Thousands flock to Louisville for busy weekend

Thousands of people are arriving in Louisville this weekend, and it’s not for the Derby. Several big events have local businesses filled to capacity.
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 10:50 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Thousands of people are arriving in Louisville this weekend, and it’s not for the Derby. Several big events have local businesses filled to capacity.

UofL football, Bourbon and Beyond and the September Meet at Churchill Downs are all on the same weekend.

If you’ve gone downtown, near the expo center, or Churchill Downs, you’ve probably noticed a lot of extra traffic.

That’s because this weekend, the city is alive with locals and visitors.

“Going into this weekend knowing that downtown is already at 93%, that’s a pretty big deal,” Stacey Yates at Louisville Tourism said on Tuesday.

Hotels were booked weeks in advance, and just walking downtown you can tell.

“Lot of people here,” Luther Hill said. “We were actually talking to some guests talking about how the city seems like it’s kind of picking back up, revitalizing downtown area’s getting real heavy, real good. Really busy again, so that’s really good for the city and everybody around.”

Hill works at a hotel downtown. He says it’s been busy since Thursday, which is when Bourbon and Beyond and the September Meet started.

But on Friday, things really picked up.

“Restaurants are kind of jumping and flowing, everybody’s getting kind of ready for everything that’s kind of going on tonight, so there’s definitely a lot of hustle and bustle going on tonight,” Hill said.

The big event Friday night, the first UofL home football game.

“I’ve seen a lot of people walking around with Florida State stuff on, UofL stuff on,” Hill said.

People have been tailgating since early Friday morning, all the way until kick off.

Fans on both sides had something to look forward to.

“The Cards smashing the Seminoles,” said Cardinals fan Dave Parks.

“The ‘Noles to put it on them,” said Florida State fan Steve Heitzman.

Heitzman traveled from Florida to cheer on the Seminoles. It’s his second in Louisville, and he picked the perfect weekend for it.

“I got Cards, he’s got ‘Noles, but that’s okay,” said Heitzman as he hugs his best friend from high school.

If you miss some of the fun, don’t worry. You’ll get another chance when Louder Than Life comes to town September 22-25.