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    The 2009 Waterfront Independence Festival, presented by Fifth Third Bank, will feature two days full of free music, free children’s activities, festival food, fireworks, and fun.  The Festival kicks off on Friday, July 3rd with Country Night, and continues on Saturday, July 4th with an evening of progressive hip-hop from Berkeley, California; acid jazz; and funk.  

    This year’s festival marks the tenth anniversary of the July 4, 1999 grand opening of Waterfront Park’s first phase.  “Could there be any better way to celebrate an anniversary,” said Waterfront President David Karem, “than with 150,000 of our closest friends?”  In the years since that 1999 opening, Waterfront Park has added the Adventure Playground & Waterplay Area, Brown-Forman Amphitheater, and Amphitheater Docks of Phase II, and just this month, the Lincoln Memorial and Swing Garden of Phase III.  “The one constant in those ten years of progress and change has been the Waterfront Independence Festival,” said Karem, “and it promises to be better than ever this year.”

    Musical Lineup
    2009 offers a great lineup of bands, with two nights jam-packed with music and fun.  Friday night’s country lineup includes headliner Joe Nichols, whose Billboard hits include “Brokenheartsville” and “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,”  as well as one of country music’s most versatile performers, Steve Wariner.  Nashville recording artist J.D. Shelburne, a native of Taylorsville, Kentucky, will open the night with his top notch, high-energy band comprised of Louisville natives.

    Legendary favorites The Ohio Players will headline Saturday night with their spare, supple groove and bass-heavy finger-poppin’ funk.  Greyboy Allstars, an acid jazz band that focuses more on jazz than groove-oriented dance music, and the minimalist grooves and reimagined electro of Lyrics Born complete Saturday’s lineup.

    Families will enjoy the Catfish Louie Kids Area again with plenty of quality activities for children, including kids bands, Radio Disney personalities and games, free caricature portraits, arts and crafts, and inflatable games such as the moon bounce and super slide.  The Science Center will have a booth both days; Thursday’s theme is country music, with activities that will help kids learn about the science of sound by investigating country music and sounds from around the world.  On Friday, kids will investigate the science of Independence Day, with activities focused on color, flight and fireworks.    

    Each evening of entertainment will open at 5pm with continuous music, food and Coors Light Beer Garden leading up to the fireworks at 10:30 p.m.  Children’s activities will run from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m., and there is a Bats Baseball game on Thursday, July 3, at 7:00 p.m.    

    While all of Waterfront Park is accessible, a special viewing area for individuals in wheelchairs will be offered again this year.  This is an area that will be reserved and fenced off, and each person in a wheelchair is welcome to bring one escort.  
    A complete schedule, directions, band information, and a list of frequently asked questions can be found on the Festival website,

    Once again, festival patrons will be encouraged to recycle plastic and aluminum in recycling containers.  Glass is not allowed inside the festival area.  

    Festival patrons are also encouraged to bicycle to the event and utilize a bicycle parking area that will be provided near the entrance to the festival. TARC buses will provide another transportation alternative. 

    Blankets, and lawn chairs are allowed. Water is allowed in small plastic bottles provided the seal has not been broken.

    Prohibited items: Tents, glass, coolers, cans, bottles, pets, skateboards, weapons, and bicycles inside the event space (bike racks are available near event entrances),

    Individuals interested selling arts, crafts or related merchandise will find a vendor application and guidelines at  All food vendor spots have been filled.

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    Didn't I tell you? I run this place! Not much goes on here without me knowing...I'm always watching.

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