The Dude Abides

The Dudes, “Achievers“, Walters, and Maudes, are once again invading Louisville. The 11th annual Lebowski Fest kicks off this weekend, Friday July 20th and Saturday July 21st.   Lebowski Fest is a two-day event that celebrates the 1998 Cohen Brothers film The Big Lebowski, starring Oscar winner Jeff Bridges as the dude himself.  

Lebowski Fest was sparked in the midst of a conversation at a tattoo expo.  The founders of Lebowski Fest, Scott and Will, were quoting movie lines from the Big Lebowski while at the expo in their hometown of Louisville.  When other people started to chime in, quoting the lines they too thought hilarious after hearing 100 times, they had a revelation.   Scott and Will thought that if people would show up to a convention about tattoos that they would surely come to an event celebrating the Big Lebowski! They decided to explore this further, and set up a time and date at a bowling alley, put out flyers, and waited to see what happened.  The first annual Lebowski Fest was a success, attracting dudes from near and far.  Each year since then, Lebowski Fest has grown in size and popularity, and is now in over 15 cities. 

The Party officially kicks off Friday with the Movie Party.  There will be music by Mucca Pazza, a 30 piece marching band, followed by a screening of the Big Lebowski.  The Movie Party will take place at the Executive Lawn, located at 911 Phillips Lane and Tickets to this event are available in advance for $15 or at the door for $18. The doors open at 8pm and the show begins at 9pm.

The celebration continues Saturday with the Garden Party. There will be several bands performing, including Todd Snider, the Deloreans, and The White Russians.  Not only will there be musical entertainment, but the Derby City Dating Scene Improv Troup will be hosting a Lebowski Improv Set, and the Big Brothers Big Sister of Kentuckiana will be hosting lawn games.  The Garden Party will also be at the Executive Lawn and gates open at 4pm. Tickets are available in advance for $10 or $15 the day of.

Saturday night is the Bowling Party.  8pm at the Executive Strike and Spare there will be trivia, costumes, contests, and special guests.  Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of.The ticket price includes shoes and bowling, but bowling is not guaranteed.  

New this year is an after party hosted by the Monkey Wrench.  With guest DJ Jason Clark, and delicious food trucks parked outside, prepare to dance, drink, and eat the night away.  The party will take place in the bar at the Executive Strike and Spare from Midnight- 4am. The event  is 21and over, for obvious reasons and is free.

There are several other events you might be interested in going to if you are a die hard dude or “Achiever.”  Thursday, July 19th at Carmichael’s on Frankfort Avenue Peter S Fosl, author of “The Big Lebowski and Philosophy” will be doing a book signing in the store. The event will begin at 7pm.  There will also be an expert panel discussion Saturday at 3pm at the Executive Strike and Spare on the best costumes in Lebowski Fest’s history. Both of these events are free and open to the public. 

Lebowski Fest has become one of Louisville’s great Festivals.  The unique, fun, and quirky, spirit of the festival matches Louisville’s essence to a tee.   The Lebowski Fest is a weekend filled with pure joy and carefree child’s play, that I highly recommend everyone experience at least once in their lives.

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