Juice Bowl tradition continues in 2022

Hundreds gathered at Shawnee Park in West Louisville for the annual Thanksgiving Juice Bowl.
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 5:48 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Thanksgiving tradition like no other in Louisville continued this year as Juice Bowl 2022 kicked off Thursday.

The annual event at Shawnee Park brings hundreds together for good food and football.

When it comes to Thanksgiving in West Louisville, some things just don’t ever change. You have your turkey, your favorites sides, your desert and since 1956, you have Juice Bowl.

The Juice Bowl is a historic West Louisville Thanksgiving staple and an event people from all over don’t want to miss.

”We get people from everywhere,” exclaimed Juice Bowl organizer Waddell Elliot. “Like I was telling somebody earlier that I’ve had people calling me from Tennessee, Georgia and everywhere else asking are y’all having the Juice Bowl.”

But why is it such an attraction? Well according to people like Indiana resident Daniel Ray, who have been going for years, the Juice Bowl serves as a reunion.

”It’s just a great time. I see friends and people I know that I see once a year out of the year. So that’s about it,” said Ray.

And for those who have lived in the west end their whole lives, the Juice Bowl is summed up by one word, tradition.

”I’ve been coming here since I was eleven or twelve years old and I’m well over that now and I’m still here. Thank God for that,” said Mama Sherry’s Kool Treats and More owner Sherry Jones.

Jones has gone from a faithful attendee to a vendor selling treats out of her food truck. And although this year’s event was missing the kids game, Jones says she’s happy to be there and be around her people.

”I know a lot of people from the West end so when I come down here I expect to see people I haven’t seen in years,” Jones said. I don’t watch football but I do like looking at the people.”

The event proved to be a beautiful day and an even better occasion to look forward to each and every year.

”Just being out and about enjoying the holidays before going back home to watch football and eat,” Ray said.

Elliot says he’s going to make sure the kids game is back in action in 2023 and they hope to keep the tradition alive for another 66 years.