Office for Globalization Newsroom

WorldFest One of Four Louisville Events Named Top 20

Wednesday July 1, 2009

International Culture, Art, Cars and Ideas recognized as unique, diverse and unparalleled events

The Southeast Tourism Society (STS) has chosen WorldFest, IdeaFestival, the Street Rods and St. James Court Art Show as four of the Top 20 Events in the summer and fall.

WorldFest has been held for the last seven years on Labor Day Weekend in downtown Louisville. With attendance of 100,000, WorldFest features Louisville’s largest collection of ethnic restaurants at one event. More than 20 food vendors offer their unique cuisines and cooking demonstrations September 4-6, 2009, while beverages offerings include the International Bier Garden and a sampling of wine, spirits and coffee. Traditionally, over 700 people take their oath of U.S. citizenship at a naturalization ceremony on Friday and Saturday is highlighted by the “Parade of Cultures.” During a period of economic challenge, the opportunity to experience, in a single location, the culture, entertainment and cuisine of dozens of nations from around the world is a great opportunity, value and attraction. For more information

Held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY August 6 - 9, 2009, the 40th Annual Street Rod Nationals will assemble over 11,000 of the finest examples of street rods (modernized vehicles of 1948 and earlier manufacture) with more than 30,000 people in attendance. A tradeshow with over 325 manufacturers and dealers is complimented by an arts & crafts area, vintage parts swap meet and first-class entertainment. Street Rod Nationals is the largest automotive participant event worldwide and is the second largest convention/tradeshow in Louisville with an estimated economic impact of $16 million. A previous Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event, more information is available at

IdeaFestival is a celebration of brainpower, imagination and the spirit of innovation that draws more than 12,000 people to Louisville September 23-26, 2009. Founded in 2000, the IdeaFestival is a world-class event that attracts leading and highly diverse thinkers from around the globe to explore and celebrate innovation and cutting-edge ideas. The IdeaFestival utilizes multiple venues to showcase and “connect” important ideas in science, arts, design, business, film, technology, education, etc. The Festival is designed to appeal to a broad cross-section of people – with presenters selected for their ideas, achievements, and ability to communicate to a wide-ranging audience. For more information

The St. James Court Art Show draws more than 300,000 people to the juried fine arts and crafts show produced by a consortium of five non-profit neighborhood associations in the Old Louisville neighborhood encompassing Belgravia Court, South Third Street, St. James Court and South Fourth Street and the West End Baptist Church. The art covers a wide range of mediums including, sculpture, painting, pottery, photography, clothing, glass, jewelry and more. All six of the show's sections run concurrently October 2-4, 2009 covering about three square city blocks. For more information

For a list of events happening in Louisville, a free Visitors Guide or to book discounted attractions tickets and hotel accommodations call 1-888-LOUISVILLE (1-888-568-4784) or visit Once in town stop by the Louisville Visitors Center at 4th & Jefferson Streets for advice, brochures, souvenirs, or to buy discounted attraction tickets.

Through a nomination process, Southeast Tourism Society chooses the Top 20 events for each month of the year from the most unique, diverse and unparalleled events across the Southeast region of the U.S. Requirements include attendance of 1,000+ and being in existence for three or more years. The list of the Top 20 events is published quarterly and are posted on the STS’s website at