The festival corresponds with the World Equestrian Games, which begin next month in Lexington. The festival is a collection of annual events like the Idea Festival and St. James Art Fair, plus days with extended hours at several local attractions.
The goal of the festival is to lure World Equestrian Games visitors to Louisville.
Andrew Beshear is the chair of Louisville’s host committee for the games. He says he’s not trying to lure anyone away from the games to Louisville events.
“Most of them occur at night, after the games,” he says. “And we’re also targeting people for their bookend dates: a lot of people will come in from out of town, will go to the games for two days, but will have two days on the side. And we want to bring them into Louisville during those bookend dates.”
There will also be an economic development event for visitors to learn about business opportunities in Kentucky.
“It’s going to be primarily for business people from out of state or from out of the country to where we’re going to get a chance to talk with them about the great business environment that Louisville offers,” says Beshear.
The World Equestrian Games are September 25th through October 10th. Beshear says he has high expectations for the festival, despite lagging ticket sales and hotel bookings for the games.
“They’re a little lower than was originally projected when the games were first announced they were going to come here—it was before the current recession. But we think we’ve still got a good group of people. We have events designed to bring people here,” he says.