Louisville Happenings

Craft Beer Week in Underway in Louisville

Calling all beer snobs! Calling all beer snobs! Louisville Craft Beer Week is underway! Don’t worry if you’re just finding out, there are plenty of beer-centered events still to come. Now through September 29th, restaurants, bars, and pretty much anyone in the city that is able to serve alcohol, is celebrating the art that is craft beer.  

Louisville has a reputation for being a city of bourbon lovers, and rightly so in fact. Our city is steeped in bourbon history, being part of both the bourbon and urban bourbon trails.  In recent years however, craft beers, micro-breweries, and organic brewhouses have become exceedingly popular among Louisvillians and are sneaking up the preferential totem pole. The past several years have unveiled a slow emergence of availability of these unique brews, followed with a high supply and demand. This has lead to the popular niche market of craft beer in our community.  With the opening of a variety of beer stores, bars, and restaurants that carry these specific beers, Louisvillians have finally been able to open their minds, palates, and  hearts to what is craft beer.

“Craft beer” is defined as a beer brewed by a small, independent, and traditional brewer. Although those three words are wide open for interpretation, the general idea is pretty clear. Small means under 2,000,000 barrels per year, independent means that no larger than 25% of the company can be owned by big business (like Coors, Miller, or A-B), and traditional means that it’s an “all malt flagship” not using corn or rice to lighten body and increase mass appeal like the big dogs.

If you are on either side of the spectrum, either you are a master cicerones or know nothing about craft beer but just want to try some out, this week’s Craft Week will have something for you. Each night of the week, there are just under ten places to go with craft beer and food pairing specials. One of my favorites for tonight, Wednesday September 26th, is Rocky’s Sub Pub’s Indiana vs. Kentucky Tap Off.  Rocky’s across the river in Indiana has amazing views of downtown Louisville as well as great Italian eats. The restaurant and pub has put together a dueling list of both Bluegrass and Hoosier Ales to go head to head against each other for a battle of Kantuckiana.  Some of the featured Kentucky Ales will be BBC-Zin Saison- Funky Saison ages in Zinfandel barrels, BBC- Boubon barrel Stout Falls City- English Pale Ale Kentucky Ale-Bourbon Barrel Ale-IPA (New Release) Against the Grain-Kottbusser-German Ale with oats, molasses, and honey. Beers from Indiana include- New Albanian Hoosier Daddy-Crimson and Cream Ale Three Floyds Risgoop-Mikkeller Collaberation-Bareleywine Flat12 Moustache Ride-Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Amber Sun King- Grapefruit Jungle- India Pale Ale Sun King-3-Anniversary Ale-Hoppy Black Alt Great Crescent Brewrey-Bourbon Barrel Stout Aged in Woodford Barrels.

Thursday night I have to mention one of my favorite events, Pint Night at Mid City Mall Valu Market. I think the idea of drinking beer while grocery shopping makes the tedious task unbelievably  better. Thursday night from 4pm-7pm you can drink and shop at the same time and keep your pint glass for $3.00. Scott Shreffler and Phil Dearner (Aka BeerPimp) will be sampling their beers for $.25 a taste. Fill your own growler too for only $6.00 with select varieties of BBC and Schlafly beers.

Friday night Westport Whiskey and Wine will be hosting an outdoor event at Westport Village to celebrate Craft Beer Week. From 6pm-9pm you can taste beers from 6 local breweries, get delicious food from some local food trucks and enjoy some live music.

To close out the week, I suggest going on Saturday to the Germantown Shotgun Fest. From 2pm-11pm the Nachbar will host a drinking in the street event with food trucks, Flea Off shops, community awareness booths, and of course a lot of good beer. 

These are only a few of the great events going on for Craft Beer Week. For a full list of everything going on, go to http://louisvillebeer.com/calendar.

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Theatre in Louisville

There is so much art being made in our city right now that I have to let you in on all that you could be missing.  It is pretty amazing that at any given time in Louisville these days, there will be three or more plays being put on by one of the many successful theatre companies,  a concert or music event just around the corner, and a variety of art exhibits showcasing local artists’ work.  Who would think that Louisville, Kentucky of all places would have become such a cutting edge and flourishing arts town, but it surely has. This week there are a variety of plays going on in Louisville. With National touring musicals coming through the city, to community theatre productions that are getting a lot of buzz, there will be something for everyone’s taste and budget.   

The popular hit musical Wicked is rolling through Louisville beginning this week and Louisville audiences couldn’t be more excited. The story takes a twist on the Wizard of Oz’s two battling witches, the Wicked Witch of the West and Glenda, the Good Witch. Wicked runs now through September 30th. Wicked will be performed at the Kentucky Center for the Arts and tickets start at $96.00 and go up from there. For more information on showtimes or any other questions about Wicked, go to http://www.wickedlouisville.com.

Romeo and Juliet, at Actors Theatre of Louisville is getting great reviews.  Director Tony Speciale sets the Shakespeare play in an affluent California suburb in modern time. Contemporary issues of the day add another layer to Romeo and Juliet’s already complicated love.  The cast along with the choices made by the director make this version of the classic brand new.  Romeo and Juliet runs now through September 26 and tickets start at $51.00. For more information, or for tickets, go to actorstheatre.org. Next To Normal at CenterStage Theatre is creating a lot of buzz around town.  While eating breakfast at Toast the other morning I heard the table next to me discussing the intensity of the show and how much they enjoyed it.  

Next To Normal is a Pulitzer Prize winning musical whose music and lyrics by Tom Kitt and BrianYorkey provide the perfect mix of humor and humility.   Next to Normal tells the story of a family dealing with the harsh realities of a Bi-Polar matriarch.  Next to Normal runs through September 16th and tickets are $18 in advance and $20 the day of. For more information go to jewishlouisville.com/centerstage.

Pandora Productions is opening up it’s season with Kiss of the Spiderwoman. This Tony Award Winning musical tells the love story of two cellmates in a Latin-American prison. “Kiss” opens September 13th and runs through September 22nd and tickets are $20.  For more information go to pandoraprods.com.

Time Flies is taking audiences on a trip through past, present, and future. Lepetomane’s play about time travel is running now through September 16th at the Bard’s Town and tickets start at $8. For more information and showtimes go to lepetomane.org.

We have so many excellent theatre troupes in town and this week is a great time to get out and support them. Some great plays are running right now, so you don’t want to miss them!

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NuLuFest in Louisville this weekend

After hearing about the numerous accolades and awards the new restaurant Harvest has been given since it’s recent opening in the foodie neighborhood of NuLu, my husband and I have been dying to go. Not only was I interested in dining in a restaurant that other people thought was great, but Harvest’s mission and menu was something I not only believed in but could not wait to see how it came to life. Harvest is all about “outstanding, regionally inspired, seasonal cuisine from the freshest and finest local produce, in a casual dining setting.”  This was what Harvest aimed for, and this was exactly what they gave me. Harvest was all about a comfortable, warm, and welcoming atmosphere.  The organic wood textiles and photographs of the farmers on the walls inside the restaurant made me feel like I was part of something, part of the food. I was included in the story of where my food was coming from and what I was eating, and that made my dining experience that much more special.  Everything I ate was spectacular in that I could taste the ingredients.  So often the produce is muddled by sauces, herbs, or butter, but at Harvest I could taste every flavor. We started out with the roasted garlic-chard hummus with pretzel crostini.  A true “appetizer” the chard in the hummus was an unexpected earthy flavor, tasting more like a vegetarian pate then a hummus.  Several pickled vegetables complemented the plate and awakened my palate with a powerful punch in my mouth. 

 Next on the menu was  my salad of bibb lettuce, oven-dried tomatoes, smoked bacon, asiago breadstick, and basil vinaigrette. This was the perfect salad, and I don’t say that lightly.  The first thing I tasted was the lettuce, which ironically, you so rarely taste in a salad! There was just the right amount of dressing and a little crunch from the bacon and tomatoes added some contrast. The salad was simple and full of flavor.  

 For my main course I wanted to order a dish that would let the restaurant’s mission shine.  The buttermilk fried chicken, pesto hoecake, peppercorn gravy, and beet hot sauce was delectable.  The hot and crispy fried chicken came piled atop the large hoecake that was light and moist and when all the dish’s elements were eaten together it was positively perfect.  This dish was just how I had hoped it would be; comfort food executed so well, with such incredible flavors that it is taken to another level.  

 For dessert we ordered the apple pie.  If I hadn’t eaten a similar rhubarb pie a few weeks earlier that stole my heart, this pie would have been wonderful, but instead it fell to my previous dessert.   

The food at Harvest was amazing, but the service, although extremely amicable, could do with some tweaking.  All the employees that we encountered from the moment we entered Harvest were friendly and helpful.  The problem was with the communication between the kitchen and front of house.  Our cocktails came after our appetizer, our salads came before we finished our appetizer. The restaurant was half empty and it felt like the kitchen was rushing us out of there.  It ended up slowing down after I refused to eat my salad until I finished my appetizer.  

Harvest’s minor indiscretions were heavily outweighed by the amazing food and excellent atmosphere.  I couldn’t recommend it any higher. 

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LEO Reader’s Choice Awards

It’s that time of the year again, when local business owners learn their rank after curiously awaiting their fates. The Louisville Eccentric Observer’s Reader’s Choice Awards in one of the city’s most popular and well regarded surveys, including over 30,000 Louisvillian votes. I just went through all of the winners and I have to say I am pretty disappointed with several of my fellow voters’ choices. Like every year, some of the winners were suspected, but there were several major players that were left out of their categories, some winners that have no business in their categories, and a few winners that just left me baffled.

  The Brown Hotel invented the delicious Hot Brown, so if it didn’t win the “Best Hot Brown“ category, the Reader‘s Choice Awards would be severely flawed. BC Plumbing sweeps the “Best Plumber” category every year so that was expected, and  Heine Brothers is both a local business and on every corner now-a-days, so it was the clear winner in the “Best Coffee” category.  

Other categories however, left me stunned at the lack of inclusion of what I considered to be the obvious top choices.  How do you not include Cherokee Park in the top three best parks in Louisville? El Mundo wasn’t recognized for “Best Mexican Restaurant” and Azalea was recognized over Avalon as “A Restaurant you Wished Didn’t Go Out of Business.” Maybe it is just me, but I do not find Pat’s Steakhouse romantic whatsoever, delicious, but not romantic. When I saw it in the “Most  Romantic Restaurant” category I was in disbelief. I immediately felt bad for the poor schmuck who saw the category in the LEO and decided to take a date there expecting one thing and getting another.  

I understand that there are a lot of choices in restaurants, goods, and services in Louisville and that the LEO reaches a wide range of Louisvillians, but it seems to me that the majority of voters that turned out this year may have been out of tough with my personal tastes.  To have one of the winners in the “Best Take Out Food” category be Yankee Noodle from Oxmoor Mall, says a lot. This is one of the wonderful things about the LEO Reader’s Choice Awards, that you never know who is going to vote, and who is going to win. 

Unfortunately, when people vote on favorite businesses, and those businesses can gain customers from what seems like something that is just for fun, fowl play often ensues.  I heard through sources during last years choice awards that one business in particular had rigged their computer to vote for themselves several hundred times every day.  That business ended up placing in their category without any suspicion.  This year however, I came across news that that several thousands of the votes had to be thrown out due to similar fowl play.  LEO is certain however that this years winners are free and clear of any wrong doing. 

If you are a lucky winner, know one of the winners, or want to shmooze with the winners, tomorrow is the LEO Reader’s Choice Awards Party.  The Old Hollywood themed party will also celebrate the Magazine’s 22nd Birthday.  The LEO party will take place Thursday September 22 at the Louisville Water Tower from 6pm to 9pm.  Tickets are $20.00 and all proceeds go to the Dare to Care food Bank.  To purchase tickets go to http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e69se5381cf31717&llr=xgfa8lkab

I don’t mean to be so negative about the LEO Reader’s Choice Awards, I really do find it interesting and helpful when looking for new places to go.   Grab a LEO and check it out for yourself, you may completely disagree with my findings, that’s the beauty of “choice”.

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Irish Hill's RootsFest

One of the countless things I love about living in Louisville is that on any given day I can be driving or walking and turn a corner, only to run into one of many neighborhood festivals. Coming upon a street filled with people and tents when I didn’t expect to, reinvigorates my love of community. Louisville is a city of communities and neighborhoods. Each major community is complete with several neighborhoods, each with their own individual distinctions and whose residents are filled with neighborhood pride.

This weekend, one of Louisville’s Highlands’ neighborhoods is hosting a one-day festival. The Irish Hill neighborhood will host RootsFest this Saturday, September 15th. RootsFest will feature music, arts and crafts, and delicious food. In addition to local artists featuring their work, there will be some special guests at RootsFest for the Kids and as part of the non-profit fair. All day there will be a special kids craft booth headed by artist Aerie Meredith complete with plenty of exciting things to keep your kids busy. Starting at 12:30pm Walden Theatre, which is an Irish Hill neighbor, will be performing Guerilla Theatre. If you are interested in learning about providing safe drinking water for developing countries, WaterStep will be teaching about safe drinking water for our planet and how you can get involved.

Music will be going on all day long at RootsFest. The entertainment beginnings at 11am with the local blues band, Louisville Blues & The Blues Chasers. At 1:30pm The Bluegrass Messengers go on stage with their rendition of the blues followed by Appaltin at 2:30pm with their Appalachian-Latin fusion music.

If you are anything like me, the thing you look forward to the most at festivals is the food. At RootsFest, food will be provided by Gary’s on Spring, and plenty of hot vittles, craft beer and “delicious libations” will be available. A Four Roses bourbon tasting is also on the list of events for the day.

All proceeds for RootsFest will go to WaterStep, formally Edge Outreach. It’s great to know that not only can you have a wonderful time with your community, but when you do at RootsFest, it’s funds go to a good cause. 

Irish Hill is located in the Highlands, bound by Baxter Avenue to the West, Lexington Road to the North, Middle Fork at Beargrass Creek and I-64 to the East, and Cave Hill Cemetery to the South. Irish Hill is a neighborhood that holds a place between two communities; the Highlands and Clifton, getting the best of both communities. Within walking distance to both Frankfort Avenue and Bardstown Road, the Shotgun Houses of Irish Hill make up both a convenient and comfortable neighborhood. Irish Hill is filled with history as well. Home to the Distillery Commons, which was once the Old Kentucky Distillery, the largest distillery in the World of its time, and several historic homes, Irish Hill’s historic relevance makes it a unique place to call home.

I strongly suggest going out and supporting the Irish Hill neighborhood’s first ever RootsFest.  RootsFest is going to provide some great music, food, and fun, so get out and enjoy the beautiful weather!

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Jeffersontown's Beloved Gaslight Festival

Residents of Jeffersontown have been looking forward to this week’s annual celebration for a while now. Jtown’s beloved Gaslight Festival began in 1969 and has since become the fifth largest festival in the area. A balloon glow, 5k run, parade, live entertainment, and over 140 booths are all part of the festival. So far this week a Thunder Motorcycle Rally, Gaslight Golf Scramble, and the 5K Walk/Run have taken place as part of the festivities. Don’t worry however if you are just getting clued in to all that Gaslight has to offer, there is much more to come later in the week. Wednesday is Business Appreciation Day, Thursday is the Gaslight Festival Parade, Friday is the Balloon Glow, and Sunday is the Gaslight Car Show. Running the entire weekend, Friday through Sunday, is an Arts Crafts Extravaganza and Entertainment Garden, and A Soap Box Derby will be Saturday and Sunday.

The Gaslight Festival has been bringing the Jeffersontown community together with fun and entertainment for the past 43 years. Jeffersontown, Kentucky is the second largest city in Jefferson County and home to the Bluegrass Industrial Park, the third largest employer in the State. Originally a close knit community of dirt roads and mom and pop shops, Jeffersontown was established in the mid 1700’s and was filled with stonecutters, saddlers, and craftsmen. In the late 1800’s the first road was put down in the City and in 1904 the Electric Railway, or Interurban, established a route from Jeffersontown to Louisville’s Public Square, creating progress and development opportunities to the neighborhood. The 1950’s brought tremendous growth to the Jeffersontown community. With the opening of General Electric’s Appliance Park and the new interchange at I-64, residents were moving to the Jeffersontown area in large quantities.  Jeffersontown is still growing today, and is one of the areas in Louisville with the most ongoing development.

Below is a brief explanation of the biggest events of the Gaslight Festival:

  • Gaslight Festival Parade: The parade runs along Taylorsville Road and    Watterson Trail in  Jeffersontown. Over 100 marching bands, Jtown residents, horses, and antique cars will be featured in the parade. Thursday September 15 6:00pm- 8:00pm
  • Gaslight Entertainment Garden Bands include: Edgewood on Friday September 14 from 7pm-10pm
    Muji Fuji on Saturday September 15 from 2pm-5pm
    Jefferson Tarc Bus on Saturday September 15 from 6pm to 10pm
    Larry Underwood and the Hound Dog Lucy on Sunday September 16 from 2pm-    5pm
  • Gaslight Arts and Crafts Extravaganza: over 140 artists from all over the country have traveled to show their art.   
    Friday September 14 from 7pm-10pm
    Saturday September 15 from 9am-10pm 
    Sunday September 16 from noon-6pm

Jeffersontown’s Gaslight Festival has become a time honored tradition for the community. Even if you are not a member of the Jtown neighborhood, there will be plenty of great entertainment, food, and art for everyone’s tastes that should get you off your couch this weekend and outside enjoying the beautiful weather. For more information on the Gaslight Festival check out the Jeffersontown Chamber of Commerce’s website at http://www.jtownchamber.com/gaslightfestival.aspx.

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September at Norton Commons

Norton CommonsNorton Commons is one of Louisville’s newest and most unique neighborhoods and is a community that emphasizes convenience. More than a typical subdivision, Norton Commons, is the first project built under Jefferson County’s new “Planned Village Development” ordinance.  Established in 2004, Norton Commons encompasses 600 acres, 150 which of are parks, and includes countless amenities. Although Norton Commons is a new construction development, homes built in the neighborhood are built in classic styles including Foursquare Arts and Crafts, Italianate Cottage, Greek Revival, and Spice styles. Norton Commons has ongoing events, most of which are open to the public. This September, Norton Commons is offering the public two great events, that will cover a variety of your needs.

Friday, September 14th is Norton Commons’ “Movie on the Lawn.”  Geared towards families, the movie featured will be Happy Feet 2. The film will be shown in the Town Center, and everyone is encouraged to bring their own seating, munchies and blankets to curl up for a free night of movie-watching as a community.

Mark your calendars now for Norton Commons Charity Homes Celebration at the end of the month. September 29th through October 14th you can tour thirteen newly built and decorated homes at Norton Commons, created just for this event. Each house benefit’s a particular charity so touring the homes will not only benefit you, but will benefit others as well. Seven homes are still available to be purchased, so if you are in the market for a new house, keep that in mind.  The tour’s hours will be each Wednesday and Friday from 4:00pm- 8:00pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00pm-6:00pm.

Retail Area Norton CommonsWhether you are visiting Norton Commons for one of September’s events, or just going to visit a friend, make sure you stop by one of the many retail and dining options. Retail stores include Eclectica Gallery, Something Blue, Ribbons and Rags, and Saratoga Design and Accessories.  After you go shopping and work up an appetite, you can grab something to eat at one of  Norton Commons’ excellent restaurants which include Tea Station Chinese Bistro, Karem’s Grille and Pub, and Gelato Gilberto. 

Norton Commons is located North of I-71 just off the Gene Snyder Freeway. Most of the community is located in Jefferson County, although it extends partially into Oldham County. 

Norton Commons was built to promote community living. Smaller lots, grid patterned streets, side walks, and front porches where neighbors can enjoy each other’s company, promote the neighborhood living. Norton Commons is all about convenience. Several restaurants, schools, dog parks, playgrounds, pools, and various other amenities are all within walking distance from your front door. This picture perfect “village” combines ease and tranquility to create a relaxing place to call home.

For more information on Norton Commons and other events going on throughout the year in their community, go to the Norton Commons website at  www.nortoncommons.com. To purchase tickets to the Norton Commons Charity Homes Celebration, go to http://www.nortoncommons.com/CharityHomeCelebration.html.

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Drink Up! It's National Bourbon Heritage Month

Knob Creek BourbonI find it rather appropriate that my birthday lies in the same month that holds the title of “National Bourbon Heritage Month.” I’m not saying that I’m a lush, but I realized when I went to college in Toronto and mouths dropped open around me when I ordered a bourbon on the rocks, that there was something unique in my bones. Here in Kentucky, it is not uncommon for a woman to enjoy herself a good bourbon after a long day, or hell, even in the middle of the day; my grandmother always had a bourbon in her hand. This is one of the many things I love about the place that I call home.

Louisville takes great pride in it’s bourbon trail heritage. Everything from our architecture, hospitality, commerce, and restaurants can be linked with bourbon. Louisville is a bourbon loving city, and there is no time better to explore Louisville’s best bourbon hot spots than during National Bourbon Heritage Month. The celebration began in 2007 with Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, calling for recognition of bourbon as America’s “Native Spirit.” Bourbon has deep roots in family heritage and tradition in Kentucky and September is a time to celebrate and reflect on that legacy.

Many local restaurants have caught on to National Bourbon Heritage Month and want to celebrate bourbon along with bourbon lovers of Louisville. Many restaurants and bars will be having bourbon drink specials and special menu items featuring bourbon.

Four Roses Bourbon has teamed with Impellizerris Pizza to create and feature a Kentucky Bourbon Hot Brown Pizza.  Four Roses Yellow Bourbon will be the bourbon used in the new recipe, and it is supposed to be delicious.

Blantons Kentucky BourbonNorth End Café will offer specialty bourbon cocktails all month long and will pair the cocktails with the existing menu. They will offer everything from breakfast cocktails to a twist on a Manhattan. Each cocktail will be $8.00. The new cocktails will include:
    Pecan Bourbon Sour: Bourbon with coffee and vanilla bitters
    Smokey Joe: Bourbon with smoked black tea, maple syrup, bitters
    Right side of the bed: Bourbon with orange marmalade and vermouth
    Mirabelle: Bourbon and plum with lemon and peach bitters
    Umbrian Manhattan: bourbon with dry vermouth and campari

Proof on Main is offering a lot of interesting extras this month for bourbon enthusiasts.  All month long a special bourbon cocktail list will be available, including drinks like:
    Bronco: Makers Mark, Fernet Branca, Lime, and egg white
    Mozmo: Old Grandad Bonded, Aperol, Yellow Chartreuse
    Lazy Eye: Old Forester, Bitters, Lemon, Orange

Proof will also have guest distillers available on various occasions to answer any questions you might have about bourbon. Guest distillers will be at Proof from 5:30pm-7:30om the following evenings:
    September 13th-Hunter Chavanne of Kentucky Bourbon Distillers
    September 20th Todd Rowe from Woodford Reserve                                                
    September27th- Julian Van Winkle
    September 28th-Trey Zoeller, McLaine& Kyne   

These are just a few of the great new specials you can take advantage of this month. Many of Louisville’s best restaurants will be celebrating National Bourbon Heritage Month so get out there and experience the limited time offers they have going on. 

Drink responsibly and remember to always keep with you your Southern charm and hospitality!

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'Sundays in September' The Tyler Park Jazz Festival

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog on my newfound appreciation for Jazz music in our beloved city.  I didn’t realize just how much Jazz was available in both local radio and live venues. It seems like more often then not, when I learn about a new hot topic going on in Louisville, so the saying goes, “when it rains it pours.“ My monthly Tyler Park Neighborhood Association newsletter came a few days ago, and what would you guess was right on the cover? This weekend marks the first of “Sundays in September” Tyler Park Jazz Festival.  

Each Sunday evening from 4:00pm to 6:00pm this September, residents of the Tyler Park neighborhood, the Highlands, and Jazz enthusiasts from all over Louisville will gather in the park to enjoy some free Jazz. This is the third year for the Jazz Festival, growing larger and more successful each year. This year, in addition to the music, special raffles will be drawn each concert night sponsored by local businesses, Kizito Cookies , Dittos, Baxter Avenue Theatres and Yoga on Baxter. The delicious and locally owned Comfy Cow Ice Cream will be available for purchase, so make sure you put your kids in comfy shoes to run off the sugar-high afterwards! For the safety and comfort of everyone at the concert, The Jazz Festival is a no pet event, and no alcohol is permitted at the park as well. The concert in the park is a good-old “bring your own lawn chair or blanket and listen to some music in the park” concert, so don’t forget your own seating. 

There are some great local Jazz musicians set to perform in the park. The following is the concert line-up for the “Sundays in September” Festival:

September 9th:   Jamey Abersold Quartet

September 16th: Walker and Kays

September 23rd: Mike Tracy Brazilian Ensemble

September 30th: University of Louisville Jazz Ensemble, directed by John La Barbera

I will be at the Jazz concert nights, if not every night, most of them. I am looking forward to spending time with my community while hanging out with my family at the same time. Festivals and events like these are not only important for neighborhoods and communities, but enrich the lives of all involved. I am most excited for my oldest son, who is only two, but will remember bits and pieces of this time in his life, to be able to run around in the park with the other children from the neighborhood while some great live music is playing in the background. I remember times in my childhood like these where life seemed perfect. I can not recommend any higher to check out the “Sundays in September” Tyler Park Jazz Festival. If you have friends in the area you want to enjoy the concert with, or if you don’t know anyone, come out and meet some new people. You will not be disappointed, and at the very least you will get to hear some good music.

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Mellwood Arts Center September Art Fair

I am excited to say that my new home’s bare walls may not have to be bare for much longer. If you are in need for some art for your home, or just like to peruse the local art fairs, you are in luck.  This weekend marks the 4th annual Mellwood Art and Entertainment Center’s September Art Fair. The indoor and outdoor festival will feature over 200 local and regional artists and artisans. Whether you are looking for a large scale painting for an accent wall in your home, or a small trinket to remember the day, there will be something at the festival for everyone’s taste, needs, and budget. 

 The Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center is a sort of arts festival in itself. The center is open to the public year round, seven days a week. Originally the Fischer Meat Packing Company, the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center has since been renovated into a one-of-a-kind center for the arts community. The MAEC is a 360,000 square foot facility housing artists’ studio spaces, galleries, teaching studios, specialty stores, rehearsal spaces, and office spaces. In addition to all it’s in house offerings, the center has become well known for all it’s great events. Several art fairs, music concerts, and film festivals have been held at the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center and have helped it gain notoriety. The MAEC has three event rooms, making it available for weddings and special event rentals. Weddings in particular, have become very popular over the last several years at the center. The Mellwood Arts and Entertainments Center’s regular business hours are 9:00am-9:00pm, seven days a week. The market’s primary hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11:00am-4:00pm (shops, studios, and galleries may have additional hours).

 There are three galleries in the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center that are worth checking out. The first gallery is the newest addition to the center; Gallery M. Gallery M is postmodern in design and contemporary art fills the room. Gallery A and Gallery B come together in the Bridge Gallery. An exhibition space and thoroughfare, this space can be seen from the courtyard of the center as well. The bridge gallery connects Galleries A and B and in a unique walkway exhibit. The Pigment Gallery is the original gallery of the center, showcasing new artists every two months. Folk art and juried exhibits are often the featured art in the gallery.  

 You can find me this weekend at the fair looking through the black and white photographs, or maybe the large scale oil paintings, or shoot, I probably need some sculptures too. Oh boy, I am looking forward to this weekend! The September Art Fair will be on this weekend, Saturday September 8th and Sunday September 9th on the grounds of the Center. The fair will run each day from 10:00am-6:00pm and is free to the public. For more information on the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center, directions to the center, or information on future events going on, go to mellwoodartscenter.com.

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Louisville's annual Hike, Bike & Paddle

Louisville Mayors Labor Day RideIf you don’t know what to do with yourself on your day off of work on Monday, why not participate in the Mayor’s next Healthy Hometown event, the Hike, Bike & Paddle? You can ride your bike 15k then walk 5k and canoe or kayak 3k. I have to say, out of all the triathlon type events around town, this one does sound the most appealing to me. The Hike Bike & Paddle is open to athletes of any level, families, and even dog walkers. 

 If you are interested in participating there are some things you need to know. Participants need to meet at the Great Lawn at the Waterfront by the dancing fountains. The walk starts at 10:00am but there are plenty of warm-up opportunities earlier in the morning. Starting at 8:00am there will be yoga warm-ups on the Waterfront with Taylor MacFarlane of Sunnyside Yoga. Also at 8:00am there will be Tai Chi, Breathing and QiGong Exercises, a Zumba Demo, a hot yoga demo, and an Ashtanga Slow Flow Standing Series with Krist Fulkerson, the owner of Yoga on Baxter. From 8:45am-9:20am they will be offering an Anusara Cool Down class, various classes of Venu Vanaparthy including eye exercises and meditation, Thai Chi, Laugh Yoga, and Fierce Fitness. I would suggest even if you don’t want to participate in the race, to come out early and take advantage of all the free classes! There are some unique classes that I have never heard about, including laughter yoga!  

The hike portion of the walk will start at Waterfront Park and go East toward Beargrass Creek and back to Waterfront Park. Because it is not a race there is a longer option available. You can download both maps on the walk’s website.

The bike portion of the race takes you down into the West side of Louisville to 31st Street, with turn around options available. There are seven water stops along the bike portion and it ends back at the Waterfront.

 The paddle portion begins at Harbor Point at the Waterfront. Boats will be dropped off at 7:30am at the Green parking lot, which is located underneath I-64 at Whitherspoon. Canoes and kayaks will be available to rent from River City Canoe and Kayak. You can find more information on boat rental by calling them at 502-384-3737. The paddle portion will take you through Beargrass Creek, which as Louisvillians know, is not always the cleanest waterway. Pay attention to the Green, Yellow, and Red rating the authorities give the creek that day and take the proper precautions. Metro Louisville’s website gives a safety checklist to look at before you go out on the water, you may want to check it out.  

Monday’s Healthy Hometown event is going to be a lot of fun for the whole family. It’s going to be a no pressure, outdoor adventure, so take advantage of it!  For more information on the event go to the Metro Louisville’s Hike, Bike, & Paddle website at: http://www.louisvilleky.gov/HealthyHometown/HikeandBikeMHHM/.

 

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Labor Day Culture Festivals!

Well it’s Labor Day weekend in Louisville again and that means some exciting celebratory festivals! Two festivals will be going on simultaneously this weekend and both will be offering Louisville’s music and culinary communities something unique to get them going. The Kentucky Bluegrass Music and Burgoo Festival will be held at the Water Tower while WorldFest 2012  is taking over the Belvedere. Both festivals will be offering music, food, and plenty of cultural entertainment that is sure to be high energy and lots of fun.

Burgoo, is a traditional Western Kentucky stew that is relatively unknown outside of Kentucky.  Most burgoo recipes have been handed down through generations of family members and are often kept secret within the family. The most traditional burgoo recipes consist of varmint meat, such as squirrel, possum, or weasel, whatever is available to the cook at the time. Today, most burgoo recipes you will find will be made with chicken or other fowl. Burgoo is a popular meal for impoverished areas of Kentucky, largely because of it’s cheap cost to make. Burgoo is usually made by the gallons, feeding many people in a family or a community for a small amount of money. Some towns in Kentucky have special machines to churn their burgoo and appointed burgoo chefs in charge of cooking it. Burgoo is taken very seriously in many parts of Kentucky and is often challenged in Burgoo contests.

The 7th annual Kentucky Bluegrass Music and Burgoo Festival will give you a chance to try some delicious burgoo made from local BBQ joints like Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot and some out of town guests like Tony’s Barbeque of Lawrenceburg. Traditional barbeque fare, such as pulled pork and BBQ ribs, will also be served along with customary festival foods. The music at this year’s festival is going to be bigger and better than any year before. The band Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, winners of three International Bluegrass Music Awards, will be headlining the festival. Ten other bands will be playing throughout the festival including Newfound Road, Hog Operation, Hickory & Friends, and local favorite, Whiskey Bent Valley Boys.

WorldFest 2012 will also be going on across town at the Belvedere. WordFest is a celebration of Louisville’s cultural diversity. The three day festival will offer food, music, dance, art and much more cultural education from a variety of countries. There will be three stages set up with performances ongoing throughout the festival. Native cuisines will be represented from all over the World. Be ready to sample plenty of new foods, like those from Germany, Ethiopia, Jamaica, and Thailand. On Sunday, the second day of the festival, there will be a Parade of the Cultures, where you can see representatives from nearly every country. Music, dance, clothing, and other artists from the countries will be part of the parade. There are a variety of opportunities for children to participate in activities and learn about the various cultures throughout the weekend. WorldFest is going to be a great event!
This Labor Day Weekend is filled with amazing things to do with the community so get out there and celebrate! For date and ticket information on either festival, go to:
http://www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroParks/specialevents/WorldFest/ for WorldFest or
http://kentuckybluegrassfestival.com/ for the Kentucky Bluegrass and Music Festival.

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Maker’s Mark “Red Headed Pub Crawl” part of this FAT Friday

If you love bourbon or are just looking for something fun to do this Friday night, look no further, the Frankfort Avenue Trolley Hop is going to be a blast.  Not only is the trolley hop always filled with good deals, amazing art, and endless entertainment, but this month’s hop has a special twist.  This FAT Friday is adding a “Red Headed Pub Crawl” to the night, a Makers Mark themed crawl complete with free red wigs. In addition to the normal stops on the FAT Friday roster, this Friday will feature special Makers Mark drink specials at bars and restaurants along Frankfort Avenue, but there is a catch. The only participants eligible for the specials must be wearing the red wigs that will be available at the 12 participating businesses along the hop.  

In addition to the excellent businesses that are normally part of the trolley hop and the restaurants and bars participating in the Makers Mark drink specials, there will be some unique opportunities for you bourbon enthusiasts to take part in. 

The Comfy Cow will host retired President of Makers Mark, Bill Samuels Jr., for a ceremonial dipping of a waffle cone in red chocolate. The event is scheduled to start at 6pm at the Comfy Cow which is located at 2221 Frankfort Ave. 

You can follow Samuels after the dipping, to the Wine Rack, where he will be signing bottles of Makers Mark and Makers 46. The Wine Rack will also be hosting tastings of both Makers Mark and Makers 46 along with different cheeses. The bourbon  tastings are scheduled for 6pm- 8pm and Bill Samuels Jr. is scheduled to be signing bottles from 6:30pm-8pm. The Wine Rack is located at 2632 Frankfort Ave.

If you are looking for something a little more family friendly, don’t worry, there are plenty of options. Margaret’s Consignment will have live entertainment and offer a 10% discount on red items in the store. Margaret’s Consignment is located at 2700 Frankfort Ave.

Third Lutheran Church is going to have tons of stuff for the kids. The church is hosting a “Back to School Bash” complete with a bouncy house, junk food, and games and special guest entertainment, “Fermata NoWhere” Adeline Quartet is set to perform.  The celebration is set for 6pm- 8pm at 1864 Frankfort Ave.

A Readers Corner at 2044 Frankfort Ave. will offer a 20% off discount on all non-sale merchandise to all redheads. Refreshments will be offered and from 7pm-9pm will host an actor and musician from “The Lost City of Abstractus.” 

This Friday’s Trolley Hop is going to be exceptionally fun.  It is a great chance to support your local businesses while having an amazing time. You can pick up your red wigs at Work the Metal, Eyedia, A Readers Corner Bookstore, Just Creations, Peacock Boutique, Urban Farmhouse, Elizabeth’s Timeless Attire, Sister Dragonfly, Margaret’s Consignment, Crescent Hill Trading, and Bayly Boutique.  For more information on where you can get on a trolley or any other questions on the FAT Friday Trolley Hop, go to www.fatfridayhop.org.

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Louisville Lush Will Change The Way You Drink And Dine

Listen up Louisvillians, there’s an app for your smart phone that you need to know about. If you haven’t added “Louisville Lush” to your list of go to apps, hurry up and download it now. Louisville Lush is free and offers a one stop location identifying all the best deals on food and drinks around town.

With so many excellent restaurants and bars in Louisville, it is often hard to decide where to go to dinner or grab drinks. This relatively new app makes decision making a little easier, because now you can limit your options by seeing who is offering the best deals that night. 

The app uses your location to centralize the restaurants around you. On the front page of the app you see the three main categories that the app is broken down into; “Happening Now,” “Later this week,” and “Neighborhood."   At any point in the day you can click on the “Happening Now” section and see deals going on. I found three restaurants at 10:30am offering food and beverage deals. This section came in handy just the other night when my friends and I were trying to decide where to go for dinner and drinks. We looked up what deals were going on and found that Dragon Kings Daughter was offering $3.00 off bottles of wine. It ended up being perfect.

The “Later This Week” section is extremely helpful when you are trying to make plans in advance. This weekend in Louisville there are over 300 restaurants with food and beverage deals listed on Louisville Lush! If you don’t have the app yet, I will let you in on some of the deals for this weekend so you can get a taste of what the app shares:

Friday Night

60 West Bistro in St. Matthews is having half priced bottles of wine.

Napa River Grille in the East End is having Half-Priced bottles of wine and drink and appetizer specials

Makers Mark Bourbon House Downtown is offering $5.00 select bourbon, cosmos, and desserts, and $5.00 off all entrees.

Saturday Night

Boombozz Pizza in Clifton is offering half priced appetizers, $1.99 bottles of beer, and $2.99 draft beers.

Havana Rumba in St. Matthews is offering $1.00 off all sandwiches.

The Back Door in the Highlands is offering $2.50 wells, $6.50/ domestic pitcher  and $2.50/ domestic pints, Imports are $1 off a pitcher and $0.75 pints.

Louisville Lush’s third section for searching the great deals around town is by “neighborhood.”  This is a great way to see all the restaurants in a particular area that offer deals any day of the week. 

If you need to save a few bucks and want to know how to dine on the cheap, or if you just want to be at the hippest happy hours, Louisville Lush is what you need to stay in the loop. Everyone loves a good dollar beer and half priced wine night, so why not be in the know of who is given up the goods? 

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Be Prepared For the Zombies!

This year I am going to be prepared for the zombies! If you live in the Highlands you know what I’m talking about, and if you are going to be anywhere near the Highlands this Wednesday night, you are going to be thankful that you read this blog before you traveled to the area. It seems like every year I either forgot about the Zombie Walk, or I didn’t know it existed. I always end up driving in my car, staring at someone in a zombie costume, shocked, scared, or legitimately freaked out staring at someone walking in my neighborhood with blood running out of their mouth. This Wednesday night at 8:29 will mark this years Zombie Attack Walk and I suggest you be prepared. Bardstown Road and the Highlands will be filled with people dressed up in “Night of the Living Dead” wears. Their goal? To stop traffic, create chaos and freak out as many passerbys as possible.

This year’s walk is hoping to be bigger and better than ever. Walk creators John King, Mike Welch, and Lyndi Lou started the Walk as a birthday celebration and never dreamed that it would have picked up the popularity that it has. Now a hipster Summer staple event in Louisville, they hope to break the World record for the largest zombie walk in the world. This year’s walk will be longer than ever before. The walk will start at Mid City Mall at the traditional time of 8:29 on 8/29.  There will be a pre-party at the Back Door Bar and Grille beginning at 8:00pm. This year, the walk has a new end point, the Monkey Wrench. The Monkey Wrench will be hosting a huge party with live entertainment, awards, drinks and more. The Va Va Vixens, Squeezebot, OK Zombie, and other artists will perform.  Lots of awards will be given out too for the best zombie costumes. The hottest zombie award, grossest zombie award, king and queen zombie awards and the golden machete awards will be handed out at the Monkey Wrench at 10:30pm, so make sure you put some thought in to your zombie costumes.
   
If dressing up like a zombie is not your thing, you may want to go out on Bardstown Road and check out all the chaos.  Free tee shirts and other giveaways will be handed out and the sights are sure to be entertaining.

The Zombie Attack Walk is just one of those unique things that makes Louisville the great city that it is. I have to admit, it might be a little obnoxious for a few hours Wednesday night to have to deal with my two-year-old son freaking out every time a zombie walks in front of our house, but I guess that’s just part of the beauty of living in the Highlands. I know many people have mixed views on the Zombie Walk, but the way I see it is that it’s great that we live in a city where artists and fans can express themselves publicly, and for those who disagree, well its only for one night, so deal with it.

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Just a Few More Tuesdays Left for Front Porch Tuesdays

The Highlands is a neighborhood that appeals to the lover of the outdoors. Whether you prefer to read your book on the porch or would rather let your kids play in the back yard than inside, the Highlands neighborhood is the right community for you. With several public parks close by including the renowned Cherokee Park in the Highlands center, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy the Kentucky air. Cherokee Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, and encompasses 409 acres of beautiful land which includes a 2.4 mile loop for dog walking, running, or biking. Cherokee Park also offers a golf course, playgrounds, recreation areas, mountain bike trails, and some of the best sledding in town!   I recently moved to the Highlands and have absolutely loved every second of life in this urban neighborhood.
 
One of my favorite things about the Highlands that I didn’t know about before I became a resident is “Front Porch Tuesdays.” This program was created in 2005 by Tom Owen to help bring communities in District 8 together. Usually for two weeks in May, one Tuesday the odd number streets will have the even houses over, and the following week they will switch. Neighbors are encouraged to meet and mingle.

My street, like many others in the Highlands has taken Front Porch Tuesdays to another level, making it a weekly, or bi-weekly event during the warm months of the year. It is really just an excuse for the adults to get together and have a few glasses of wine and lettting all of the neighborhood kids run around in the yard and tire themselves out just in time for bed. Not only do we look forward to these Tuesday nights because they are a great time, but they give us a chance to have mini  neighborhood meetings. We make sure nothing has happened crime wise on the block, and it is always a good idea to keep in touch with our neighbors. Moving in to a new house and not knowing anyone in the neighborhood, Front Porch Tuesday was an amazing way for our family to quickly bond with the neighbors. We were able to meet everyone in our community, in a relaxed setting, and because Front Porch Tuesdays are frequent on our street, we were able to see them often. This was an unbelievable introduction to our new neighborhood. Without Front Porch Tuesdays, we would never know what great neighbors we have and would not have the many great memories that we have already made in the short time we have lived in our new house.

Whether you live in the Highlands or not, I could not recommend higher, the Front Porch Tuesday model. Not only meeting the neighbors, but spending time with them and getting to know them can add so much enjoyment to your life. In just a  few short months my next door neighbors have become like family and it is wonderful. We are looking forward to many more Front Porch Tuesdays to come.

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Brew at the Zoo

This weekend you will have the chance to drink all the beer you want while roaming among elephants, lions, and giraffes. The Louisville Zoo’s annual Brew at the Zoo takes place this Saturday August 25th and is sure to be a roaring good time. 

Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and plant yourself in the large field where the band 100% Poly will be playing 70’s and 80’s inspired music for your entertainment.  More than thirty local and regional breweries will be at the Zoo offering many varieties of beer and wine and with your ticket price covering all the beer you can drink, you could potentially try them all! Nearly Forty local restaurants will be offering delicious specialties to indulge your taste buds and help soak up some of that alcohol. For those of you not drinking or for the lucky one that gets to drive home, they will have non-alcoholic options for you.  

Brew at the Zoo is only open to visitors 21 and over, with no exceptions.  Festivities begin Saturday evening at 4:00pm and end at 9:00pm. Individual tickets are $45.00, and designated driver tickets are $30.00. V.I.P tickets are $89.00. Individual ticket prices include the entertainment, all you can drink beer and wine, food, and 5oz mug. VIP ticket extras include a tee shirt, separate entrance to the zoo, VIP tasting glass, access to VIP tent which includes special brews, food, and private restrooms. The VIP ticket pretty much means no lines, easier access to bathrooms and more food. Tickets can be bought online at http://www.louisvillezoo.org/brew. Get your tickets quick because I’m sure its going to sell out. 

Louisville, and Kentucky as a region has some great beer. Some of the breweries that will be represented at Brew at the Zoo are Against the Grain Brewery, Arcadia Brewery, Boston Beer Company, Bluegrass Brewing Company, Crispin Cider, Brooklyn Brewery, Cumberland Brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, Falls City Beer, Green Flash Brewing Company, Harpoon Brewery, Left Hand Brewery, Magic Hat Brewing Company, New Albanian Brewing Company, Rogue Ales, Schiner Beers, Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, Upland Brewing Company, and Wyder’s Cider.

Some great local restaurants will be serving food at Brew at the Zoo as well. Some of the local fare will be from Kern’s Kitchen, Mark’s Feed Store, RiRa Irish Pub, Roosters, The Irish Rover, The Monkey Wrench, and Za’s Pizza. 

Menage A Troi, Best Vineyards, 14 hands, Columbia Crest, Primal Roots, Relax, Ruffino, Thorny Rose and Beringer Founder’s Estate will be the Vineyards supplying the wine for the event. There will also be water and local coffee from VINT, Sunergos, and Heine Brothers. 

Brew at the Zoo is all about fun and flavor; music, good eats and good beer. The event gives adults an excuse to go to one of their favorite childhood places and play again, although now with adult beverages. I recommend Brew at the Zoo highly as a night out of fancy free fun. I must say however, to drink and play responsibly…

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Yew Dell and the Hummingbird Festival

The Summer may be winding down but that doesn’t mean you need to be spending less time outdoors. In fact, I think that these days heading in to the Fall months are some of the best days to plan your outdoor adventures. One of Oldham County’s gems, and a Nationally-recognized center for gardening and horticulture is Yew Dell. If you live in Oldham County or anywhere in the Louisville area, the Yew Dell Botanical Gardens is an excellent place for a day trip where you can bring the whole family or bring a couple of friends and explore some options for your home garden.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Preservation Project of the Garden Conservatory which is a national non-profit that helps preserve the Nation’s most impressive gardens. Yew Dell is full of beautiful gardens and sustainable horticulture. They offer educational programs, display gardens, community events that cater towards families, private event facilities, and ongoing research into new and better gardening plants and techniques.  

Yew Dell is constantly changing with the times and making sure that they are up to date with the most recent technology. They recently announced that in honor of their 10th anniversary they will be adding a collection of new horticulture facilities. The project will include a new solar/geothermal greenhouse complete with a green roof, plant growing and propagation space, and a teaching and workshop space with room for modest exhibits. There will also be unique production facilities for fall/winter vegetable research evaluation work. Yew Dell plans to build an all-encompassing facility, combining evaluation fields for vegetable and ornamental crops and updated container production facilities. If this is all mumbo jumbo to you, I understand, but the bottom line is that Yew Dell is doing some really cool stuff in the world of gardening and sustainable horticulture and it is right in Oldham County waiting for you to visit.  

Yew Dell offers ongoing classes and events that will appeal to almost everyone. Saturday August 25 is the Hummingbird Festival at Yew Dell. The Hummingbird Festival will give you the rare opportunity to view hummingbirds up close and learn all about these fascinating birds. There will be kids activities, hummingbird plants for sale, and refreshments available. It is sure to be a unique event and a great time. Sunday August 26 is Children in the Dell. An ongoing class at Yew Dell, this class is open to children ages 5-12 and gives them the opportunity to learn about gardening, the woods, hiking, and everything outdoors, straight from the experts. The class starts at 10:30am and is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Check with the website, Yew Dell Gardens, for more date and time information.

Not only are there many classes available at Yew Dell, but there are a variety of tours and programs too. Yew Dell has so much to offer everyone, even beyond the gardener, chef, outdoorsmen, artist, or eco-friendly builder. It is places like Yew Dell that make Oldham County and the Louisville area such an amazing place to call home.

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Louisville IRONMAN 2012

For one day a year, Louisville opens it’s roads and the Ohio River to the fittest and most impressive athletes around. Louisville drivers beware, the roads all around town will be a mess, and travel times will be doubled because this Sunday Louisville will host the 2012 IRONMAN. It will however be all worth the travel troubles, because the IRONMAN is an exciting athletic event that brings with it lots of perks for our city.  

 If you are participating in the IRONMAN, you have known about the impending race for months, and have probably been training for longer than that. The IRONMAN consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. It sounds insane right?  I have the utmost respect for the IRONMAN triathletes. Any athlete that can finish the race, let alone come in one of the top finishing places is incredible in my book.  

 There are plenty of places to watch the race and cheer on the athletes. The IRONMAN takes the participants all over the Louisville area, from Downtown Louisville, to LaGrange to South Louisville at Churchill Downs and back to the center of downtown. Competitors begin the race on the banks of the Ohio River with a timed trial swim. The timed trial is a unique feature to the Louisville IRONMAN that is not normally part of other IRONMAN races. Participants will jump in to the river on a first come first serve basis, one by one, to begin their swims. They will exit and begin their transitions at the Great Lawn at the Waterfront. Next is the bike section, which will take the athletes through a scenic ride in Oldham and Henry Counties. Bikers will have to handle sections of rolling hills and flat lands, but will have views of beautiful Kentucky horse farms and neighborhoods to ease the ride.  The 26.2 mile run will take the participants through the University of Louisville campus and past Churchill Downs in South Louisville. The finish line will be a celebration filled with cheering fans at Fourth Street Live in the heart of Downtown Louisville.  

The IRONMAN will offer 50 age group qualifying slots to the 2012 World Championship in Hawaii. That race will take place October 13of this year in Kailau-Kona. The top male and female finishers of that race will share a prize purse of $25,000. Registration is open now for the 2012 Louisville IRONMAN, so if you still need to register, you can go to Louisville IRONMAN.

Last year’s Louisville IRONMAN was a terrible reminder, just how dangerous extreme athletics can be. Just 8 minutes into the swim portion of the race, 46-year-old Mark Wezka suffered a heart attack and never regained consciousness. Wezka’s death is a reminder that we should never take our bodies for granted. I love to watch these triathlons, and marvel at the strength and hard work of the athletes involved, but we need to remember the risks associated with the sport as well. Most adult triathletes are smart about their bodies, but for young, up and comers, in a society where being number one is considered best, we might want to start teaching that being healthy and number two might not be so bad. 

I will be cheering on the Ironmen and Ironwomen this weekend from the comfort of my home and wherever I can walk to. I will be avoiding the streets and suggest you do the same. I suggest using it as an excuse to have a relaxing day at home and leave the hard work to the triathletes for the day.

 

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Best of Louisville

We look forward to it every year. We consider the entire field, narrow down our selections and then choose the one we think is best. But we aren’t content to trust just our own instincts. We also ask our friends who they like, and we wonder who the experts will pick. When this time rolls around each year, we can hardly wait to see who wins.

And we’re not even talking about the Kentucky Derby! No, each summer Louisville home owners look to see who our town has chosen as this year’s “Best of Louisville” in any number of different categories. The Best of Louisville competition, sponsored by Louisville Magazine, has featured the best of everything around town for 27 years now. But this year, not only did the magazine’s readers and editors have their say, a panel of local experts in the areas under review — music, food, architecture and development — were consulted for their opinions as well.

To get the skinny on who finished first in every category, check out the magazine’s July issue. But for the bottom line on some of the best spots in Derby city for dining, we have the winners right here.

Best of Louisville – Readers’ Choice:

New Restaurant — Garage Bar and Harvest (tie)

Favorite Restaurant — Jack Fry’s

Outdoor Dining — Captain’s Quarter’s

Breakfast Spot — Wild Eggs

Swanky Bar — Proof on Main

Coffee Shop — Quill’s Coffee

Ice Cream Parlor — Graeter’s

Karaoke — Akiko’s

Best of Louisville – Experts’ Choice:

Mexican Restaurant — Guaca Mole Cocina Mexicana and Mayan Café

Asian Restaurant — NamNam Café

Italian Restaurant — Coals Artisan Pizza

Soul Food — Charim Korean

New Restaurant — Decca

Dessert Menu — Sweet Surrender

Restaurant Atmosphere — Jack Fry’s

Hamburger — Bluegrass Burgers

One of the nation’s top cities for dining out, Louisville boasts hundreds of wonderful, eclectic places to eat. And now that Louisville’s home owners – as well as the experts – have spoken, this year's “best” is a sure bet.

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