Fifth Annual Buy Local Fair: One-stop shop for Keeping Louisville Weird

Louisville loves its festivals and fairs. And Louisville loves keeping things local.

Put those two loves together and you get The Buy Local Fair sponsored by the Louisville Independent Business Alliance and Grasshoppers Distribution. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 11 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Louisville Water Tower.

If the weather is nice, it’s a lovely way to pass a day with beautiful views and hundreds of vendors. This year’s event – the fifth annual – is so popular that retail and food merchant booth space sold out a month in advance.

Nerves Junior will headline the entertainment from 6:30 until 8 p.m.

The craft brew tent will feature all regional brews:

BBC Production, BBC Brew Pub, NABC, Cumberland, Apocalypse, Against the Grain, West Sixth, Country Boy, Altech and Falls City.

The event will also feature a cooking competition between Chef Keven Ashworth from Milkwood versus Chef Joe Banet from RYE on Market.

Admission to the Buy Local Fair is free, but there is a $5 charge for parking. This year parking attendants will be able to accept credit cards.

Jennifer Rubenstein, the Director of LIBA, says, “For people who prefer not to pay the $5 (or are not able to), public transportation is always  an option, and we also have a free bike valet service for those arriving on their bicycles. The parking fee also encourages people to carpool, all good things for the environment.”

The fee is charged by LIBA and Grasshoppers to offset the costs of the bands,  staging/lighting, the cooking competition food and other entertainment, explains Rubenstein. It also goes toward continued support of LIBA’s Keep Louisville Weird and Buy Local First campaigns.

The benefits of buying local are pretty well-documented. LIBA released a survey late last year that says that $55 of every $100 spent at a local merchant will be reinvested back into the community, as opposed to only $14 of every $100 for national chain businesses.

But keeping it local can be a challenge for limited budgets. “I understand the feeling out there that ‘only rich people can afford to buy local.'” says Rubenstein. “No one I know of (not even our staunchest board members) buys local all the time, every time. (Hence the slogan of Buy Local First instead of Buy Local Always).

“We encourage the general public to think of themselves as citizens more so than consumers, and not to exclusively use price as the driving factor of every buying decisions. To consider all of the ‘costs’ in a purchase… the quality and flavor of neighborhoods, the vested interest of local owners who live in the community.”

For a list of vendors and a schedule, visit the Louisville Independent Business Alliance’s website.