The Buy Local Fair continues to grow. | Courtesy of LIBA
The Buy Local Fair continues to grow. | Courtesy of LIBA

More than 200 booths representing local businesses and organizations will once again gather at the Louisville Water Tower for the eighth annual Buy Local Fair on Sunday, May 22. Last year, more than 8,000 people attended the event, which is hosted by the Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA).

The all-day event also features live music, a cooking competition, silent auction, kids’ area, food, drinks and even an adults-only lounge called The Back Porch that’ll tout bourbon, brandy, beer and cigars. The entertainment schedule is listed below, and the cooking competition this year will feature Shawn Ward of Ward 426 and Patrick Roney of Harvest who’ll compete in an “Iron Chef”-style cook-off. They’ll be given mystery ingredients and have 30 minutes to create an appetizing dish for judges.

New this year is LIBA’s goal of making the Buy Local Fair the most environmentally responsible one yet. They’ll be composting waste, serving only 100 percent compostable beer cups and selling absolutely no water bottles. You’re encouraged to bring your own reusable water bottle (or buy one for $2) and fill up at Louisville Water Co. booths for free.

The mission of the event is to bring local business together and celebrate locally owned, independent organizations. (Insider Louisville will have a booth, so stop by to say “hello”!) According to the LIBA press release, “By bringing together customers of various businesses, farms, craftspeople and bands unique to the Louisville-area, we expose a variety of endeavors to new audiences and increase business for all.”

The Buy Local Fair runs from noon-6 p.m. at the Water Tower, 3005 River Road, on Sunday, May 22. Admission is free, but it’ll cost you $5 to park your car. (Bikes are encouraged.)

2016 Entertainment Schedule:

  • Noon — CirqueLouis
  • 12:30 p.m. — 502 Stringband
  • 1:45 p.m. — Turners Circus
  • 2:30 p.m. — SIREN
  • 3:45 p.m. — Turners Circus
  • 4 p.m. — Cooking Competition
  • 5 p.m. — SIREN

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog (barbelleblog.com) daily. She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."


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