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The 5 Best Festivals And Events in Louisville, Kentucky
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The 5 Best Festivals And Events in Louisville, Kentucky

Picture of Shyla Watson
Updated: 9 February 2017
Read our list to discover the best festivals and events to enjoy in Louisville.
KY Governor During Derby Festival Parade | ©Bryan Siders/Flickr
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Kentucky Derby Festival

For nearly 150 years, the famous Kentucky Derby has been celebrated and watched nationally. The city of Louisville celebrates their hometown holiday nearly two weeks before with the main event. The festival, which is the largest that Kentucky hosts, includes the largest fireworks display in the country, a hot air balloon race, steamboat race, running marathon and parade. For over 50 years, the parade has featured a Royal Court of Derby Princesses, all of whom are awarded scholarships, before one is eventually crowned queen.

Kentucky Derby Festival, 1001 S. 3rd St. Louisville, KY, USA, +1 800 928 3378
Conrad-Caldwell House | ©toddmundt/Flickr
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Spirit Ball Masquerade & Dance

The Conrad-Caldwell House was erected in the early 19th century in a traditional Victorian style. The famed house was one of the few in its day to have electricity, indoor plumbing, and other innovations. The beautiful architecture features large archways, gargoyles, elaborate woodwork, stone designs and stained glass windows. The home hosts special events such as weddings and auctions, but the most popular is the Spirit Ball Masquerade & Dance. Held annually on Halloween, the masquerade is an opportunity for the people of Louisville to gather in period costumes and makeup while dancing the night away in this spooky, mystery house. All of the proceeds from the tickets go to preserving the timeless establishment.

Spirit Ball Masquerade & Dance, 1402 St. James Court Louisville, KY, USA, +1 502 636 5023
Louisville Art Fair | ©Jason Meredith/Flickr
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Cherokee Triangle Art Fair

Cherokee Triangle is a booming downtown neighborhood in Louisville, and the trendy area is home to many coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques and historic homes. Going on its 45th year, the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair is an annual community event. Held on a tree-lined street, attendees can enjoy the opportunity to discover local artists and purchase some of their work. You can also go to an activity booth and create your own art piece. As you walk around, enjoy live entertainment and music, eat food from vendors, and drink a cocktail while taking in the gorgeous scenery. Like many of Louisville’s large events, the Art Fair also acts as a fundraiser, and participants contribute to the upkeep of one of Louisville’s oldest neighborhoods.

Cherokee Triangle Art Fair, Willow Park, Cherokee Triangle Louisville, KY, USA, +1 502 459 0256
IdeaFestival 2011 | ©C.C. Chapman/Flickr
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Come and let your ideas percolate at the IdeaFestival. For four days every fall, the cognitive conference takes place in downtown Louisville. This is a festival where great ideas come together – attend different events and learn from some of the greatest and most innovative minds. You can also contribute your own unique and creative ideas.

IdeaFestival, 200 W. Vine St. Suite 420 Lexington, KY, USA, +1 502 966 4607
Louisville Home During the Holidays | ©Daniel Light/Flickr
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Holiday Home Tour

Every year in early December, the Old Louisville Neighborhood Council organizes the Holiday Home Tour. Purchase tickets to tour some of the oldest Victorian mansions and glimpse the elaborate architecture, breathtaking decorations, and elegant Southern air of holidays past. Tour guides will share fun stories, full of historical facts about the house and tales about the family that lived there.

Holiday Home Tour, 1340 S. 4th St. Louisville, KY, USA, +1 502 635 5244