Multiple reasons exist as to why Louisville sits very high on the coolness factor charts; one of the many reasons is the thriving core support for the local community happening at festivals such as the Buy Local First Fair. The fourth annual fair, which featured over 100 booths, took place this weekend at the Watertower along River Road and was planned around the mission that buying products from locally-owned, independent businesses keeps the economy thriving, benefiting the entire community. And where else can consumers shop for local items such as praying mantis egg sacks, smoker chips rehashed from barrels of bourbon, vegan jerky, and every flavor of locally produced cheese and tea all in one location?
Fairgoers exploring the Buy Local First Fair on the beautiful Sunday afternoon were treated to booths such as Bourbon Barrel Rehab , a local business known for refurbishing Kentucky bourbon barrels and working them into guitar stands, smoker chips, and art. Jeff Irish, co-founder of BBR, said they were grateful to be apart of the event, helping to showcase the green friendly approach the company highlights in their products. Rooibee Red Tea  founder Jeff Stum says his company, which brews and bottles several delicious flavors of caffeine-free plant based teas right here in Louisville, was excited to be part of the Buy Local First festivities as well. The groovy, laid back event, hosted by the Louisville Independent Business Alliance, not only highlighted local vendors but also proudly featured an Against the Grain craft beer tent helping to spotlight local pub favorites such as the Bluegrass Brewing Company’s  seasonal summer Belgian farmhouse ale Saison and products from Bardstown Road staple, Cumberland Brews . Crowds weaving through vendor tents were also treated with positive sound waves pumping through the air from Louisville's own Vessel, an original bluegrass meets jam band who locals can hear later this week at Waterfront Wednesday, headlining the breezy stage right along the Ohio River. The fourth annual Buy Local First Fair is a continuing factor in helping the Metro community to thrive and the support of local vendors and their products showcase one of the many reasons that Louisville is just downright cool, and truly one-of-a-kind.
The Buy Local First fair is a celebration of all things local, produced by the partnership of the Louisville Independent Business Association , Keep Louisville Weird, the Louisville Visual Arts Association , and Grasshoppers Distributing .
photo courtesy of Jyn Yates