that is still taking place today. All tours start and end at the Louisville Visitor Center and last 90 minutes. Tour registration ends 18 hours before the tour time , and walk-ins are only taken based upon availability.
Oktoberfest at the German American Club | September 9 & 10
Head to the German American Club for one of their biggest events of the year. This annual Oktoberfest celebration will feature German dinner foods, pretzels by Klaus, imported beers, live music, and plenty of Gemütlichkeit. The Friday night Oktoberfest will last from 4-11pm, and the Saturday event will take place from 2-11pm. The River City Polkatz will be your entertainment each night at this festive family-friendly event.
Big Four Arts Festival | September 10 & 11
The 6th annual Big Four Bridge Arts Festival will be held on Waterfront Park’s Big Four Lawn at the base of the popular Big Four Walking Bridge. Over 150 juried artists will set up shop along the Ohio River during the two-day event, featuring paintings, jewelry, sculptures, photography, and more. Tickets for the event are just $5 and can be purchased at the entrance to the festival.
Homearama | September 10-25
Experience some of the best in construction, design, and décor by taking a stroll through 2022s lineup of Homearama homes. Held this year in the walkable Norton Commons neighborhood, tour ten unique houses and their custom builds and interiors.
Louisville Thoroughbred Society Polo Cup | September 10
Presented by The Trifecta and produced by Makers House, this annual Bourbon Heritage Month event takes place at the historic Oxmoor Farm Polo Fields and brings together world-class design, hospitality, and the "Sport of Kings." Professional polo players from across the country will compete in one of America’s most opulent Polo Cups while spectators cheers champagne, sip fine Bourbon, partake in the Verite Wine Room, and mingle amongst a crowd of chic and glamorous guests. Tickets are limited to a small number of guests with General Admission, VIP, Corporate, and other ticket packages available.
Gaslight Festival Week | September 11-18
Centered in the small-town ambiance of Gaslight Square, the Gaslight Festival has evolved into an eight-day extravaganza that has become a time-honored tradition of East Louisville's Jeffersontown (J-Town) community. The festival's signature events include a car show, golf scramble, 5K run, parade, balloon glow, motorcycle rally, live entertainment, and over 200 arts, crafts, and commercial booths.
Bourbon & Beyond | September 15-18
Back and bigger than ever, Bourbon & Beyond has expanded to four days for its first full festival since 2019. Headliners for the event include Jack White, Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam, and Kentucky native Chris Stapleton. Proclaimed the "World's Biggest Bourbon & Music Festival," there will be over a dozen distilleries on-site and over 100 different types of rare, vintage, and experimental bourbon expressions to taste. Culinary experiences include intoxicating celebrity and Kentucky chef demos, great eats from local restaurants, and a few surprises along the way.
Kentucky Bourbon Festival | September 16-18
Located just 45 minutes south of downtown Louisville in Bardstown, KY, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival has celebrated Kentucky bourbon for over 30 years. Both single-day and three-day passes are available for this annual Bourbon Heritage Month tradition, which highlights America’s only native spirit through tastings, dinners, auctions, and the World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay. Bourbon enthusiasts can sip their favorite hard-to-find bourbons or get signature cocktails prepared by pro mixologists.
Louisville Pride Festival | September 17
Held every September in Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood, this annual block party has become a staple end-of-summer event. The 2022 entertainment lineup is still TBA, but past headliners to take the stage have included Todrick Hall, Vincint, and Deborah Cox. The festival is held across multiple blocks on Bardstown Road, which is also home to some of the city’s most popular LGBTQ bars, including Chill Bar, and Big Bar, which stay open late after the festival ends.
Louder Than Life | September 22-25
This four-day event was named the “Largest Rock Festival in America” in 2019 and will include notable headliners such as Kiss, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Local food and drink culture will also be incorporated into the festival’s culinary scene with pop-ups from popular Kentucky Bourbon brands and local Louisville restaurants. Single day, Weekend General Admission, VIP, and Top Shelf passes are currently on sale.
NuLu Fest | September 24 | FREE
Once named "One of the Coolest Neighborhoods in North America" Louisville's East Market District, or NuLu, will have its annual neighborhood street fest on the last Saturday in September. Known for its art galleries, unique retail stores, and a growing number of restaurants, the neighborhood event will feature live music by sonaBLAST! Records, regional micro-brewed beers, and numerous food and retail booths by local vendors.
Downs After Dark | September 24 (Live Racing September 15-30)
One of Louisville’s longest-running traditions extends its hours just a few times a year for what Churchill Downs has coined Downs After Dark. With gates opening at 5 pm and the last horse race past 11 pm, racing fans will have a chance to see Churchill Downs in a new light. Live music, festive attire, and classic cocktails add to the excitement with general admission tickets starting at $14. If you can't make it to night racing, Churchill Downs will offer live racing Thursdays - Sundays, September 15-30, as part of their September meet.
National Jug Band Jubilee | September 24 | FREE
It’s been a while since fans of the National Jug Band Jubilee got to dance to the rhythm of jug band music on the banks of the Ohio River, but the free, all-day festival celebrating all things jug band is returning for 2022. The 2022 National Jug Band Jubilee will take place at Louisville Waterfront Park's Brown-Forman Amphitheater from Noon to 9 pm. GRAMMY-nominated blues artist Jontavious Willis will headline the festival with favorites Juggernaut Jug Band and the Cincinnati Dancing Pigs also set to perform.
St. James Court Art Show | September 30 - October 2 | FREE
Celebrating its 66th anniversary in 2022, the St. James Court Art Show is a juried fine art, and contemporary crafts show that brings over 600 artists to the city every first full weekend in October. The event spans 4 square blocks and is set in the Old Louisville neighborhood, home to the country’s most extensive collection of Victorian-era homes.
To see what's happening next month, here's a list of 11 Things to Do in Louisville this October.