Over 180 local businesses (and a few pint-sized entrepreneurs) are gearing up to offer Louisvillians a huge variety of local libations, food, goods and services at the Buy Local Fair on Sunday, May 20 from 12n-6pm at the Louisville Water Tower Park. The Louisville Independent Business Alliance is putting on this beloved annual event for the tenth time this year.

“It’s so great to see all the locals come out to do business with their neighbors,” says Jennifer Rubenstein, Director of the Louisville Independent Business Alliance. “This Fair started out fairly small but has become a ‘can’t miss’ event for many Louisvillians. Last year we had over 8,000 people attend.”

For the first time, the Fair will include a “Kidpreneur Marketplace” from 12:00pm-3:00pm showcasing ten local mini businesses run by kids age 12 and under. These little entreprenuers will offer everything from glitter slime to gourmet lemonade (but not together!).

Everyone – even the kids – is encouraged to BYOB: bring your own bottle (for water!). This event, along with the Louisville Water Tower Park, is disposable bottle-free. Louisville Water Company will be on hand with ice cold Pure Tap stations for the public to enjoy. And in keeping with the green goals, Trash Talkers (sponsored by Facilities Management Services) will be there to help patrons sort their rubbish into recycling and composting bins.

The Fair will offer an incredible variety of products, some of which are handmade. Craftsmanship has become harder to find as our modern world evolves into more and more disposable, “cheap at all costs” goods. We have developed a tendency to value price over quality, but many of us find we are overwhelmed with our stuff! And much of it isn’t built to last. We could make the argument that we would be happier with fewer, higher quality items that have great significance to us, rather than a deluge of common, throw away items.

Of course, we all love local, but we also love a good competition. (There’s this little horse race around here that makes a big splash, right?) So in the spirit of friendly rivalry, the locals are going head to head in two competitions: The Trend Appliances Cooking Competition (where Chef Jeff Dailey of Harvest takes on Chef Austin Cummins of Commonwealth Cure in cooking an all-local food dish) and the Wilson Muir Bank Cocktail Competition, with Heaven Hill Brands, Copper & Kings, and Horseshoe Bend Winery competing. (Everyone over 21 can buy a flight of samples and vote).

Since attendees like to make a full day of it, the Fair also offers a way to relax and enjoy the view of the mighty Ohio River from Cox’s Smoker Outlets & Spirits Shoppe’s Back Porch. Louisville Folk School will be playing a few acoustic tunes and we hear there will be a massage table or two as well.

So if you’re looking for the types of products have significance because they are crafted by the hands of your fellow Louisvillians, or are as unique as your own distinctive self, check out the Buy Local Fair. You can feel good that more of your money is staying local! Presented by Louisville Water Company and supported by Amish Hills Furniture and Louisville Metro Council, admission to the Buy Local Fair is free and parking is $5 per vehicle, or free for bicycle parking. For more information, visit keeplouisvilleweird.com/buylocalfair.