Plus, Forbes lists Louisville as a best place to move.
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6AM City In-House pt 2

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A black and white photo depicts a riverfront sign that says, "The Gateway to the South Louisville"
It’s not quite a Gateway Arch, but this sign welcomed southward travelers to Louisiville in the early 20th century. It was approximately located where the KFC Yum! Center is today. | Photo courtesy Archives & Special Collections, University of Louisville
You don’t always go by your full name, do you? If that were the case, this newsletter would be written by Jeffrey Milby, not Jeff. Well, the city of Louisville is no different with its fair share of alternative tags that each speak to the city’s character in their own way.

We’ve rounded up 10 Louisville nicknames. Plus, we’re taking a peek at Google’s NGram viewer — which tracks the popularity of phrases in published books over time — to help us determine when some of these names might have been in vogue.

Derby City

This nickname needs very little explanation, especially this time of year. The first Kentucky Derby took off in 1875, and shortly thereafter the horse race became the most prestigious in the US — and maybe the world — eventually making Louisville synonymous with it. According to Google, the phrase “Derby City” peaked in popularity in 1995.

Gateway to the South

While St. Louis is famously the “Gateway to the West,” Louisville is less famously known as America’s southern gateway city — we just don’t have a big ol’ arch to show for it. Louisville did, however, have a large electric sign brightly announcing that nickname over the Ohio River in the first half of the 20th Century. Google says this nickname peaked in popularity in the 1910s.

Two women walk through rings meant to look like a bourbon barrel.

Bourbon is so synonymous with Louisville that the city incorporates barrell imagery into its public art, like this installment that looks like a bourbon barrel at 4th and Main.


Photo courtesy Louisville Tourism

Bourbon City

Louisville’s distilleries bring in a lot of bourbon tourism — or should we say ‘Bourbonism’ — and that’s made the city synonymous with America’s native spirit. According to Google, the popularity of this name peaked in the 1890s but had a resurgence in 1998, and that makes a ton of sense — it’s right around the time the modern bourbon boom got its start.

The 502

Established in 1947, the 502 area code originally covered all of Kentucky. So you really can say the 502 owns the Bluegrass State.
Which Louisville nickname is your favorite?

A. Derby City
B. Falls City
C. Gateway to the South
D. River City
E. Bourbon City
F. Possibility City
G. The ‘Ville
H. The 502
I. City of Beautiful Churches
J. Glitter Ball City
Friday, April 5
  • Bendigo Fletcher with Free Range | Friday, April 5 | 7 p.m. | Headliners Music Hall, 1386 Lexington Rd., Louisville | $18 | See this Kentucky band known for their visually compelling performances.
Saturday, April 6
  • NPI Parkinson’s 5K Walk Towards a Cure | Saturday, April 6 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | Waterfront Park, 1101 E. River Rd., Louisville | $54 | Lace up your sneakers and take steps towards fighting Parkinson’s disease.
  • LouisvilleCon | Saturday, April 6 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Triple Crown Pavilion, 1780 Plantside Dr., Jeffersontown | $20 | Meet with other collectors + fans of video games, tabletop games, and comic books.
  • No Sugar Added Cupcake Class | Saturday, April 6 | 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | Rainbow Blossom Springhurst Wellness Center, 3608 Springhurst Blvd., Louisville | $42.45 | Learn how to bake a cupcakes using diabetic + allergy friendly, gluten-free, or vegan ingredients.
Sunday, April 7
  • First Sunday Nature Hikes: Weeds and Wildflowers | Sunday, April 7 | 2-3:30 p.m. | Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, 2075 Clermont Rd., Clermont | $10-$15 | The weather Sunday will be warming up, so grab the boots and take a guided hike through the wildness of the forest.
Thursday, April 11
  • Derby 150 Birthday Party featuring Old Forester | Thursday, April 11 | 5:30 p.m. | Kentucky Derby Museum, 704 Central Ave., Louisville | $250 | You’re invited to the epic birthday party of the year celebrating Derby 150 — don’t miss out on a rare pour of Old Forester Birthday Bourbon at the event.*
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Savor the flavors of Louisville during your next trip through SDF
a wide shot of the front of Book & Bourbon Southern Kitchen
Enjoy that first (or last) sip of bourbon at Book & Bourbon (hint: their bourbon list features 90+ bourbons, including rare and allocated brands. | Photo provided by Louisville Regional Airport Authority
Whether you’re starting or ending your trip to Derby City, Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport offers travelers a taste of Louisville’s vibrant culinary scene.

Between the airport’s 12+ restaurants and shops, local culture and flavors are thoroughly integrated into the SDF travel experience. A few must-visit spots?
  • Book & Bourbon Southern Kitchen | The first stop on the Urban Bourbon Trail.
  • The Comfy Cow | Enjoy award-winning ice cream.
  • Bourbon Academy Tasting Room | Offers travelers a chance to sip with a spectacular view of the airfield.
News Notes
  • Louisville is a top destination to move to this year, according to Forbes. The business magazine ranked Derby City No. 7 on its list of “The Best Cities To Move To In 2024.” Louisville ranked highly thanks to its affordability, low crime rate, and high employment rate.
  • The 50th Actors Theatre season starts May 31 + features 11 performances, including the premiere of two productions — “Won’t You Be My May-bor?” and “Who Killed Alberta Jones?” The season also includes collaborations with Kentucky Shakespeare on “Dracula” and “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Memberships are on sale.
  • Simmons College has named a new facility after a longtime local educator. The Diane Porter Educational Center is now home to the Simmons College Teacher Education Program. Porter was a teacher + administrator for 40 years, then retired last year after 13 years on the Jefferson County Board of Education. (WDRB)
Try This
  • Are you ready for the total solar eclipse next week? Members of the Olmsted Parks Conservancy can pick up a free pair of eclipse glasses near Jacob’s Lodge in Iroqouis Park on Monday, April 8 beginning at 1 p.m. Not a member? There’s still time to get a pair delivered to your door.
Plan Ahead
  • The Louisville Metro Department of Parks and Recreation is offering pottery classes for adults and teens this spring. Adults meet on Saturdays starting April 13, while teens meet on Mondays starting April 15. The $115 classes are taught by artist-in-residence Sarah Zimmerman at the Beechmont Community Center (205 W. Wellington Ave.).
  • Earlier this week we asked LOUtoday readers if they enjoyed April Fools’ Day pranks. Turns out, you’re a serious bunch, LOU. It’s okay, we like you that way — 73.7% of respondents said, “I pity the fool — count me out on pranks.”
  • Pat Kelsey is hard at work rebuilding the Louisville men’s basketball roster. Get game coverage, analysis, insights, interviews and more from local experts of the Cards with Locked On’s daily podcasts.
    • BetterHelp creates a safe, stigma-free space where you can be your authentic self and explore your concerns. Get 25% off your first month of therapy.*
    A taste of the (German)town
     Neon sign reading haucks cold beer
    Hauck’s Corner is open late daily in Germantown. | Photo by Micheala Frances Reeves
    The Germantown neighborhood and surrounding area has a lot to offer — from bars and breweries to restaurants and bakeries, Germantown is one of the hottest areas on the Louisville foodie scene.

    On Thursday, April 18, Germantown’'s culinary cornerstones will be available “to sample at the inaugural “Eat. Drink. Germantown.” At least 14 different Germantown-area establishments — including The Merryweather, Hauck’s Corner, the Post, Four Pegs, and FullStop — will be there, offering a taste of the neighborhood.

    A $45 ticket gets you:
    • Sample tickets so you can try something from each vendor
    • A tasting glass
    • A vote in the inaugural “The Germantown” cocktail contest
    The event is being hosted by the Germantown Business Association and will be held at Germantown Gables (986 Swan St.) from 6-10 p.m.
    The Buy
    Eco-friendly self-care options. Parrotfish has shampoo, conditioner, soap bars, and shower steamers that will level up your night in.
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    The Wrap
    Jeff-Milby-headshot-LOU Today’s edition by:
    From the editor
    There’s another free concert series to put on your calendar, LOU. That’s music to my ears.

    LouGrass runs through October, featuring live Bluegrass music at at least two music venues throughout Louisville each week. The first concert in the series was last night, but there are several more chances for you to catch some string music, starting tomorrow night at Neat Bourbon Bar (1139 Bardstown Rd.) from from 7-10 p.m.
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