WorldFest and Hike, Bike & Paddle return Labor Day weekend

August 27, 2021

Mayor Greg Fischer today announced the return of annual Labor Day weekend events, WorldFest and the Mayor’s Hike, Bike &Paddle, presented by Norton Healthcare and Coca Cola Consolidated. Festivities will take place in-person with updated COVID-19 protocols in place.

“We’re happy to be back this year, celebrating two signature community events, that are guided by our core values of health and lifelong learning and compassion,” said the Mayor.

WorldFest

The 19th annual WorldFest kicks off at the Belvedere on Friday, Sept. 3 and runs through Monday, Sept. 6. This year’s WorldFest will showcase three stages and a Global Village, representing more than 20 countries, including Louisville’s Sister Cities.

The four-day festival will feature more than 40 food vendors and nearly 100 booths offering global cuisine and culture.

The Global Village Overlook Plaza will host one of four Stella Artois Beirgartens where those 21 years and older can responsibly sample a selection of international and domestic beers.

To help guard against COVID-19, the city and event organizers have put the following safety precautions in place:

  • All vendors, volunteers and staff dealing with the general public will be asked to wear a mask and provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 72-hours of opening. 
  • The Parade of Nations annual parade through Downtown has been canceled.
  • Confined gathering areas like the children’s area and the World of Information tent have been removed.
  • All attendees are encouraged to wear a mask while in common areas. Youth and adult masks will be provided by the city’s Special Events Office, courtesy of Ford Motor Company and UAW.
  • Water refill stations will not be available. Attendees are encouraged bring their own water to stay hydrated.
  • Fountain Stage will be positioned to allow additional space for 60+ world music acts and performances.
  • Live performances will alternate on the stages in an effort to help keep performers moving, clean the stage and set up for next performance. 
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available throughout the event.

“These precautions are needed, positive changes to safely enjoy this great, free, outdoor festival,” the Mayor said, adding that people should be mindful that to continue enjoying events like WorldFest, “we need to get COVID-19 vaccination shots in the arms of all eligible Louisvillians.”

On Friday, Sept. 3, the Muhammad Ali Center will host a Naturalization Ceremony where 150 immigrants will become full U.S. citizens. Due to COVID restrictions, the ceremony will be limited to those being naturalized and one guest.

WorldFest admission is free thanks to the support of our generous donor Passport Health.

Other sponsors include founding sponsors ValuMarket and Stella Artois; contributing sponsors UPS International Community Job Program, YMCA of Louisville, McDonalds and the Bell Family, Anytime Waste, The Galt House Hotel, Louisville Tourism, The Muhammad Ali Center, and Wayne Hettinger. Media sponsors include Al Dia, Louisville Public Media, Outfront Media, and WLY and Matt Milosevich, the official meteorologist of WorldFest.

To learn more about the event, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/city-events/worldfest. Share your photos on social media using #WorldFest and tagging @AroundLou.

Hike, Bike & Paddle

Louisville cyclists, paddlers and walkers will be on the move again at the Mayor’s Hike, Bike & Paddle Monday, Sept. 6 as it returns for another Labor Day at a new location at the Community Boat House at 1325 River Road. All portions of the event have been reworked to ensure participants will be socially distanced.

“One of our city’s goals is to make Louisville a healthier city. And that includes the need to get out and get moving,” said the Mayor. “Every year, one of the best things about Hike, Bike & Paddle is that there are people who come here and exercise, maybe for the first time in a while, and then begin a more regular commitment. That’s what we want to encourage – and celebrate.”

Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated and Norton Healthcare are returning as presenting sponsors of the Mayor’s annual healthy lifestyle event. Event partners include

Greater Louisville Sports Commission, Louisville Water Company, Louisville Waterfront Park, River City Paddle Sports, Scheller's Fitness & Cycling and Yoga East, and TARC.

 

“These events are the perfect way to wrap up the summer by spending time outdoors with family and friends,” said Audie Wilson, Sr. Director of Retail Sales for Coca-Cola Consolidated. “We’re honored to be part of events that are so important to the Louisville community.”

“As a nationally recognized healthiest employer, we are committed to providing a culture of health and wellness within our organization and throughout the community. Making the time for exercise, a key area of self-care, has been especially important during the past year and remains essential,” said Russell F. Cox, president and chief executive officer, Norton Healthcare. “We encourage everyone to live a healthy lifestyle and participate safely.”

T-shirts will be available for the first 2,500 participants while supplies last. The Bike Injury Association will also be fitting bike helmet for cyclist who don’t have one.

For hikers, this year features three routes, including one option that goes over the Big Four Bridge to Jeffersonville and back to the Great Lawn, another route to the Big Four Bridge, and a 5k to the Belle of Louisville and back.

For cyclists, a new 15-mile route will leave from the Community Boat House under the Louisville Sports Commission arch at 9:00 a.m. going east to west on a scenic out and back route along the Ohio River on River Road to the new east end bridge.

The paddling course starts at 9:30 a.m. and features five miles of scenic paddling along the Ohio river through the McAlpine locks to New Shawnee Boat Ramp. TARC will offer a  free shuttle for the return trip to boat house.

Starting at 8 a.m., the event will showcase demonstrations and group participation in Yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Participants are encouraged to bring water bottles, as there will be no refill station this year.

This is the 17th year for the Hike, Bike & Paddle events, which are held each Memorial Day and Labor Day. The events are part of the city’s Healthy Hometown Movement, created to encourage Louisville residents to be more active and make healthier lifestyle choices.

Media sponsors include 106.9 Play!, Louisville Public Media, Outfront Media and WLKY.

To learn more about the event, visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/city-events/mayors-hike-bike-and-pa….  

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