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Gaslight Festival brings big crowds to Jeffersontown

Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 12:08 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2021 at 10:41 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Gaslight Festival in Jeffersontown is the unofficial kickoff for fall in Louisville.

In 2019, city officials said more than 200,000 people attended the three-day event.

This year, Jeffersontown Chamber of Commerce president Deana Karem said early estimates have this year’s festivities breaking records.

“We are feeling very optimistic about our turnout,” Karem said. “We don’t have any real numbers yet, but we did see an uptick in attendance last night.”

Even the University of Louisville football game on Friday couldn’t dampen the numbers.

The projection would make the Gaslight Festival the second largest event turnout in Kentucky, second only to the State Fair.

With Kentucky’s COVID metrics some of the highest in the nation, Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf said that people would need to take personal responsibility for their safety.

“You can be as safe as you want to,” Dieruf said. “If you don’t feel safe, wait until next year and come see your friends.”

The festival had three main ways they tried to prevent COVID spread. They spaced the vendor booths slightly, placed hand sanitizer stations in high-traffic areas, and asked the vendors to wipe down surfaces frequently.

It will take time to tell if the measures worked, as COVID can take up to two weeks to show serious effects. Karem said finding a way to have the festival this year was important for community spirit.

“Gaslight Festival becomes that focal point,” Karem said. “That connecting point where they all get back together.”

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