I love to experience new places & meet new people. Getting lost in a city & discovering that hole in the wall spot where all the locals hang is a thrill! I adore digging in to discover what people love about where they live & taking in all I can. But, no matter how amazing the trip, I always look forward to coming home.

Louisville is special.

We have this perfect blend of Southern hospitality & small-town charm, mixed with the amenities & energy of a big city. We are fiercely loyal to local business & champion start-ups of every kind, from music to brews & beyond. We’re also super fun folks if I do say so myself.

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It was incredible to be out & about in our city for the second week of Derby Festival events, meeting people from across the globe who had come to see what we have to offer. Watching strangers fall in love with our home reminded me of the second big reason I love Derby…

Derby celebrates us!

Derby gives us a chance to show off our awesomeness. With all eyes watching, we have the opportunity to celebrate ourselves & invite others into the party (that we live in year-round).

On Wednesday of last week, I ventured to the Waterfront look-out to take in the Great Steamboat Race & the KDF Beer Fest. Multiple tents of people, accents abounding, toasting life & love & other mysteries with tiny steins of our regions finest beers. From sours to stouts, each brewmaster & crew eagerly shared their creations & all the details of what made them special. As it happened, the resounding majority of yummy sounds & long lines came from the breweries based in the Bluegrass. From Against the Grain downtown, to Great Flood in the Highlands, Louisville beers were kings of the tastings!

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I have no connection to any brewery in town (unless you count frequent patronage at Gravely) but I swelled with pride as I talked with three guys from Ireland who couldn’t get over the smooth cocoa/coffee undertones of the Goodwood Bourbon Barrel Ale…made right down the street from my office in NuLu.

If that wasn’t enough, on Thursday of this past week I joined one of my oldest friends & her family for the Pegasus Parade on Broadway. We parked our chairs near the start of the route & busted out the snacks. About an hour in I shrieked & ran to the curb. Dancing down the street were non-other than the 610 Stompers, the premier men’s walking krewe from New Orleans, LA…my other heart home.

These guys are the real deal & everyone who’s anyone wants them in their parade or at their event. (#ordinarymenextraordinarymoves) They’ve done Macy’s at Thanksgiving if that tells you anything. And here they were in The Ville!

I got the attention of one of the Stompers, told him I paraded with a krewe at Mardi Gras, & welcomed him to Louisville. His response was fabulous…

“WE FREAKING LOVE THIS TOWN!” (Only he did not say freaking. LOL)

Having a top-shelf liaison from the Big Easy say that they f-ing love our city is high praise, Y’all! Trust me…New Orleanians live it up, really believe they have the best city in the world, & don’t pass out compliments to other places lightly.

Derby celebrates us!

It’s true that we have our issues. What city doesn’t? But amidst the frustrations of infrastructure, state pension crises, education debates, & so on, we really do have a plethora of reasons to step back, smile & celebrate the greatness of our home.

I believe that when we reflect on the good things we build a foundation of gratitude that can sustain us through the struggles & fuel us to make our home even better.

So next year, when all eyes are on us, we will be even better than we are today.

Derby Celebrates US! And people, we are worth celebrating.

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