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Summer events happening around Louisville

Make the most of the warm weather with this list of the best Derby City events happening this summer.

Louisville Big Four Bridge and Skyline - Brightened.jpg

Louisville lights up when the weather gets warm

Photo by Louisville Tourism

Summer’s here and LOU is so ready. From live music and Memorial Day celebrations to hiking and festivals, summer is when LOU comes alive.

Get ready to get outside with this guide featuring 30 summer events — including ideas for the Fourth of July — happening between June and August.

Holidays

Juneteenth LVA Camp | June 10-14 | 9:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. | Kids ages 7-12 can learn about the works and history of Ed Hamilton, Muhammad Ali, and the Underground Railroad at this free visual arts camp at Waterfront Park. Educators, community leaders, and artists can recommend up to two students for admission.

Kentuckiana Pride Festival | June 15 | 12-10 p.m. | Kick off the Pride celebration with a parade at 12 p.m., followed by music performances, vendors, and food on the Big Four Lawn. Icona Pop + Chappell Roan are headlining this year’s stage.

MELANnaire Marketplace Juneteenth Celebration | June 15 | 12-6 p.m. | Hear spoken word + musical performances and shop from over 25 Black-owned businesses at this free event at 4th Street Live.

Waterfront Park Fourth of July | July 4 | 5-10 p.m. | Enjoy fireworks accompanied by a live soundtrack from the Louisville Orchestra to cap off a day of interactive science, art, and music education activities for the whole family.

194th Pekin 4th of July Festival | July 3-4 | 10 a.m.-11 p.m. | Celebrate Independence Day with the oldest consecutive July 4th celebration in the country, just a few miles from Derby City. Watermelon + corn on the cob eating contests, a cornhole tournament, and of course a parade all await.

kentucky science center, architecture, downtown, family fun.jpg

The Kentucky Science Center offers all kinds of summer day camps

Photo by Louisville Tourism

Kids

Children in the Dell | June 1-July 27 | 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.| Drop by Yew Dell Gardens on Saturdays in June + July for garden-themed children’s books and hands-on activities. New books are covered each week, so you can come back again and again.

Camp Bookworm | June 10-21 | 5-9 p.m. | Help your child learn to love reading with tutoring + activities, plus a visit by children’s author Shannon Otto Stocker. Registration is $400.

Louisville Princess Day | June 23 | 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Meet your favorite fairy tale princesses at The Gillespie for photos, performances, and autographs. Registration is for a set 90-minute session.

LVA Art Camp | July 8-12 | 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. | Kids ages 7-12 can learn about the art, wildlife, and history of Waterfront Park, including a visit to Ed Hamilton’s Abraham Lincoln statue + take a ride on the riverboat Mary M. Miller, sister to the Belle of Louisville.

Speed Museum Summer Cultural Pass Family Day | July 12 | 1-4 p.m. | Enjoy all-ages activities included in your general admission. Cultural Passholders receive free admission.

Santa’s Summer Safari | July 20-21 | 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Celebrate Christmas in July with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Louisville Zoo with winter-themed games for the kids and holiday enrichment for the animals.

School’s Out Science Camp | August 5-6 | 8 a.m.-5 p.m. | Enjoy camp favorites including hands-on science activities, flashy demos, and a theater experience for grades K-5. Parents can drop their kids off in the morning and pick them up at the end of the day.

Concerts

ABBAFAB | June 13 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Become a “Dancing Queen” at the Bomhard theatre as you listen to this world-renowned ABBA tribute band.

Pickin’ in Paristown | May 17-October 18 | 6-9 p.m. | Stop by Paristown the third Friday of each month for free bluegrass concerts, including Blind Corn Liquor Pickers + Restless Leg String Band.

1964 The Tribute | June 21 | 7 p.m. | Get ready to “Twist and Shout” with this Beatles tribute band at The Louisville Palace

Louisville Funk Fest | June 22 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m. | Enjoy “the ultimate old school R&B and hip hop outdoor music experience” at Waterfront Park with headliners like Jeezy, Scarface, Boosie, and Too $hort.

Croce Plays Croce | July 16 | 7:30 p.m. | Hear Jim Croce’s son A.J. celebrate his father’s final two albums at The Brown Theatre.

Straight No Chaser | July 27 | 7:30 p.m. | Enjoy an a cappella performance in the beautiful, 86-year-old Iroquois Amphitheater.

Louisville Jazz Fest | August 2-3 | Times vary | The annual celebration of jazz and blues artists returns to the Iroquois Amphitheater after a year off, with a lineup including Boney James, Rebecca Jade, Avery Sunshine, Jeter Jones, and Brian Culbertson.

Outdoors

Crescent Hill Garden Tour | June 1 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m. | Tour the gardens of the Crescent Hill neighborhood. All proceeds go back into the community to help foster a love of gardening.

Waggin’ Tail on the Waterfront | June 2 | 12-4 p.m. | Celebrate the Kentucky Humane Society’s 30th birthday with face painting, craft brews, food trucks, and puppy cuddling.

Firefly Fridays | June 7-28 | 9:15-11 p.m. | Learn about + spot thousands of fireflies at Bernheim on a guided hike with volunteer naturalists. Have you seen the rare Blue Ghost?

Tree Trek | July 13 | 9-11 a.m. | Take notes in your very own tree journal + do leaf and bark rubbings to learn more about Louisville’s trees. Did you know: 39% of Louisville is shaded by trees? Preregistration is required.

Bernheim Forest Giants

Why not spend a day with the forest giants?

Photo courtesy of Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

Festivals + Other Events

Downtown Drive-in | May 31-October 11 | 7:30-10:30 p.m. | Enjoy an outdoor movie movie on select Friday evenings throughout the summer and fall at the Brown Forman Amphitheater.

Buy Local Fair | June 8 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | Shop local retailers, artists, food, and drink at this local business extravaganza hosted at Lynn Family Stadium by the Louisville Independent Business Alliance.

World Oddities Expo | June 22 | 12-8 p.m. | Shop the weird and wild at this traveling festival featuring taxidermy, macabre art, jewelry, and guest speakers at the Kentucky Expo Center.

Fleur De Flea Vintage Market | July 6 + August 31 | 9 a.m.-6 p.m. | Browse Waterfront Park for vintage clothes, records, and treasures from over 200 regional vendors, plus enjoy food trucks + pop up bars.

Louisville Anime-Fest | July 14 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Meet other collectors and anime fans to shop toys + collectibles and meet voice actors from “Pokémon,” “Yu-Gi-Oh!,” and “One Piece.”

Georgetown Summer Craft Show | July 20 | 9 a.m.-2 p.m. | Shop over 40 local crafters and vendors in Georgetown, IN. A perfect head start on the holiday gifts.

54th Annual Championship Dainty Contest | July 27 - 29 | Times TBD | Enjoy local food trucks + a beer garden as you prepare for the biggest sporting event in Schnitzelburg.

Connect | August 17 | 5:33-11:33 p.m. | Enjoy a fusion of art, science, and nature at this annual Bernheim event featuring light sculptures + musical performances.

Seasonal essentials

  • Tired of losing your sunglasses in the water? These floating sunglasses provide optimal clarity and comfort for all your summer adventures.
  • Shield yourself from the sun while adding a touch of flair to your outfit with one of our hats.
  • This iceless cooler keeps your drinks cold for 7 hours.
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