Spring in Louisville: Top Events You Don't Want to Miss : GoToLouisville.com Official Travel Source

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20+ Louisville Events You'll Want to Attend This Spring

Not only is springtime in Louisville one of the prettiest times of the year to visit, but it's also packed with some of the city's top festivals and events. Thoroughbreds, Billy goats, people, and steamboats are all off to the races with their own unique events, while air shows, fashion shows, and light shows marvel audiences this March, April and May.

Tailspin Ale Fest | March 2

Taking off for its 11th year, this annual end-of-winter beer festival is held outdoors at historic Bowman Field, one of the oldest continually operated airports in the US. With access to food trucks, a cigar lounge, a silent disco, and over 250 beers from local and regional breweries, this annual event has landed as a favorite for locals and area beer connoisseurs.

St. Patrick's Parade | March 9 | FREE

Hosted by the Louisville Ancient Order of Hibernians, this annual celebration begins at 3 pm and takes place in the eclectic and energetic Highlands neighborhood. Celebrating for more than half a century, you'll find parade floats, marching bands, and plenty of green beer as spectators line Bardstown Road and Baxter Avenue. Get there early to stake out your spot at some of the area's best Irish bars - Molly Malone's, O'Shea's, and Flanagan's. Check out more local Irish bars and ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Louisville here.

NuLu Bock Fest | March 23 | FREE

Located on a stretch of Market Street sandwiched between Nanny Goat Strut and Billy Goat Strut, the NuLu Bock Fest celebrates Louisville's rich beer history with local breweries, music, and even a slew of goat races. Wurst Fest is back for 2024, which will feature local restaurants facing off to create their best versions of the cased sausage. The festivities last from noon to 6 pm, but there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area for those looking to celebrate after the event comes to a close.

Bob Dylan at the Louisville Palace | March 23 & 24

Considered one of the most celebrated and influential artists of the last 60 years, Dylan started out as part of the burgeoning folk revival in the early '60s, winning popularity and acclaim with his 'finger-pointing' songs that drew on social and political sources and became synonymous with the Civil Rights struggle. Known for classic songs Like a Rolling Stone and Visions of Johanna, the artist will bring his tour to Fourth Street at the Louisville Palace for two days this March. Keep a look out for his new Louisville restaurant, The Last Refuge, which is set to open in the NuLu neighborhood some time this Spring.

Wild Lights at the Louisville Zoo | March 23 - June 16

See the Zoo in a whole new light as you enjoy one of the largest lantern festivals in the nation. This family-friendly, outdoor event will guide you along a 1.4-mile paved walkway allowing you to dive deep and celebrate the vibrant colors of the coral reefs, see nature come to life with interactive moving displays and explore ancient Chinese myths and legends, including magnificent dragons and a breathtaking phoenix tunnel as you stroll through the Zoo under the light of enormous, handcrafted, silk-covered lanterns. aglow with more than 50,000 LED lights.

PNC Broadway in Louisville presents: SIX | April 9-14

From Tudor Queens to Pop Icons, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the microphone to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a Euphoric Celebration of 21st-century girl power. A new original musical SIX is the global sensation that everyone is losing their head over. The show takes place at the Kentucky Center in downtown Louisville and is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Spring into Derby at Paristown | April 12-14 | FREE

Enjoyed a Derby-inspired weekend of art, bourbon and music at the revitalized historical Paristown neighborhood. This outdoor community event features a three-day, open art show on Brent Street, Bluegrass music, food and cocktails from The Café, as well as a free Friday night concert by Juice Box Heroes.

KMAC Couture | April 13

Marking its twelfth anniversary in 2024, this artistically curated fashion show celebrates at the intersection of art, craft, and design, with participants constructing extravagant garments out of unconventional materials and textiles. This year's theme will be "Runway for the Roses" in recognition of the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby and to showcase the particularly exotic grandeur and snazzy decadence that could only come from Kentucky.. Hosted by Louisville's contemporary art museum, KMAC, the event takes place at historic Paristown just south of Broadway near the highlands.

Thunder Over Louisville | April 20 | FREE

Held as the annual kickoff event for the Kentucky Derby Festival, this airshow and fireworks display can bring hundreds of thousands of spectators to the banks of the Ohio River. Watch from Waterfront Park, a downtown hotel, or even Southern Indiana starting mid-afternoon to see notable military-style aircraft, and stay until 9:30pm to catch the 30-minute "thunder" spectacle which is said be one of the largest annual firework shows in North America.

Bad Bunny: Most Wanted Tour | April 22

After becoming the top touring artist in 2022, the 3x GRAMMY winner took a break from the stage in 2023 with exceptions like Coachella, the GRAMMY awards, and the Latin Billboard Awards. Following his long-awaited return Bad Bunny will come to the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville this Monday night in April.

G & G Distilled | April 23-28

You're invited to experience Kentucky's Bourbon Country this Spring as Garden & Gun comes to Louisville and surrounding areas for unparalleled access to the birthplace of bourbon. This curated week of events will showcase the incredible food, people, music, and spirit of the state. Highlights include barrel picks, small-batch suppers in private homes, horse racing, and live music.

Cherokee Triangle Art Fair | April 27 & 28 | FREE

For over 50 years, the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair has ushered in springtime in Louisville in one of the city's historic neighborhoods-- the Highlands. This free, two-day event is one of the oldest art fairs in the region and features more than 200 artists' booths with art ranging from paintings to sculptures to jewelry. Food vendors will also be on-site as well as live music performances which will take place in the Willow Park Gazebo.

Kentucky Derby Festival Mini & Marathon | April 27

The Kentucky Derby Festival miniMaration is a long-standing tradition held every April and allows runners to see iconic Louisville sites including the world's largest baseball bat at the Louisville Slugger Museum, historic homes of Old Louisville, and the twin spires at Churchill Downs. Those who opt to run the full marathon will run through two Fredrick Law Olmsted-designed parks, taking a lap through Louisville's Central Park as well as Iroquois Park.

Pegasus Parade | April 28 | FREE

Taking place the Sunday before the Kentucky Derby, the annual Pegasus Parade will march down Broadway, symbolizing the start of Derby Week. Originating in 1956, the parade is the Derby Festival's oldest event and has featured a wide variety of celebrities such as Muhammad Ali, John Wayne, Diane Sawyer, Colonel Sanders, and William Shatner.

The Great Steamboat Race | May 1

Beginning in 1963 with a head-to-head battle between two historic vessels, the Belle of Louisville and the Delta Queen, the Great Steamboat Race is one of the Kentucky Derby Festival's most unique traditions. Scheduled annually for the Wednesday before Derby Day, this year’s race will include Louisville’s Belle of Louisville and BB Riverboats Belle of Cincinnati. Tickets to ride both racing riverboats are available, as well as the Mary M. Miller riverboat, which will be trailing the two vessels throughout the two-hour race. For those not looking to cruise, locals enjoy picnicking along the river at Waterfront Park and getting a bird's eye view of the start and finish from the historic Big Four Bridge.

Kentucky Oaks | May 3

Held the Friday before the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks is held annually at Churchill Downs racetrack and is the 2nd highest attended horse race in the United States. Run by 3-year old fillies, spectators have developed a tradition of wearing pink on Oaks Day in an effort to bring attention to the fight against breast and ovarian cancer.

Kentucky Derby | May 4

Considered the longest continually held sporting event in North America, the Kentucky Derby is a tradition unlike any other. Held at the iconic Churchill Downs racetrack, "the most exciting two minutes in sports" takes place annually in Louisville during the first Saturday in May as up to twenty Thoroughbreds race head to head for a chance at being named Kentucky Derby champion and a shot at the coveted Triple Crown.

Patti LaBelle at the Louisville Palace | May 10

Having spent over 50 years in the music business, Patti is more than just the lead singer behind the sixties monster disco hit Lady Marmalade. The Godmother of Soul will be coming to downtown Louisville this Mother's Day weekend, to the historic Louisville Palace.

PGA Championship | May 13-19

Less than 10 days after the Kentucky Derby, the 2024 PGA Championship will be held at the Valhalla Golf Club in East Louisville. One of the four men's major championships in professional golf, this prestigious event moves around the US annually and has not been held in Louisville since 2014.

Poorcastle Festival | May 17-19

The three-day Poorcastle Festival is filled with 30+ local bands. Held in Breslin Park, it bills itself as an alternative to pricier festivals without sacrificing the quality of the music or the fun.

Norton Commons Art Festival | May 18 & 19

Located in the walkable Norton Commons neighborhood, this free, 2-day event will feature over 75 artisan vendors including painters, jewelry makers, soap milliners, photographers, woodworkers, and mixed media artists. Local food trucks will be on site along with live music, and a kids' zone.

Abbey Road on the River | May 23-27

This annual Beatles tribute takes place just across the river from Louisville at Big Four Station Park in Jeffersonville, IN. The Memorial Day weekend festival will feature some of the best Beatles cover bands rocking out in tribute to the iconic British boy band. Headliners include Jan & Dean's Beach Party, The Fab Four, The English Channel, and Classicstone. Free admission for guests age 20 and under when accompanied by a matching adult ticket.

Uncle Boojie's Roots Revue | May 24 & 25

New for 2024, this two-day bluegrass, roots, and folk music festival will be hosted held in Christie's Garden at Paristown. The event will feature some of the best bluegrass artists in the region, great food & great cocktails. Both general and VIP admission tickets are available with discounted tickets for kids aged 11-17 and free for those ages 10 and under.

GAZEBO Festival | May 25 & 26

Jack Harlow announces GAZEBO Festival, a music festival he will co-headline with multiple GRAMMY Award winner, SZA, on May 25 & 26 at Louisville’s Waterfront Park. The line-up also includes James Blake (DJ Set), Omar Apollo, PinkPantheress, Vince Staples and more. The two-day event will feature 26 acts on two stages and highlight some of Louisville’s local food and culture. The Waterfront Park location uniquely marries the energy of downtown Louisville with more than 85 acres of green space on the Ohio River.

Kentucky Shakespeare Festival | May 29-August 11 | FREE

Taking place in Old Louisville’s scenic Central Park, the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival continues its decades-long tradition of providing free live-action performances of some of Shakespeare’s greatest works. This year’s entertainment kicks off after Memorial Day weekend, with shows beginning nightly at 8pm. Guests are encouraged to arrive as early as 6pm to get a bite at local food trucks and to ensure seating is available. Guests are also welcome to bring their own blankets and chairs, as well as dogs, as long as they are leashed. The 2024 season includes performances of Romeo & Juliet, The Comedy of Errors, and The Tempest.

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.

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