There’s certainly nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned fireworks-in-the-backyard type Fourth of July weekend; in fact, some years that’s just what you might need. Nobody can ever say anything’s missing from a relaxing evening full of cook-out goodies, music and sparklers. But if you’re looking for a long weekend with a little something extra to get you excited about Independence Day, look no further--we have some exciting stuff around these parts to spark your Fourth of July holiday weekend into something extraordinary. Keep in mind these are only a few ideas--there’s never a shortage of things to do in Louisville on a summertime long weekend, especially a holiday!
1. Crescent Hill’s Old-fashioned 4th of July Art & Music Festival, July 4-5
Old-fashioned? The traditional fireworks show at 10 p.m. on July 4th might say so, but this annual festival, held around the historic Peterson Dumesnil House, has all the trappings of a traditional fair, and much more. Come enjoy beloved festival games like a cakewalk, prize wheel, inflatables and face painting, a food booth and silent auction. Don’t forget the art in the Art and Music festival, either--alongside the local and community bluegrass, country, folk, Dixieland jazz, Celtic, and singer-songwriter performers to be playing each evening on the main stage, the art fair featuring over 80 artists and artisans both on the 4th and 5th will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or later. There’s even a pet show set for Saturday at 11 a.m. With free parking at the Grinstead Ave. Southern Baptist Seminary parking lot and trolley service on area streets.
Peterson Dumesnil House
301 S. Peterson Ave. (between Frankfort Ave. and Grinstead Dr.)
Louisville, KY 40206
2. July 3rd Zambelli Fireworks Show at Louisville Slugger Field
Image courtesy of milb.com
Though not technically taking place on Fourth of July weekend, this downtown fireworks show in Louisville is ideal for those with plans to travel on the weekend itself--or for baseball, fireworks, and $1 beer enthusiasts. After the game beginning at 6:45 p.m. stick around and enjoy a splendid fireworks show from your seat, with tickets running for $11 at the door, and only $7 if ordered in advance. Budweiser happy hour runs from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.!
July 3rd Zambelli Fireworks Show
Louisville Slugger Field
401 East Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202
Thursday, July 3
Buy tickets here
Image courtesy of Facebook.com
One of the best things about holiday weekend festivities--aside from the food, the music, the people watching, etc.--is the excitement, and the celebration at Flea Off Market, held on Independence Day itself, is sure to have it in abundance. As can only be expected, there will be plenty of entertainment throughout the afternoon and evening, including live music beginning at 2:30 from Humongous (2:30-3:30), Juanita (4-5) King Kong (5:30-7) and Born Cross Eyed (7:30-9:30). Avail yourself of the nearly 200 vendors selling anything everything you could want, as well as the food trucks (of course), focusing on locally sourced ingredients and seasonal cocktails. Who needs fireworks anyway?
The Flea Off Market
4. Make Your Own Independence Day at Locust Grove
Image courtesy of tripadvisor.com
In the mood for something a little more homespun--and maybe a little less loud--this holiday weekend? Sometimes the idea of going back to your roots and enjoying a peaceful picnic and afternoon in the park is just perfect--and in Louisville, you’re never at a loss for beautiful locations to enjoy your holiday. Locust Grove, a historic Louisville home with grounds stretching for 55 acres, is opening its land to the public for use on the Fourth, whether you want to partake in the desserts and drinks available for purchase, the children’s activities, living history demonstrations, tours of the house and exhibits, or would rather celebrate on your own terms in the beautiful environment.Just don’t forget your picnic baskets and walking shoes (and sunscreen!)
Locust Grove Historic Home and Grounds
561 Blankenbaker Ln
Louisville, KY 40207
5. Belle of Louisville and Spirit of Jefferson Fireworks Cruise
Image courtesy of examiner.com
Are you the sort who prefers to spend the Fourth of July independent of dry land? Don’t feel resigned to a backyard barbeque or a picnic in the park; spend your holiday cruising down the Ohio River on Louisville’s very own Belle of Louisville, the oldest operating Mississippi-style steamboat in the entire world (but of course you already knew that). Step aboard at 7:30 p.m. July 3rd and 4th and head downstream from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. to watch the fireworks display from the Ohio River. With a grand fireworks show, open seating and a concession and bar available, you won’t miss any must-have aspect of the Fourth--and you can enjoy them all with the most beautiful view imaginable!
401 West River Road Louisville, KY
$25 per person
6. Republic Bank First Friday Trolley Hop
Image courtesy of uoflcardbook.com
Whether you’re a longtime fan of the Louisville Trolley Hop or a newcomer in search of an activity for the Fourth, don’t discount this Louisville event this particular Friday, now all dressed up for Independence Day. Park free at Slugger Field or the Fourth Street Live! garage beginning at 6 p.m. and board a trolley at any one of the downtown trolley stops and attend to some serious shopping, dining, and a general good time. Though it might be a little departure from the usual Fourth of July festivities, there will still be plenty of food, drink, and fun at this monthly celebration of downtown Louisville. What could be more holiday-worthy than that?
7. Jeffersonville’s Celebrating Freedom Parade
What’s more American than a parade that both celebrates our current freedom and honors those who fought to make it possible? Everybody is invited to the Celebrating Freedom Parade in Jeffersonville, with the route beginning on Spring Street and stretching along the riverfront to Federal Avenue near beautiful Warder Park, between Spring Street and Court Avenue, where you can attend a short ceremony in honor of our veterans and give out parade awards. Purchase a hot dog and refreshment at the park--again, what could be more American?--and enjoy an afternoon of concerts on the RiverStage! The parade begins at 11 a.m. on the Fourth, leaving the afternoon open for festivities and remembrance.
8. Phriday Nights Rock at The Hill! Fourth of July
Image courtesy of wantickets.com
Whether it’s a holiday weekend or not, a list of Louisville happenings simply wouldn’t be complete without at least one exclusively musical selection, and Phoenix Hill Tavern has plenty to offer. Though shows are running all through the weekend, this Friday’s event is something special in particular with bands Redline, Alex & Josh with Shatterproof, and a rock showcase including groups like Year Of The Gun, Caducus, Zebras In Public, and All But Dead. Not to mention some great deals on refreshments; just like every Friday, the Tavern offers buck-off happy hour drinks and food between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and free off-street parking. In the mood to move? Jump in to the outdoor dance party, or the living room karaoke party, and rock the night away!
Pheonix Hill Tavern
644 Baxter Avenue
Louisville, KY 40204
Keep up with what’s going on this holiday weekend by following Louisville.com on twitter (@louisvillecom) and subsribing to our Weekender newsletter! (give link) Happy Fourth of July, everyone!
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