Named one of the Best Places to See Fall Colors in the U.S. by Lonely Planet, Louisville is a great destination for a Fall weekend getaway. From Bourbon-infused events, haunted ghost tours, and some of the biggest music festivals happening in the country, there are plenty of reasons to escape to Bourbon City this Fall.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pumpkins at Kentucky Kingdom | Weekends in October
New for 2022, discover more than 1,000 illuminated pumpkins at Kentucky Kingdom amusement park. See towering pumpkin sculptures, some more than 12 feet high, expertly carved that light up the night with special effects and pops of color, in addition to family-friendly entertainment, special fall photo opportunities, trick-or-treating, and limited-time seasonal bites.
Courier Journal Louisville Food & Wine Experience | October 1
Located in the Norton Commons neighborhood, this one-day event will highlight chef creations from local restaurants, fine wines, and craft beer. Visitors will also have access to chef, mixology, and sommelier demonstrations at the event's Culinary Demonstration Stage. Be sure to get tickets ahead of time because tickets will likely sell out and will go up in price if purchased the day of the event.
Boo at the Zoo | October 1-30, Thursdays - Sundays
A tradition for over 40 years, Boo at the Zoo transforms the Louisville Zoo into a living storybook, complete with some of your favorite characters brought to life, fun music, and a safe place for trick-or-treating for kids 11 and under. Celebrate with an all-inclusive party experience designed to give all the kooky you love with less of the spooky. A Spooktacular Carousel, "not-so-itsy-bitsy" Spider House, and a Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow experience are all included with admission.
Bowman Fest | October 1 & 2
After having to delay the celebration since 2020, Bowman Field will finally get to celebrate its 100th anniversary in style with the return of Bowman Fest at historic Bowman Field Airport. The two-day festival will feature vintage aircraft from the 1920s through the 1960s, a 5k on the Runway, and a kids craft corner for the little ones.
Louisville Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular | October 4-31
Fall favorite Jack O'Lantern Spectacular is back at Louisville Iroquois Park for another season of Halloween fun. Visitors can stroll along a 1/3-mile path to enjoy over 5,000 carved pumpkins illuminated every evening as a part of the nightly art show. This family-friendly Fall celebration is the perfect ending to a day of exploration and has become one of Louisville’s most popular October traditions.
Garvin Gates Blues Festival | October 8 | FREE
Set in Old Louisville this annual tradition is celebrating its 27th year of arts and blues music featuring national and local performers alike. In addition to continuous live entertainment from some of the best blues bands, the festival will feature an array of food and drink vendors. Garvin Gate Blues Festival is Louisville's largest free street music festival. You can find the full musical lineup on their website.
The Big Stomp | October 14 & 15
Formerly Pete Fest, The Big Stomp is a two-day music festival located on a 90-acre private nature preserve in East Louisville. Bringing together musical genres from rock to bluegrass to electronica, the festival also offers activities, programming, and education in an effort to stomp out the stigma toward mental health.
Victorian Ghost Walk | October 14 - 16
Visit one of "America's most haunted neighborhoods" during this annual ghost tour in Old Louisville. Created by Louisville local and New York Times-reviewed author David Domine, this limited-time event will bring spirits to life with actors portraying the figures that allegedly roam some of the neighborhood's most haunted buildings. If you can't make it this weekend, Louisville Historic Tours offers nightly ghost tours through the Fall, but if you spot a ghost during those it may be the real thing.
Hot Brown Showdown | October 23
Celebrating the official sandwich of the state of Kentucky, this new 2022 event will be held at Louisville's Waterfront Park and highlight local professional and amateur chefs and their spin on the iconic dish. The event will kick off the first-ever Louisville Hot Brown Week, which takes place October 23-30 and offers $9 Hot Browns or Hot Brown-inspired dishes at select restaurants. Use the Hot Brown Week app to be in the running for a free weekend stay at the iconic Brown Hotel.
Fall Meet at Churchill Downs | November 2-27 (See calendar for live racing days)
Best known as the home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs will host its annual Fall Meet featuring live Thoroughbred racing this November. In addition to being a popular Thanksgiving and Black Friday tradition, the historic race track will host Sunday brunches, a Military Appreciation Day, Senior Day, and Breeders' Cup Watch Party.
Bourbon & Barbeque | November 11 & 12
Held at Louisville's Waterfront Park, this inaugural event will bring together 20 Kentucky Bourbons with 20 Pitmasters & Chefs for 2-days of innovative fusion of fire, food, and Bourbon.
For a list of Halloween and spooky season-specific events, check out this round-up of Halloween Haunts + Happenings in Louisville.
To find all events happening in and around the city be sure to check out our event calendar and subscribe to our email newsletters for the latest updates on news and events.