Fireworks, music, and food! Things are heating up this July as the city sees some of its classic festivals return as well as some new and interesting additions.
Sandlot 30th Anniversary Fundraiser | July 1-3
The first weekend of July will be a special one. Cast members of the iconic 90's movie "The Sandlot" will be in town at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory (July 1) for a Q&A session, photo ops, food pop-ups, commemorative merch, and a silent raffle. All ticket sales will benefit the Play Forever Project, a fundraiser initiative that looks to remove barriers and support young athletes to develop through sports participation. On Sunday, head to Louisville Slugger Field (July 2) for a Kids Day with the Louisville Bats baseball team, while on Monday Waterfront Park (July 3) will host a free screening of The Sandlot, followed by fireworks from the Bats game.
Shakespeare Festival in Central Park | Through August 6
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 just prior to Memorial Day weekend and includes the Shakespearean plays A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, and Love's Labor's Lost. Shows begin nightly at 8pm, but 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.
Fourth of July Celebrations | July 3-4
Three major Independence Day Celebrations will take place in Bourbon City this year. Head downtown on July 3rd to Louisville Slugger Field as the Louisville Bats Baseball team takes on the Indianapolis Indians. The 7:05pm, Monday night event includes a special post-game pre-Independence Day fireworks celebration after the game. Celebrate Independence Day on the banks of the Ohio River at Louisville's Waterfront Park Fourth of July which kicks off at 5pm on The Great Lawn. The annual celebration will feature free musical entertainment led by the Louisville Orchestra and also features family activities, local food trucks, and a professional fireworks display taking place around 9:45pm. Additionally, head to Brent Street in the Paristown District on July 4th, to catch their free outdoor Fourth of July artisan market. That night, a ticketed concert will feature The Crashers rocking the Paristown stage prior to Zambelli fireworks show kicking off around 9:45pm.
Summer Blast Fireworks at Kentucky Kingdom | July 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 21 & 22, 28 & 29
The fireworks continue at Kentucky Kingdom with multiple shows lighting up the sky every Friday & Saturday throughout the month of July. Spend your summer nights experiencing a 15-minute choreographed performance with music and pyrotechnics shooting over 350 feet in the air, starting around 10pm.
J-Town Beer Fest | July 15
J-Town Craft Beer Fest takes place in the heart of downtown Jeffersontown, just southeast of downtown Louisville. Featuring more than 85 craft breweries, wines, food trucks, and live music, this neighborhood oriented festival is 21+ and helps support local businesses in the area.
African Heritage Festival | July 15
Held at Ben Washer Park and Spalding University soccer fields in downtown Louisville, this annual free festival celebrates African, African-American, and Caribbean cultures during a day full of music, food, sports, fashion, children's activities, cultural demonstrations, and resources for healthy living.
Beyoncé | July 17
Undeniably one of the world’s most powerful musicians, the pop icon and record holder for most Grammy Awards is back on stage with her Renaissance World Tour. Known for songs like “Single Ladies,” “Crazy in Love,” “Flawless", and "Cuff It," "Queen B" is set to perform at L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium in a show that promises mind-blowing choreography, innovative outfits, and unforgettable vocals.
Louisville Burger Week | July 17-23
Back for its seventh year, Louisville Burger Week stands to be beefier than ever with a new app to help secure some of Louisville's best burgers. From local fan favorites to burgers created just for the special week, guests can enjoy discounted $7 gourmet burgers from dozens of restaurants around the city. Use the Louisville Burger Week app to check in at 4 or more locations and be entered to win $250 in gift cards as well as an "ultimate grill out" courtesy of the Kentucky Beef Council.
Alicia Keys | July 20
With over 65 million album sales and 15 Grammy Awards, Alicia Keys has been named the #1 certified R&B artist of the millennium by the Recording Industry Association of America. The New York singer-songwriter is set to perform on a 360-degree stage production at the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville as part of her North America Tour "Keys To The Summer."
Nulu Summer Fest | July 22
Held across three blocks on East Market Street, this free neighborhood festival is making its debut in 2023. From noon to 7pm catch live music, watermelon eating contests, sidewalk art, and a barbeque smoking demonstration from Pig Beach BBQ. Additionally, this event will include a showcase of infused exotic cocktails from the Clash of the Cocktails (July 11), a local cocktail competition highlighting specialty drinks from neighborhood establishment bartenders.
Premier Lacrosse League All-Star Weekend | July 22
For the first time ever in Kentucky, Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium at UofL will be hosting the All-Star Weekend for the Premier Lacrosse League. This summer event will have the best lacrosse players in America competing in a variety of skill challenges, concluding with an All-Star Game, with All-Star players selected by the fans throughout the first half of the season, starting on June 3.
Louisville Street Food Festival | July 22-23
Another event making their first-time appearance will be the Louisville Street Food Festival. Head to Fourth Street Live for a culinary weekend with food trucks and restaurants from over 20 vendors selling delicious bites for $5 or less. Additionally, there will be plenty of live entertainment options with axe throwing, mechanical bull riding, cooking demonstrations, and eating challenges.
The Chicks | July 25
With over 30 million albums sold, The Chicks are the best-selling U.S. female band of all time and an absolute icon in the world of country music. The band formed by Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines and Emily Strayer will be performing at the KFC Yum! Center at 7:30pm as part of their 2023 World Tour.
WFPK Waterfront Wednesday | July 26
Louisville's favorite free waterfront concert series continues during its 21st season with a night of performances by Turbo Nut, The Watson Twins, and The Hold Steady. Scheduled the last Wednesday of the month during the summer, gates for the nighttime musical performances open at 5pm with plenty of food trucks and drink options on-site. Be sure to bring a blanket or a lawn chair, or catch the show from above while taking a stroll on the Big Four Bridge.
Summer Beer Fest at the Frazier | July 29
Celebrating the rich history of brewing in the Bluegrass State, the Frazier History Museum is hosting its third annual beer festival this July. Over 200 specialty beers will be on tap along with food trucks and live music will spill over onto historic Main Street as the festival shuts down the historic block for an activity-filled afternoon. VIP tickets to the festival are available and include perks such as entry to the museum, early festival access, admission into the Gateway Garden, and dozens of additional beers.
One of Louisville's most unique traditions continues into its 53rd year with the annual World Championship of Dainty. Held on the last Monday in July in the Schnitzelburg neighborhood, this obscure German street game has become a cherished tradition that draws crowds onto the sidewalk of George Hauck Way to eat bologna sandwiches, listen to ragtime music, and watch contestants swing a whittled broomstick in hopes of being crowned a World Champion. The celebration will kick off the Saturday before with bands, drink specials, games, and raffles at The Merryweather. On Sunday, folks can enjoy a day full of fun at Hauck’s Corner for Open Hauck’s, which will include food, music, a dunk tank, and the bologna sandwich eating contest.