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Metro Parks Newsroom


Forest Fest celebrates Bluegrass music and nature May 20

Thursday May 4, 2006

Event includes 18-mile and 5K trail runs

Jefferson Memorial Forest’s second annual Forest Fest brings Bluegrass music, down-home cooking, guided hikes, trail races and activities for children to the Fairdale area on Saturday, May 20.  Forest Fest, presented by Fairdale Bulldog Cafe, celebrates the spectacular natural environment that can be found in the 6,000-acre Jefferson Memorial Forest, which is the nation’s largest municipal urban forest.  The free event takes place in the Forest’s Horine Section from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with trail races beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Forest Fest includes live music by four local Bluegrass bands: Stone Hollow, Hog Operation, Kentucky Sassafras and The Old Louisville Express.  Berk Bryant, WFPK Radio Louisville's "Country Gentleman," will emcee the concert.  Food will be available for purchase, including bratwurst and barbeque from the Fairdale Lions Club and ice cream from Ehrler’s.  Local wood workers will demonstrate their skills as part of a craft fair, and Radio Disney will partner with Metro Parks to offer a variety of fun activities for children, including a scavenger hunt and nature demonstrations with live animals.  The Forest’s Environmental Education Center will be open for families to explore exhibits featuring animals and plants native to the area.  Everyone who attends will have an opportunity to win a Martin DX-1 Rosewood Guitar provided by First Quality Music.

The 18-mile Couriers Du Bois Relay Run begins on Jefferson Memorial Forest’s Red Trail at 8 a.m.  Teams must register by May 16 at www.cherokeeroadrunners.org; the entry fee is $50 per team.  To ensure runners have a safe experience, the Couriers Du Bois is limited to 15 relay teams, each made up of two to four runners.

A 5K Forest Family Fun Run/Walk takes place near the Forest’s Horine Conference Center at 10:30 a.m.  Registration takes place on the day of the race beginning at 9:45 a.m., with an entry fee of $10 per family.  Winners are determined based on the time that each entire family crosses the finish line.

“Forest Fest is a perfect way to experience Jefferson Memorial Forest, which is one of our hometown’s real treasures,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson.  “If you’ve never been to the Forest before, I hope you’ll come explore all the wonderful hiking trails and nature education programs, while enjoying some great local music.”

Forest Fest is offered as a free public event thanks to financial support from the following Metro Council members: Rick Blackwell (D-12), Vicki Welch (D-13), Robert Henderson (D-14) and Madonna Flood (D-24).  Event sponsors include Fairdale Bulldog Cafe, Precision Built Homes, First Quality Music, Wal-Mart, Fairdale-McDaniel Funeral Home, Fairdale Pic Pac and Natural Health Center.  Additional support for Jefferson Memorial Forest comes from State Rep. Ron Weston (D-37).

“We are looking forward to the second annual Forest Fest,” said Metro Councilwoman Vicki Welch (D-13).  “We hope to expand on last year’s success with more crafts, more music and many more attendees.  Jefferson Memorial Forest is a great asset and we want more people to take advantage of what it has to offer.”

To reach Jefferson Memorial Forest from downtown Louisville, take I-65 south to the Gene Snyder Freeway (I-265) west.  Exit at New Cut Rd, turn left at the bottom of the ramp, and go south for one mile.  When you see a flashing overhead traffic signal, turn right onto Mitchell Hill Road, then follow signs to the Forest’s Horine Section on Holsclaw Hill Road.  For more information, call (502) 368-5404 or visit www.memorialforest.com.

Located just 15 miles from downtown Louisville, Jefferson Memorial Forest is a woodland tribute to those Kentucky veterans who have served our nation in time of war. Outdoor environmental and experiential education programs are offered at the Forest, providing learning opportunities for thousands of students and teachers annually. The Forest includes a full range of recreational amenities – including weekend nature education programs, hiking trails, camping, fishing, horseback riding trails and picnic areas – giving citizens the opportunity to experience nature at its most spectacular, without leaving the city.

Forest Fest Schedule
6:30 a.m. - Check-in begins for Couriers Du Bois Relay Run
8 a.m. - Couriers Du Bois Relay Run Begins
9:45 a.m. - Registration begins for 5K Forest Family Fun Run/Walk
10:30 a.m. - 5K Forest Family Fun Run/Walk 5K begins
11 a.m. - Booths and displays open to the public
noon - Concerts begin; food booth opens; games and crafts for children begin
noon - Live music: The Old Louisville Express
1:30 p.m. - Forest Scavenger hunt for families and children
1 p.m. - Live music: Kentucky Sassafras
2 p.m. - Live music: Stone Hollow
3 p.m. - Live music: The Old Louisville Express
4 p.m. - Live music: Hog Operation
5 p.m. - Live music: Kentucky Sassafras
6 p.m. - Live music: Stone Hollow
7 p.m. - Live music: Hog Operation