If you’re in Louisville, you’ll have the chance to attend one of the largest Fourth of July parties around. Waterfront Park will host its 12th annual Fifth Third Bank Waterfront Independence Festival Sunday and Monday, July 3 and 4.
The two-day festival is Waterfront Park’s largest event of the summer and draws more than 150,000 people each year. With the Coors Light Beer Garden and Festival Food Market, games for the kids and a concert series with top recording artists, there’s no better way to enjoy the holiday weekend than by hanging out at the Great Lawn.
“We offer something for everyone,” said Ashley Cox, of the Waterfront Development Corp., which manages the festival. “We have an eclectic music lineup for July Fourth and games and activities for kids. You see people who are young, old, and from all corners of the community come out to this event to have a good time.”
One of the event’s best features is the free admission thanks to contributions from several sponsors around town. Fifth Third Bank has been especially supportive of the festival, with eight consecutive years of sponsorship.
“This event touches every aspect of the community,” said Robert Banks, managing director of Fifth Third. “We’ve seen a steady increase in market shares with the business we do in Louisville, and this is one aspect where we can say thank you. We’re committed to Louisville, and we invite the community to come out to celebrate a fun, family-friendly event for Fourth of July.”
The festival also will commemorate the 25th anniversary of Waterfront Development Corp. Because of WDC, Waterfront Park has transformed over the years from an industrial wasteland to a beautiful, 85-acre green space overlooking the Ohio River.
Gates open at 5 p.m. on both days, and the festival will conclude with a fantastic display of fireworks at the end of each night.
The U.S. Air Force Band, Systems Go, will open the event before Kip Moore takes the stage on Sunday night. Later, The Band Perry – voted the 2011 American Country Music Award’s Best New Artist – will croon the audience with their chart-topping hits.
On Monday, Fitz and the Tantrums will open for hip-hop trio De La Soul of “Me Myself and I” and “Three is the Magic Number” fame. The Funky Meters will close out the evening with a blend of funk, blues and New Orleans-vibe dance grooves. Both days will begin with the singing of the national anthem by Taylor Dant of the Louisville Youth Choir.
The Galt House Hotel’s Christmas in July activities tent will feature an elf float, temporary tattoos, a wading pool and games. Kids can also visit the Science of Fun! activities tent, where they can engage in educational games with the Louisville Science Center and learn about different areas of the body and their functions.
Adrenaline Force Amusements also will supply a Moon Bounce, Dinoland Maze, Dragon’s Castle, putt-putt and slides. Finally, the kids can cool off in the “watermister” at Waterfront Park or dance along with the all-children rock band.
HELP THE COMMUNITY
Our nation has been going 235 years strong, so to keep it thriving with a healthy environment, Waterfront Park is encouraging attendees to bike to the event to diminish carbon emissions in our community. There will be free bicycle valet parking by the entrance on Witherspoon Street, courtesy of Bicycling of Louisville.
Paid vehicle parking is available in the Witherspoon and Waterside garages and the lot beside Louisville Slugger Field. Parking is also available along River Road and the neighboring streets.
This year, the Louisville Water Co. will give out free, ice-cold water and refills at the Louisville Water Co. Edge Outreach Station to anyone who buys a $2 BPA and dishwasher safe water bottle. The water company has donated water bottles and will give the proceeds from the festival to Edge Outreach in an effort to support the new initiative, “H20 to Go.” Bottled water and soft drinks will also be available to purchase from vendors.
Finally, to help the less-fortunate, Yum! Brands will collect non-perishable food items at all festival entrances to give to Dare to Care.
The Galt House Hotel and Suites is the host hotel for the event and will offer a special for the Fourth of July weekend. Guests who buy one night at the hotel get a second night free (July 1-4 only). For information, visit www.galthouse.com or call 800.843.4258.
For those who love baseball, the Louisville Bats will take on the Columbus Clippers at Louisville Slugger Field on Monday at 7:05 p.m. Enjoy the annual Zambelli Fireworks show and a free game of Meijer Baseball Bingo, with a chance to win a $50 gift card to Meijer.
For details on the Waterfront Independence Festival, call 502.574.3768 or visit www.waterfrontindependencefestival.com.
Category: Cover Stories
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).