COVID-19 pandemic forces changes to WorldFest and Hike, Bike and Paddle

July 23, 2020

Mayor Greg Fischer today announced that two popular Labor Day events, WorldFest and Hike, Bike and Paddle, will not be held in-person this year due to ongoing COVID-19 health and safety concerns.

“These annual events celebrate the beautiful diversity of our city,” said the Mayor. “So, it’s disappointing that we won’t be able to gather in person to dance, exercise, try new foods and learn about other cultures. This was a difficult decision to make, but we must continue to prioritize the health and safety of our residents, vendors, guests and sponsors.”

Virtual WorldFest will provide live and pre-recorded content on social media platforms from Monday, Aug. 31 – Friday, Sept. 4. Content will include a virtual Parade of Nations; a Global Village showcasing unique heritage, culture and dress; food and cooking segments; kid’s crafts; music, dance and much more.

WorldFest has been called a “Top 20 Must See Event in September” by the Southeast Tourism Society and plays a major role in Louisville being twice named an “Event City” by the International Festival & Event Association.

For the past 18 years, WorldFest has attracted record setting crowds, with last year’s attendance topping more than 160,000 over the four-day Labor Day weekend.

Earlier this year, the Mayor announced the Hike, Bike and Paddle scheduled for Memorial Day weekend would move to a virtual platform. Since then, more than 1,000 Louisvillians have participated in the event. The first-of-its-kind Virtual Hike, Bike and Paddle is now being extended through Sept. 7, 2020.

Participants in the virtual Hike, Bike and Paddle are asked to complete a healthy lifestyle activity and upload pictures of themselves running, jogging, hiking, biking, paddling, or doing any other exercise while still practicing good social distancing. That includes other activities that have traditionally been part of Hike, Bike and Paddle, such as Tai Chi, Yoga and Zumba.

All participants are still eligible to win a limited edition Virtual Hike, Bike and Paddle T-shirt while supplies last. To register for the Virtual Hike, Bike and Paddle, visit

“While we recognize that the in-person WorldFest and the Hike, Bike and Paddle that we all know and love can’t happen this year because of COVID-19, we thank and appreciate our great sponsors of these two events, the UK Confucius Institute, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Norton Sports Health, ValuMarket, GE Appliances, a Haier CO, Stella Artois, the Confucius Institute of Western Kentucky and the UPS International Community Jobs Program, for their continued support,” said the Mayor. “And we’re looking forward an even bigger WorldFest and Hike, Bike and Paddle in 2021.”

Follow Mayor Greg Fischer, AroundLou and LiftUpLou on your favorite social media channels for additional information about virtual WorldFest and Hike, Bike and Paddle.

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