It may come as no surprise that Thunder Over Louisville is North America’s largest annual fireworks show. We don’t have to wait ’til the 4th of July to bust out 60 tons of fireworks shells. We’ve got a half hour of nonstop fireworks being launched off of barges and bridges to ring in the Kentucky Derby Festival (the best derby, if you ask us).
Credit: Jacob Rutledge
Old Louisville is a historic preservation district that also just so happens to have the largest Victorian neighborhood in North America. So, the next time you’re doing a keg stand at a frat party downtown, take a moment to admire the architecture.
Okay, this isn’t an official ranking, but does it really need to be? Use a bike rack, y’all.
Louisville, Kentucky was ranked as the “#1 Most Challenging Place To Live With Spring Allergies” this year by a study conducted by the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (so we assume they know what they’re talking about). We even scored a perfect 100% at being the “worst place to live with allergies,” after analyzing all of the factors (which took into account pollen and mold levels and the presence of the most allergenic pollen types over the duration of peak allergy season).
Allergy experts blame the most recent Polar Vortex as the culprit behind the late flowering of trees which caused this most brutal allergy season. What doesn’t kill us, amirite?
Credit: Brooke Novak
90% of the United States disco balls are manufactured right here in Louisville, Kentucky. Don’t tell us we don’t know how to party.
Credit: Victoria Pickering
The world’s largest travel guidebook publisher, Lonely Planet, named Louisville as the “#1 US Travel Destination of 2013.” Not that we need any convincing, but the travel guide called us an “offbeat cultural mecca on the Ohio River.” Our dining and nightlife, often housed in unique venues such as re-purposed churches and firehouses (think Holy Grale and Silver Dollar) were mentioned as reasons travelers might want to stop by, as well as the bourbon and the Derby (of course).
Lonely Planet also called us “the new Portland.” The spirit of the 90s are alive in Louisville.
The Belle of Louisville celebrated its 100 birthday this year, making it the oldest steamboat in operation. It was also named a national historic landmark in 1989. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Belle of Cincinnati.
Credit: Sean Davis
Lebowskifest began as a humble movie screening and bowling party in Louisville and has since evolved into a nationwide celebration of the Coen Brothers’ cult classic “The Big Lebowski.” We gave the world Lebowskifest, and it has been a gift that’s kept giving for 13 years. You’re welcome.
Credit: Lebowski Fest
Louisville is home to the world’s largest and longest-running zombie walk. The Louisville Zombie Walk has been a tradition since 2005. Why? Because we can.
Every year on August 29, traffic is blocked for miles of Bardstown Road so that tens of thousands of zombies can roam freely. At the end of every August, every bar in the Highlands is packed with zombies.
Credit: Louisville Zombie Walk
According to a study by author and researcher Bert Sperling, Louisville was the “#1 Most Sleepless City” in 2011. Turns out we’ve been on to something with all our complaining about allergies. Among other contributing factors to our insomnia, it appears that the pollen, mold and spore overload in the Ohio Valley are largely responsible for aggravating respiratory problems and contributing to our sleeplessness.
The bars staying open til 4:00 AM probably doesn’t help much, either.
Featured Image Credit: Credit: Shannon Tompkins