Under the shadow of the Louisville Water Tower Saturday afternoon, the Louisville Independent Business Alliance  and Grasshopper Distribution  celebrated their fifth anniversary of the Buy Local Fair. Over 150 local vendors gathered near the Ohio River to promote and sell their wares and services to those in attendance. Whether you were interested in food trucks , tattoos , publications  – Louisville Magazine and Louisville.com, one of the sponsors of the Buy Local Fair, also had a tent – free roofs , cloth diapers , purse/laptop bag hybrids , bartering  or clothes , there was something for everyone in the marketplace.
“The very first one, we probably had about 15 or 20 booths,” LIBA Director Jennifer Rubenstein said, “and that’s when the [Louisville Visual Arts Association ] was running it. It was... inside the building, actually.” Rubenstein explained to Louisville.com that the LVAA chose the tower to hold the first fairs -- their offices were at the tower -- until Louisville Water , one of the few locally owned public utilities in the city, took over. The utility then asked LIBA to continue the fair, offering their assistance to the business organization.
Aside from shopping or learning about what every vendor had to offer, guests could also enjoy many craft beers under the ValuMarket Beer Tent  next to the water tower, with brews from Apocalypse Brew Works , BBC  and Cumberland  among the many available up until the kegs ran dry shortly before Nerves Junior took to the stage. If guests were also hungry, Grind , Lil Cheesers , Taco Punk  and Stellar! Sweets  were just four of the several options from which to choose.
Speaking of food, RYE on Market  went up against MilkWood at Actors Theatre of Louisville  in two-on-two epic cooking battle, with Mayor Greg Fischer as one of the celebrity judges on hand to decide who had the best dish. After a brief confab between the judges and an extended speech by food writer Ron Mikulak, RYE were declared the winners of this year’s cook-off.
With Indiana and the Ohio serving as the backdrop, local bands Thirty Spokes , Gideon’s Rifle  and headlining act Nerves Junior  rocked the house throughout the day. Attendees who weren’t into the show onstage could take a tour of the Louisville Water facility while their children could learn more about water at the H2O Kids Zone, then test their newfound knowledge at the Water Trivia Duck Pond.
The next LIBA event is the Louisville Brewfest at the Mellwood Art Center July 1st. For more information on this event, you can follow LIBA on Facebook , the event’s Facebook page , as well as the LIBA website at www.keeplouisvilleweird.com .
Photos: Cameron Miquelon/Louisville.com .