The Fourth of July falls just one day short of giving everyone a long weekend, but the Thursday holiday gives us a chance to take a nice break just before Friday.
Louisville and the surrounding areas will have plenty of events going on to help make sure you enjoy it to the fullest. Here are some celebrations and events to check out on Independence Day.
Louisville Waterfront Fourth of July — Thursday, July 4
Louisville’s premier Fourth of July event is the Louisville Waterfront Fourth, held at Waterfront Park and featuring live music, activities for children, food, drinks and, of course, a fireworks display — all with free admission — from 5 to 10 p.m.
“Waterfront Park welcomes Louisvillians from across our city and visitors from all over the country and beyond to events like the Louisville Waterfront Fourth of July Festival,” said Mayor Greg Fischer in a news release. “This free, fun, safe, inclusive and family-friendly festival is a great way to celebrate the birth of our country.”
The festival will feature funk, jazz, soul and hip-hop music from the Zach Longoria Project, James Lindsey & Company, and Joslyn and the Sweet Compression. In between the sets, the Spinsters Union of Louisville will take over DJ duties and play everything from disco and electronic funk to house, jazz and surf music.
Family activities will include demonstrations from the Kentucky Science Center as well as musical learning opportunities courtesy of WUOL, the National Jug Band Jubilee and DrumSmart. There also will be nature-oriented sessions from the Waterfront Botanical Garden, lawn games, pony rides and a petting zoo.
Flags 4 Vets also will be placing about 15,000 flags inside Waterfront Park, and after the event is over, they’ll be distributed across the country to be places on the graves of veterans.
With festival fare like corn dogs and turkey legs and both a Yuengling Beer Garden and Old Forester Bourbon Bar, you can bet the event will be lively and spirited. The night will be capped off with a Zambelli fireworks display from a barge in the Ohio River at 10 p.m.
New Albany Independence Day Celebration — Wednesday, July 3
New Albany is giving the community a chance to get a head start on Fourth of July celebrations, as they’re holding their annual celebration on July 3 again this year. The event will start at 6 p.m. at the Riverfront Amphitheater, and musical performances include The Crashers, Between the Lines and Rock’N Horse.
There also will be food, inflatables, games and more. The city’s free fireworks show will start at dark.
Jeffersonville Fourth of July Parade and Celebration of Freedom — Thursday, July 4
Jeffersonville will host its annual Independence Day Parade in downtown Jeffersonville on Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon. Those interested in being part of the parade can fill out an application.
The event is free and allows participants to kick off the day before heading to Louisville to celebrate in the evening.
Crescent Hill Fourth of July Festival — Thursday, July 4
Crescent Hill is hosting its all-day festival on Thursday as well, celebrating the holiday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Peterson-Dumesnil House, 301 S. Peterson Ave.
The party will include live music, an art fair, a kids zone, a pet contest, a cake baking contest, free inflatables, and free field games with prizes. There also will be food and drinks available, too.
Locust Grove’s Independence Day 1816 — Thursday, July 4
The Historic Locust Grove will be giving people a chance to celebrate the Fourth of July in a more old-fashioned way, as it’ll be hosting a celebration that takes its guests back in time 200 years. The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is free to the public and features food and drinks as well.
Along with the celebration, Locust Grove also will be having a summer book sale, with books priced at $2 for hardback and $1 for paperback.