J.R. Tolkien

"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R. Tolkien

Friday, May 8, 2015

45 FREE & Cheap May Festivals


Do not despair, Derby Season may be over, but the month of May brings scores of reasons to celebrate. May is the official month for the Hometown Tourist Celebration (5/4/2015 – 5/31/2015) so over 80 area businesses are offering special discounts to area attractions, restaurants, shops, hotels and activities. Warmer weather also means local fairs and festivals are popping up everywhere.  Whatever your hobby or interest, May is one of the best months for fun, free or cheap things to do in Louisville.

Here’s a list of the May events going on around town:


5/4/2015 – 5/31/2015
1. Hometown Tourist Celebration 
80+ local businesses are offering special discounts and programs in May to encourage locals to explore their hometown.  Here’s a sample: Schimpff’s is offering free ¼  lb of Cinnamon Red Hots, free desserts at Joe Huber Family Farm, buy 1 get 1 free at Derby Dinner Play House (buffet & a show),  $2 off zoo admissions, $4 off at Sky Zone, etc.

5/5, 5/12, 5/19, 5/2 | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
2. Sidewalk Sales
Louisville Visitors Center (4th & Jefferson)
Discounts on a variety of Louisville souvenirs.

5/7/2015, 6/4 | 12 p.m.
3. The Mayor’s Music and Art Series
Metro Hall, 527 W. Jefferson Street
This series feature performances by local artists and musicians during lunch hour at Louisville Metro Hall.  Performances are usually 45 minutes and open to the public.


5/8, 5/22, 5/24/2015 | after Bats baseball game
4. Big Four Bridge & Fireworks 
These three days are perfect for a late evening stroll after dinner on the Big Four Bridge and Waterfront Park.  You will live longer because of the exercise, and will get a spectacular view because of the fireworks at the end of baseball game (varies, game starts around 6 p.m.)

5/8/2015 | 4 p.m.
5/9/2015 | 9 a.m.
5. Mt. Washington Spring Festival
Downtown Mt. Washington
Fish fry, carnival rides, live entertainment, craft booths, drawings, and parades in this small town a short drive from Louisville.

5/8 -5/10 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
6. 20th Annual Gardener’s Fair
Locust Grove
$6 admission
Come to the historic former home of Louisville’s founder George Roger Clark to view the exhibits, buy plants and flowers, and chat with experts on all things garden.

5/8/2016 - 5/29/2015 | time varies
7. Tim Faulkner Gallery
Tickets starting at $5
Venture to Portland to this really neat Gallery to enjoy local bands, dance groups, comedy routines, and art work.  Check their website for information on shows. On May 16, "A World of Dance in the Bluegrass" will introduce you to different genres of dance including ballet, precision clogging, Bollywood, modern, hip hop, ballroom, and classical Indian as well as live music.

5/9/2015 | 11:30 a.m.
8. Bridge to Beer 
Red Yeti Brewing Company
256 Spring St
Jeffersonville, IN
A fun free 5 mile (round trip) beer walk via the Big Four Bridge visiting 4 beer companies. Beer and foods available for purchase.

5/9/2015 | 9 am. – 3 p.m.
9. Festival of Flowers
Southern Parkway & Woodlawn Ave
Check out the flowers, plants, herbs, crafts, pottery, jewelry, etc. from this neighborhood spring fest.

5/9/2015 - 7/20/2015| 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show

10. Iroquois Amphitheater Free Movies
"Frozen" will kick of the free movie series at this lovely amphitheater.  Come back all the Saturdays and Mondays after that for other great showings.

 
5/9, 5/16, 5/23 | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
11. Hometown Quest Scavenger Hunt 
One of my favorite Hometown Tourist activities, this scavenger hunt/amazing race experience will have you mad dashing through downtown to solve puzzles or do activities with the ultimate prize waiting at the Louisville Visitors Center after the allotted hour.

5/9/2015 | 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
12. How-To Festival
LFPL - Main Library
301 York Street
This is my absolute FAVORITE.  You can learn to do 100+ things in 5 hours in 15, 30, 45 or 60 minute sessions from local experts and enthusiasts.  Learn to write with a quill pen, arm a Samurai, sing opera, graduate from college debt free, square dance, play the guitar and the list goes on.  Sessions range from the silly, fun, wacky, to practical. Complete list here.

5/9/2015 | 10 am - 5 pm
13. Cedar Lake Art Fair
Cedar Lake Lodge
3301 Jericho Road
LaGrange, KY
This free family-friendly event includes arts and crafts for sale that are handmade by the residents of Cedar Lake Lodge, as well as hourly door prizes, food, games, and children’s activities. All of the proceeds will support Cedar Lake Lodge art program.

5/9/2015 | 12 p.m. - 5 pm
14. Nulu's 2015 Spring Fling Shopping Event
600 - 800 Block of East Market Street
Nulu businesses are offering great discounts on home decor, clothes, foods, etc. at this annual post-Derby event.


5/9/2015 - 5/10/2015 | 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
15. May Flea Off Market
1007 E. Jefferson St.
A popular monthly flea market with over 100 vendors selling hand-made items, local arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, accessories, antiques, etc. The many food trucks will keep you full and the live music will keep you entertained.

5/10/2015 | 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
16. Louisville Art Affair
Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center
A juried art show with works for sale including painting, jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass & photography.

5/11/2015 | 4:30 p.m.
17. Chef Maria's Bistro - Free cooking Class
107 Oak Street
Come and learn how to make baklava from Greek Chef Maria, owner of Chef Maria's Bistro.  Just bring walnuts, honey, a pastry brush and unsalted butter.

5/14/2015 | 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
18. GAMEology
Kentucky Science Center
727 W. Main St.
$15 - $20
A unique 21+ game night featuring life size board games, science theme game shows, and a 4-story video games.

5/15/2015 | 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
19. Best Bloomin' Arts & Crafts Festival
Blackacre
3200 Tucker Station road
Free with donation to Dare to Care or $5 to Blackacre
A community arts fair centered on green living with concerts, classes and workshops.


5/15/2015 | 5 p.m. - 9 pm
5/162/015 | 10 am - 9 pm
20. 4th Annual Old Louisville SpringFest
1200 - 1300 Blocks of 1st Street
Food vendors, businesses, arts and crafts, and live music take over the charming streets of Old Louisville at this annual spring fest.



5/16/2015 | 10 am - 11 pm
21. St Matthews Street Festival
St Matthews Chamber of Commerce
Frankfort Avenue
A fun neighborhood festival featuring St. Matthews' local businesses with freebies and giveaways.  Lots of activities for kids, street food vendors, and live music.

5/16/2015 | 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
22. Touch a Truck
Big 4 Station Park
Jeffersonville, IN
A kid friendly event with inflatables, train rides, face painting and food truck.  This event provides kids with a unique opportunity to explore all types of vehicles, including public service, emergency, landscaping, transportation, delivery, etc.

5/16/2015 | 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
23. Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest
HWY 245
Clermont, KY
$5/car
Celebrate spring with a faerie parade, food vendors, live music, garden lectures, plant sales and other kids friendly activities.  Also check out the beautiful grounds and gardens of Bernheim Forest.

5/16/2015 | 10:30 am - 7 pm
24. Forest Fest
Jefferson Memorial Forest
$10 parking
Food trucks, craft vendors, kids' activities, workshops, field camping, and local music at the beautiful Jefferson Memorial Forest.

5/16/2015
25. 31st Annual Bar-B-Q Pitt Festival
Pitt Academy, 6010 Preston Highway
Satisfy your bbq cravings with pork, mutton, and chicken slow cooked over natural wood pits. Expect delicious burgoo and traditional side dishes.


5/16/2015 | 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
26. Glendale SpringFest
Glendale, KY
Take the hour drive down this cute town for their wide array of crafts, antiques, gifts, live music and food.  Stop by the famous Whistle Stop for a great lunch.

5/16/2015 | 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
27. Highlands Beer Festival 2015
ValuMarket Mid City Mall - Parking lot
1250 N. Bardstown Road
Come taste a seemingly endless varieties of beer (for a fee) at this popular local event.

5/16/2016 | 11 am - 7 pm
28. Cross the Tracks 
3701 Frankfort Avenue, 40207
Masonic Homes of Kentucky
Family friendly event with food trucks, games, farmers market, plant sale, local artists, antiques and collectibles.


5/17/2015 | 12 p.m. - 6 pm
29. 2015 Buy Local Fair
Louisville Water Tower (River Road)
Free, $5 to park (Park over at King's Fish and walk over for free)
Louisville Water Tower Park
Another one of my favorite fairs, featuring local only  businesses, foods, arts and crafts, organic goods, arts, and all thing local.  There's even an Iron Chef-ish cooking competition.  Try the kettle corn, so good!

5/17/2015 | 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
30. National Astronomy Day Celebration
Gheens Science Hall & Rauch Planetarium
106 Brandeis Ave
$0 - $5
An afternoon of presentations, shows and astronomy related activities for astronomy enthusiasts.


5/18/2015 | 7 p.m.
31. Yelp's International Supper Club
Queen of Sheba
2804 Taylorsville Road
Want to try new international food every month with other enthusiastic foodies around town? Join Yelp this month at their inaugural event and all the months after that for a taste of Louisville's ethnic eateries. There might be a local expert in the group to help better appreciate and understand these cultures!

5/21/2015  - 9/2015| 7 p.m.
Every third Thursday
32. Rye Back Porch Session
900 E. Market Street
A free summer concert series to introduce local artists to the community.  It's a celebration of music and food.

5/21/2015 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
33. Wave 3 New Concert Series at the KFC Yum! Center
Yum! Center
A monthly free concert series highlighting up-and-coming local artist during Thursday's lunch hours.  Food trucks on site.

5/22/2015 - 9/7/2015 | 7 p.m.
34. RiverStage Summer Concert Series 2015
Jeffersonville Riverstage (waterfront by Big 4 Bridge)
Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and coolers to enjoy a rotating schedule of live bands every Friday at the Riverstage with the Ohio River as your back drop. Beautiful music, view and atmosphere.



5/23/2015 - 9/12/2015 | 7:30 p.m.
35. Riverstage Twilight Cinema 2015
Jeffersonville Riverstage
Bring your little ones to see family friendly movies on the Jumbo screen every Saturday after dark.  Come early at 7:30 for fun kids-centric entertainment that will have the kids moving and winning prizes.

5/22/2015 – 25 | 12 pm - 11 pm
36. WAVE 3 Abbey Road on the River
Belvedere Festival Park & Muhammad Ali Center
$20 - $199
Lots of bands on lots of different stages playing tribute to the music of the Beatles all weekend long.

5/22/2015 - 5/24/2015
Louisville Water Tower
$12 before 6 p.m., $16 after 6 p.m.; kids under 10 free
Raggae music and spicy flavors of Jamaican food reign at this annual festival.

5/23/2015 | All day
38. Fleur de Flea Vintage Urban Market
Waterfront Park
An open air market for lovers of vintage clothing, books, records, primitives, antiques, repurposed, recycled & collectibles.

5/4/2015 | 4 p.m.
39. Arts Reach Showcase
Brown Theatre
315 W. Broadway
A free annual performance arts showcase for participants of the Kentucky Center for the Arts' Arts Reach project.


5/25/2015 | 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
40. Mayor’s Hike, Bike & Paddle
Louisville Waterfront Park – Great Lawn
Another one of my favorites and a biannual traditional for me. Thousands of people come over to bike, hike and paddle.   The city closes the streets for cyclists, maps a hiking map at the waterfront, and give free kayak tour (or you can bring your own) in the Ohio River.  Come early to check out the health-centric booths and get some free swags.

5/27/2015 | 5 p.m.–10 pm
41. WFPK Waterfront Wednesday Concert 
Waterfront Park, Big Four Lawn
Civil Twilight, Matthew E. White and Small Time Napoleon
Bring a blanket and a friend(s) to relax and enjoy beautiful music on the last Wednesday of every month. A young and lively atmosphere with a beautiful view of the Ohio River in the background.

5/29/2015 | 6 p.m. – 10:30 pm
42. F.A.T. Friday Hop
Frankfort, Mellwood & Story Avenue
Hop on a trolley every last Friday of the month to explore the shops and restaurants along Frankfort Avenue. Appetizers, discounts, music, and friendly people can all be found here.

5/30/2015 | 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
43. Festival of Ale & Wine
St. Anthony's of Padua
320 North Sherwood Ave
Clarksville, IN 47129
A craft beer festival raising money for WHAS Crusade for Children featuring over 100 + breweries, 7 craft beer distributors, 250 crafts and import beers, wine, food and more.

5/30/15 - 7/5/2015 | 10 a.m., Sat & Sun only
44. 2015 Highland Renaissance Festival
Festival Space
Eminence, KY
$5 - $70
If you love the romance and customs of the Renaissance period, the Renaissance Festival is the perfect place to be a part of it.  Lots of fun to be had with period costomes, jousting, games, food and fun.

5/30/2015 | 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
45. Clarksville Chalk Walk 
Clarksville Community Center
2311 Sam Gwin Drive
Clarksville, IN
$5 to enter competition.
Bring out your artistic side with the chalk art competition or simply browse the lovely artwork.  Food and entertainment aplenty.  Rock climbing, laser tag, video game, and other activities are all free!