It’s that time of year when the Louisville Zoo transforms into a storybook land and a photo opportunity is waiting around every corner during the Zoo’s “World’s Largest Halloween Party!” presented by Meijer. This year the Zoo celebrates its 36th year of the popular party on October 5–8, 12–15, 19–22, & 26–29, 2017
Tickets are now on sale.
Children can dress up in their wildest costumes and set off on a magical journey through the Zoo.
The Party features costumed characters for guests to meet and greet in fanciful, larger-than-life storybook scenes. Trick-or-treating is offered for kids 11 and under. In an effort to be “green,” the Zoo requests that children bring their own trick-or-treat bag to the event. The Zoo will not provide bags, but reusable cloth bags will be available for purchase for $2 in the Zoo’s gift shop whiles supplies last.
Louisville pumpkin carving artist Donna O’Bryan will have her beautifully carved artificial pumpkins on display nightly in the Glacier Run Black Cat Crossing area with cutout themes ranging from iconic movie characters to famous stars.
Fun themed areas include: Continue reading
The American Bus Association’s (ABA) Destinations magazine has chosen both the Belle of Louisville and the Muhammad Ali Center as a “Best of the Best Travel Supplier in 2017.” The Belle and the Ali Center are two of 42 winners that make up top hotels, theatres, museums, festivals, shopping experiences, and more across North America.
The Belle of Louisville was named a winner in the Travel: Poetry in Motion category. The Belle is the oldest operating Mississippi-style steamboat in the world. It celebrated its Centennial birthday in 2014, and welcomed nearly 4,000 motorcoach visitors in 2016. The Belle is one of the most popular group-friendly attractions in the city.
The Muhammad Ali Center celebrates the life and legacy of the world-class boxer and global humanitarian who was born and raised in Louisville. The Center took honors in the Museums: Not Your Everyday Gallery category. Since its opening in 2005, the Ali Center has proven to be a popular itinerary stop for all types of group travel.
Two Southern Indiana tourism partners were also recognized on this year’s list. Schimpff’s Confectionary in Jeffersonville, Ind., was named one of the best in the Shopping: Delicious Delectable category. The Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site in New Albany, Ind., was named in the Historic Landmarks: History is Fun category.
Derby Dinner Playhouse, located in Clarksville, Ind., was named to the list last year.
Destinations is the official publication of ABA, and its annual ‘Best of the Best List” Awards are determined based on evaluation of sites nominated by members of the 90-year-old organization, though the sites themselves do not have to be members. All the winners have been published in a special section of the magazine’s September/October issue, which will be available online for a full year.
ABA is a trade association for motorcoach operators and tour companies in the U.S. and Canada. Every year, the association provides more than 600 million passenger trips on charters, tours, and shuttles. Its members include motorcoach operators, tour operators, tourism organizations, as well as product and service suppliers.
Louisville hosted ABA’s Annual Marketplace in 2016. It will once again host ABA Marketplace in January 2019.
Work will get underway during the second week of September on a $630,000 package of safety improvements for a section of Lexington Road. The segment between Payne Street and Grinstead Drive will be converted from the current design of two travel lanes in each direction to one travel lane in each direction plus dedicated turn lanes.
The new configuration is intended to improve traffic flow and reduce accidents as previously demonstrated by similar projects across Louisville. The road will be repaved and buffered bike lanes will be added on both sides. Drainage will also be improved.
The project is part of the 2015 Lexington Road Corridor Transportation Plan and the broader Move Louisville multi-modal transportation plan that seeks to improve all facets of the city’s transportation network for all of its users. Learn more about the Lexington Road Safety Project.
Mayor Greg Fischer today helped launch the 2017 edition of the Pothole Blitz conducted annually by Metro Public Works. During the blitz, to recover from damage caused by the multiple freeze/thaw cycles of winter, Public Works crews go through the city’s streets in a grid pattern patching potholes until all roads are covered.
Mayor Fischer noted that the number of potholes is expected to continue a decline begun last year thanks to increased investment in paving and consecutive mild winters. Potholes peaked at 171,000 in 2015 following years of deferred road maintenance and a rough winter. But they are expected to total less than 50,000 in 2017.
The Mayor and Metro Council boosted spending on paving from just $2.8 million in 2014 up to $20.9 million in 2016. As a result, the number of miles paved increased from 26 in 2014 to 131 in 2016. Newly repaved roads are less susceptible to the formation of potholes.
Also this year, Public Works is adding $250,000 worth of new equipment that will help patch potholes faster and more effectively. For instance, vibrating walk-behind plate compactors are replacing handheld compactors to do a better job of pressing newly laid asphalt into place.
Mayor Fischer urged citizens to participate in the blitz by reporting potholes to MetroCall in one of three easy ways. Those using the social network Twitter can use the hashtag 502pothole. Include the hashtag along with the address or nearest intersection of the pothole location in any tweet, and MetroCall will get the message.
The same goes for a pothole reporting form that can be found at the top of the city website, Louisvilleky.gov. Click on the “Report a pothole” link, put in the location information and press send. “We believe government works best in collaboration with citizens,” the Mayor said. “The Twitter and website reporting tools are just another way to make city government even more responsive and easy to work with.” People can also call MetroCall at 311 or 574-5000. The 502pothole hashtag and the online form offer the advantage of avoiding the potential for having to wait on hold on the telephone.
Public Works patches potholes on Metro Government maintained roads. Potholes on interstate highways should be reported to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet at 1-877-For-KYTC (367-5982).
Featuring the Commonwealth’s expansive waterways, Kentucky’s new road maps will create quite a splash in the upcoming travel season.
The 2017 Official Highway Map – now available at rest areas, welcome centers, local convention and tourism offices and all Kentucky state parks– provides more than directions for its readers.
This year’s map highlights the wealth of recreation and relaxation opportunities presented by “Kentucky’s Great Lakes.” Known internationally for its scenic lakeside shorelines, Kentucky’s vast lake system offers over 360,000 acres for individuals to play and unwind.
The 2017 highway map also celebrates the quasquibicentennial, or the 225th anniversary, of the Commonwealth’s statehood. Founded in 1792, Kentucky boasts a rich history with an exciting, prosperous future.
In his invitation to visit and explore all that Kentucky has to offer, Governor Matt Bevin spoke of the 225 years of memories captured in the Commonwealth.
“Kentucky travelers have long enjoyed the endless opportunities awaiting them along the Commonwealth’s highways and byways,” said Gov. Bevin. “As we celebrate our 225th anniversary this year, we invite residents and visitors alike, to join the fun in exploring all the Bluegrass State has to offer. We extend a warm Kentucky welcome to all who seek arts, history, culture, discovery and adventure—from our western waterlands to our eastern mountains, and all points in between. Thank you for exploring the most beautiful state in America!”
Published annually, the highway map highlights popular travel destinations:
For individuals with an artistic flair, the map features stopovers like Covington and Somerset where budding artists can get a “behind the scenes” look as artisans demonstrate their craft and bring their ideas to life. For adventurists with a bent toward hiking, bicycling or horseback riding, the map details numerous Kentucky trail towns and pathways ready to be explored. Continue reading
Drivers traveling in Louisville and Southern Indiana need to prepare for the start of tolling on three Ohio River bridges. Tolling on the Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project is scheduled to begin Friday, December 30.
Tolled bridges include the two I-65 bridges connecting Downtown Louisville and Southern Indiana, the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge and the improved John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge. The new East End bridge connecting the Gene Snyder Freeway in Prospect, Ky. with State Road 265 in Utica, Ind. will also be tolled.
RiverLink is the name of the new, all-electronic tolling system that makes the project possible. There’s no stopping, no slowing, no lines and no coin machines. Toll rates range from $2-$12, depending on the size of vehicle and whether the driver has a RiverLink account and transponder.
Drivers with transponders will pay the lowest toll rates. Drivers can set up a prepaid RiverLink account to get a transponder. All E-ZPass transponders, including the I-PASS from Illinois and the Indiana Toll Road E-ZPass, will work with the RiverLink system. No further action is necessary.
Drivers without transponders will get bills in the mail, and pay higher toll rates. Drivers who do not pay their tolls will be charged a penalty and may face restrictions on vehicle registration until tolls and penalties are paid.
Opening a RiverLink Account
Drivers can open a personal account online at www.RiverLink.com, by phone at 855-RIV-LINK or in person at one of two RiverLink customer service centers. A personal account can include up to four vehicles, with a minimum balance of $20 to open the account. The account balance rolls over month to month.
The fastest way to open a RiverLink personal account is online. The website is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week with no wait. Transponders will be mailed to account holders, free of charge.
For businesses with more than four vehicles, the fastest and easiest way to open an account is by calling a specialized customer service representative at 855-RIV-LINK.
Choice of Transponders
A RiverLink local transponder is free, one per registered vehicle. The small sticker adheres to the inside of windshield, is non-transferable and will work only on tolled bridges between Louisville and Southern Indiana.
A RiverLink E-ZPass transponder is $15 per transponder. It’s mounted on the inside of the windshield, is portable from vehicle to vehicle registered to a single account and works in all 16 E-ZPass states (https://e-zpassiag.com/about-e-zpass/where-can-i-use-it).
The I-64 (Sherman Minton) and the US 31/Second Street (Clark Memorial) bridges across the Ohio River will not be tolled in connection with the project. Find more information at www.RiverLink.com.
The Louisville – Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project includes two new bridges and their approaches, an improved Kennedy Bridge and reconstruction of the Kennedy Interchange, where I-65, I-64 and I-71 come together in downtown Louisville. The new Abraham Lincoln Bridge carries six lanes of I-65 northbound traffic. The improved Kennedy Bridge carries six lanes of southbound traffic. The new East End bridge will connect the Gene Snyder Freeway in Prospect, Ky. with State Road 265 (Lee Hamilton Highway) in Utica, Ind.
Find more details on the Ohio River Bridges Project at www.kyinbridges.com.
Nominations of 14 sites to the National Register of Historical Places, and a research project documenting a new statewide context to evaluate future submissions, were recommended for approval by the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board during a meeting Monday in Frankfort. Approved submissions will now be forwarded to the National Park Service (NPS) for final determination of eligibility, a process that generally takes 60 to 90 days.
The review board is charged with evaluating National Register nominations from Kentucky prior to their submission to NPS. The Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC) administers the National Register program in Kentucky and provides administrative support to the board.
Nominations approved Monday are Columbia Commercial District; the Bold House, Foster; Doyle Country Club, near Dayton; the V.W. Bush Warehouse/Sphar Building, Winchester; Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, Haury Motor Company Garage and Whiskey Row Historic District (additional documentation), Metro Louisville; Waveland, near Nicholasville; the Kentucky Hydroelectric Project, Grand Rivers; Paducah City Hall; Rowan County Courthouse; the Scearce-Roush House, Simpsonville; the J.D. Dodson House, Bowling Green; and Old Taylor Historic District, Millville. (See photos, l-r, above.)
Additionally, a research project establishing a historic context for evaluating future National Register submissions within the “Kentucky LGBTQ Historic Context Narrative” will be submitted for approval.
Listings that have been added to the National Register from Kentucky since the last review board meeting in May are Harlan Hubbard Studio, Fort Thomas; Edgewood, Fayette County; New Castle Historic District; Shawnee Steam Plant, Paducah; Johnson’s Landing House & Farm, and Woodland, Oldham County; Elks Athletic Club (additional documentation), Wood F. Afton Hall at Simmons University, E.L. Hughes Company Building and Seventh Street School, Metro Louisville; the Jonathan Bush House, and Jonathan Bush Mill, along Lower Howard’s Creek near Winchester; and a Multiple Property Nomination for “Kentucky State Tuberculosis Hospitals, 1946-1950” along with individual nominations for the London and Madisonville tuberculosis hospitals.
The National Register is the nation’s official list of historic and archaeological resources deemed worthy of preservation. Kentucky has the fourth-highest number of listings among states, with more than 3,400. Listing can be applied to buildings, objects, structures, districts and archaeological sites, and proposed sites must be significant in architecture, engineering, American history or culture.
Owners of National Register properties may qualify for state and/or federal tax credits for rehabilitation of these properties to standards set forth by the Secretary of the Interior, as certified by the Kentucky Heritage Council, or for making a charitable contribution of a preservation easement. National Register status does not affect property ownership rights, but does provide a measure of protection against adverse impacts from federally funded projects.
A meeting agenda and detailed nominations with high-resolution photos of all the proposed and recently listed sites are available at www.heritage.ky.gov/natreg/. The next review board meeting will take place in May 2017.