5 Things Visitors Should Know About Louisville

How locals pronounce “Louisville”

Looavull, Luhvul, Lewisville, Looaville, Looeyville.  The city pokes fun at the many possibilities of how to say its name, but you’ll find most locals pronounce their town “Lou-a-vull,” though you’ll find a “Lou-a-ville” a common pronunciation.  Most folks will give you a pass, just don’t say “Lewisville.”  For most folks, it’s like nails on a chalkboard.

The meaning of Kentuckiana

While you’re in town, you may hear the word “Kentuckiana.”  It refers to the Greater Louisville Area, which includes North Central Kentucky and Southern Indiana.  You’ll hear the term widely used in the media and in conversation.  Towns included in Kentuckiana are Louisville, Elizabethtown, La Grange and Shelbyville in Kentucky, and Clarksville, Jeffersonville, New Albany and Corydon in Indiana.

College basketball is King

If the media coverage surrounding the 2012 NCAA Final Four game between the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky didn’t convince you people in Louisville live for college basketball, look no further than a local sports bar on game day.  It’s a way of life here.  People often say they bleed blue or red, based on their allegiance.  But you’ll find more than just Cards and Cats fans, there’s also a contingent of Indiana Hoosiers fans.  And don’t forget about the Women.  The Lady Cards were NCAA National Runnersup in 2009 and draw big crowds to the KFC Yum! Center.

The Kentucky Derby is more than just a two minute race, it’s a two week celebration

Thunder Over Louisville officially kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival two Saturdays before the Kentucky Derby.  It’s North America’s largest annual pyrotechnics show, as well as North America’s largest Air Show.  You’ll find an energy in the city as folks attend events like the Pegasus Parade, Great Steamboat Race, Bed Races, Great Balloon Race, Marathon/miniMarathon, and the Fest-A-Ville on the Waterfront that offers the Chow Wagon along with music and kids’ activities.  And though the Kentucky Derby Festival is technically two weeks long, you’ll find events like the Spring Fashion Show and Fillies Derby Ball outside of that timeframe.  The event even has its own royalty. If you’re planning a trip to the Kentucky Derby, it’s worth coming at least a few days early to get in on some of the action.

It’s Possibility City

Possibility City is more than just a slogan in Louisville.  It’s a way of life.  With companies like GE Appliance and Lighting, Ford, UPS Worldport, Yum! Brands, Papa John’s and Humana investing millions in the city and its workers, you can see innovation happening right before your eyes.  You’ll see inventions and product creations in the healthcare field from researchers from the University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital.  Eight people have received hand transplant in Louisville.

It’s the “Idea Capital of the World,” where imaginations and individuals thrive.  Louisville has produced some famous people.  From actors to authors to sports legends.  People like ABC’s World News Tonight anchor Diane Sawyer, actors Tom Cruise and Jennifer Lawrence once called Louisville home.  Sports legends include Muhammad Ali, jockey Pat Day,  Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Denny Crum, Heisman Trophy winner Paul Hornung, “Dr. Dunkenstein” Darrel Griffith.  Ready to rock?  Let My Morning Jacket or Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls sing you a tune. They’re all examples of how dreaming big in Louisville can lead to big success.