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    This week Louisville will celebrate one its loveliest ladies’ birthdays, the Belle of Louisville. As part of the Centennial Festival of Riverboats, a six-day-long celebration of food, art, music, and bourbon at Waterfront Park, the Belle’s Big Birthday Bash will be celebrating with a 100th year bang. Here are the best events of the week that you won’t want to miss...

    1. Belle of Louisville’s 100th Birthday Parade

      Tuesday, Oct. 14th 5:30 p.m.

    Inspired by the tradition of a New Orleans “Second Line,” Belle’s 100th Birthday Parade, presented by WLKY, will kick off directly after the re-christening and commencement ceremony. Starting at the Belle of Louisville and ending at the Centennial state, enjoy live music from Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience, Juggernaut Jug Band and the River City Drum Corps as well as fireworks to end the evening.

    1. UofL Homecoming on the Waterfront

      Wednesday, Oct. 15th 6-8 p.m.

    Join UofL alumni, students and fans for the Homecoming Court at Waterfront Park. Listen to athletes and coaches, then take a cruise with cards on the Belle of Louisville.

    1. Steamboat Days in Southern Indiana

      Friday, Oct. 17th- Sunday, Oct. 19th

    Head over to Indiana either by car or the Big Four pedestrian bridge Friday through Sunday to continue the festivities, which will feature art, art demonstrations, live music, a parade, and a children’s area. For more information, click



    1. Courier Journal Balloon Glow

      Friday, Oct. 17th 7:30-9 p.m.

    Come out and see a variety of beautiful, glimmering balloons on the Great Lawn. Speak with pilots, take a ride on a steamboat, and admire the lovely backdrop along the Ohio River. The Courier Journal Balloon Glow is weather dependent.

    1. The Belle’s Big Birthday Bash

      Saturday, Oct. 18th 1:30 p.m.

    Happy Birthday to the Belle of Louisville! Beginning with the Mark Twain Riverboat Parade, this day-long festival will be featuring boats, narrations by Mark Twain, and a firework show as Louisville toasts to the Belle on her 100th birthday.

    Along with the planned events above, there will be something going on at Waterfront Park everyday. Explore the

    Century of River Commerce River Industry Display Boats

    , a historic exhibit/tour of 11 towboats, which will be lined up along the river next to Waterfront Park. Enjoy the daily artisan showcase with vendor booths, food and beverages from The Comfy Cow, Brown-Forman, Old 502 Winery, and SweetWater Beer among other local food and beverage providers. Also, don’t miss the Belle’s Bourbon Landing, listening to the calliope, a unique instrument featured on riverboats, and

    live music

    from over 45 different artists.  

    If you’re interested in watching the races of the Belle of Louisville against some of its rivals, check out the schedule here:

    Spirit of Jefferson vs. Spirit of Peoria

    Wednesday, Oct. 15th 4:30 p.m.

    Spirit of Peoria vs. B

    elle of Louisville

    Thursday, Oct. 16th 8 p.m.

    Spirit of Peoria vs. River Queen

    Friday, Oct. 17th 1:30 p.m.

    Belle of Louisville vs. Belle of Cincinnati vs. American Queen

    Sunday, Oct. 19th 3 p.m.

    For more information on the daily events of the Centennial Festival of Riverboats, click


    . To buy tickets to the events and/or take a cruise on one of the many featured boats, click



    Images courtesy of Steamboat Days and Belle of Louisville Websites.



    Krista Walker's picture

    About Krista Walker

    Born and raised in the Bluegrass with a five year stint at UD (Go Flyers!), i'm a photography nerd, Instagram obsessor, happy hour believer, Mexican food lover, and writer for & StyleBlueprint Louisville as well as a graphic designer at The Learning House. I also run a lifestyle photography business called You've Got Flair. Check me out over here --> Cheers!

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