From Shakespeare to soccer, Louisville offers a wide variety of activities to celebrate the U.S.A. This July 4th you can cruise the Ohio River or peruse items at the Flea on Market; check out futuristic skateboard art or go back in time to celebrate Independence like it’s 1816. If it’s a good ‘ole fashioned parade and fireworks that you seek, Louisville has plenty of those, too. Below are our ten favorite July 4th festivities.

Louisville Orchestra Waterfront 4th of July Celebration Fueled by Thorntons
For the second year, Waterfront Park (129 River Rd.) will celebrate Independence Day on July 3 with a concert by the Louisville Orchestra (LO) featuring Teddy Abrams. Activities start at 5 p.m. with live music on the Waterfront stage at the Great Lawn. This free public event also features the Fifth Third Family Fun Zone. Families are encouraged to bring one recyclable item to transform into a musical instrument. Children will be invited to join LO with their newly made instruments, around 8:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m.

Crescent Hill 4th of July Festival
If family-friendly parades, artists’ fair, live music and a children’s fun zone sounds like the perfect way to celebrate the holiday head over to the Peterson-Dumesnil House (301 S. Peterson Ave.) for the Annual Crescent Hill 4th of July Festival on Sunday, July 3, and Monday, July 4, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The parade kicks off along Frankfort Avenue at 10 a.m. Afterward make sure to visit the 85 juried art fair booths, cake booth, or participate in the pet contest. The day culminates with fireworks at 10 p.m. Free parking is available at the Seminary parking lot on Grinstead Drive with a free trolley ride to the grounds, available between 1 p.m. – 10 p.m. A bike rack will also be available. For more event information visit here.

Kentucky Shakespeare Festival Performance of Romeo & Juliet
William Shakespeare’s tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers, Romeo & Juliet, opens July 1 at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park. Directed by Matt Wallace, the play has performances on July 3 and July 5. Doors open at 7 p.m., with a pre-show at 7:15 p.m. Did we mention it’s free?

Prophecy Ink Skateboard Art Show 
If hanging with tattoo artists and skateboarders is more your scene head over to Prophecy Ink Tatoo Studio Fine Art Gallery (907 Baxter Ave) in the Highlands for their 2nd Skateboard Art Show on July 2 at 7 p.m. Attendees even get to vote on the most unique board.

Louisville Bats, Louisville City FC, and Fireworks
What can be more American than cheering on our local sports teams? Slugger Field is the place for sports fans. On Sunday, July 3, enjoy the Louisville Bats take on the Gwinnett Braves starting at 6:45 p.m. Fireworks will follow the game. Visit for ticket information. Kick-off July 4 with the Louisville City FC vs. FC Montreal soccer game at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks begin right after the match.

Riverview Independence Festival
South East Louisville celebrates Independence Day on Saturday July 2 at the Riverview Independence Festival at Riverview Park (8202 Greenwood Road). Doors open at 3 p.m. Dr. Tess LaCoil will be teaching the wonders of Mad Science with cotton candy and slime. Country star J.D. Shelburne performs at 8 p.m. Fireworks launch at 10 p.m.

Belle of Louisville Cruises
The Belle of Louisville Cruises offers afternoon and nighttime Independence Day cruises. Enjoy the scenery on July 4, from 11:30-2 p.m. while cruising down the Ohio River on the riverboat Spirit of Jefferson. The Fireworks Sightseeing Cruise provides a great view of the city’s fireworks and boards at 8 p.m. It cruises from 8:30 – 10:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended for both cruises.

Independence Day 1816 at Locust Grove
Join the Clark and Croghan families as they Celebrate Independence Day 1816 on July 4 at Locust Grove. Experience life 200 years ago when General George Rogers Clark’s soldiers return to honor him and all who fought. Hear readings of the Declaration of Independence throughout the day, and remember why we celebrate. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds or purchase food and drink on-site. This free event is from 10 a.m.-to 4:30 p.m. The auditorium will host a small summer-reading book sale, with all books priced at only $2 for hardbacks and $1 for paperbacks.

The Riverfront Independence Day Celebration
Grab a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy a night of family-fun along the Ohio River on Sunday, July 3, at the Riverfront Amphitheater for The Riverfront Independence Day Celebration in New Albany. The event begins at 6pm.  This year’s lineup includes country music act Wildwood and the Louisville Crashers. In addition, expect children’s inflatables, a bubble machine, local food vendors, a beer garden, an Independence Day Recognition Ceremony, and fireworks display at dark.

The Flea off Market
Home to more than 200 artists, craftspeople, collectors, start-ups, and local businesses, The Flea off Market is one of Louisville’s favorite places to shop local. It’s open July 1 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., July 2 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m and July 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Expect a great lineup of entertainment including live theater, live music, breakdancing; dozens of food trucks, and a bar with seasonal cocktails and a selection of local craft beers. Festivities will take place in the East Market District, on the edge of downtown Louisville in the parking lot of Fresh Start Growers Supply, 1007 E Jefferson St. (on block of Baxter St between Jefferson St and Market St).

A Cleveland native turned Louisville resident by way of Chicago, Melanie brings 20 years publishing experience to Louisville Distilled. After graduating from Indiana University Bloomington with degrees in English and Journalism, Melanie has worked as an editor on staffs at national magazines based in Chicago and Los Angeles. She moved to Louisville in 2004 where she launched a successful freelance editing and writing career. Her award-winning articles have appeared in Draft, Chef, The National Culinary Review, Pizza Today, Complete Woman, Louisville Magazine, Business First, Her Scene, Medical News and more. She lives in the East End with her husband, Sean, two children and dog. Passionate about the arts (and an adventurous foodie) Melanie loves eating her way through Louisville’s food scene and supporting the local arts and music scene.


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