Louisville tourism officials expect big weekend with College GameDay, Pride Festival and more

Louisville tourism officials expect big weekend with College GameDay, Pride Festival and more

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Tens of thousands of football fans will packing into Papa John‘s Cardinal Stadium on Saturday for the University of Louisville’s home opener, but that is just one of many large events taking place this weekend.

Nearly 50,000 people could be expected on Bardstown Road in the Highlands on Saturday for the annual Louisville Pride Festival. Local businesses are already getting ready for the crowds. A weekend forecast of mostly sunny skies with temperatures in the low 80s could bring in an even bigger crowd. 

“Here in Louisville, we have great weekends … some in the beginning of May and some at the end of September/early October,” said Doug Turner, the manager of Dragon King’s Daughter, which will be front and center during the festival.

“[We’re] bringing in the staff, making sure that we’re prepared for it and looking forward to everybody coming in to show the community.”

Bardstown Road from Grinstead Drive to Beechwood Avenue will be closed from Saturday morning to early Sunday morning for the festival.

Organizers of the festival said the timing is perfect to benefit from another huge event on the same day just a couple miles away: the Louisville-Clemson football game.

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“If we’re doing it on a big event day where there’s lots of people in town that maybe wouldn’t typically be … it’s just opportunity for us to expand,” said Louisville Pride Foundation member Jessica Bellamy.

Tourism officials are not sure yet how much money the events could bring into the city but said most hotels are sold out or near capacity.

“To have these big shots in the arms for the community is great,” said Louisville Convention Bureau President Karen Williams. “It’s heads in beds, people in restaurants, people walking around all over the city. So it’s big.”

The Kentucky Exposition Center will also be hosting a convention for more than 16,000 people, and Louisville’s Bryson Tiller will be performing at the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday as well.

The next three weekends will continue to be busy for the city of Louisville with three consecutive U of L home games, concerts at the KFC Yum! Center, the Bourbon and Beyond Festival and the Louder than Life Concert at Champions Park.

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