New Yearâ€™s is a time for renewal, for celebrating what has come to pass and for looking with hope toward the future. Seemingly in the blink of an eye, 2015 has come and gone. In that blink, however, many events transpired with both local and national implications. From the opening of the Lincoln Bridge to the first Triple Crown-winner in over 30 years, 2015 was another year of infinite possibility for the Possibility City. To remind our readers of some of these exciting events, The Voice-Tribune has compiled a list of some of our favorite moments of 2015.
We here at The Voice-Tribune kicked off the year in a big way! Starting with the first issue of 2015, we switched our format from a traditional newspaper to a sleeker design for our weekly publication. Then, in September, we published the first issue of Modern Louisville, the cityâ€™s leading LGBTQ magazine! We are proud of what we have accomplished this year, and we know we couldnâ€™t do it without our outstanding advertisers and you, our readers. For that, thank you! This was an incredible year for Blue Equity Publishing, and we canâ€™t wait to see what 2016 brings.
Louisville City Football Club Kicks Off
Not everyone thought a soccer team in Louisville would be a hit. Well, those who didnâ€™t were proved undeniably wrong this year as Louisville City Football Club, which started its season in March 2015 as Louisvilleâ€™s professional soccer team, took the city by storm. The team plays in the United Soccer League and ended its season with a 14-8-6 record on October 10. Captain and forward Matt Fondy was recently named United Soccer Leagueâ€™s Most Valuable Player, and Bryan Burke was named Defender of the Year. Furthermore, attendance to the home games at Louisville Slugger Field only increased with each and every game, making 2015 a year that will go down in history as Louisville proved its love, dedication and admiration for a sport not-so-common in the Bluegrass.
Actors Theatre of Louisvilleâ€™s annual Humana Festival of New American Plays is known for producing cutting-edge work every spring, and 2015 was no different. In fact, the Actors-commissioned play â€œThe Glory of the World,â€ written by renowned playwright Charles Mee, garnered so much attention and acclaim that it is now set to play a three-week engagement at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York January 21-February 6, 2016. The run will feature the original cast, again led by director Les Waters. The fact that the show is getting a run in NYC only once again confirms on a national level that Louisville is an exceptionally well-rounded city with an arts movement that is absolutely enviable.
UK Basketball Goes 38-1
Never has a loss been so devastating. After a 38-0 season, the Wildcats fell to Wisconsin in the NCAA Final Four, bringing the final season record to 38-1, a figure so horrifically close to perfection that the one and only loss blemishes it in a way only such ultimate defeat can. Over the course of their season, the Cats toppled Louisville by eight, Kansas by 32 and both West Virginia and UCLA by 39. In a series of games led by the Harrison twins, William Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns, it was the first undefeated season by a major conference team since the Indiana Hoosiers in 1976. Despite the single loss, it was an absolutely incredible run and a season that certainly will be remembered and celebrated forever.
Over the last few years, Louisville has rapidly developed a reputation as a foodie city, but this year, the growth seemed especially palpable. USA Today named Louisville No. 2 on its list of the countryâ€™s Best Local Food Scenes as chosen by a panel of experts and its readers. And that ranking is certainly well-deserved. 2015 alone saw the introduction of such astounding and diverse eateries as the unstoppable Joellaâ€™s Hot Chicken, the contemporary Butchertown Grocery, the innovative Artesano, the quirky Fontleroyâ€™s and the elegant Le Moo, just to name a few. If 2015 was any indication, it looks like 2016 will be even better, much to the delight of locals and out-of-towners alike.
American Pharoah Triumphs
Rarely is a yearâ€™s most memorable figure in sports not a human. However, 2015 was indisputably the year of the unparalleled race horse American Pharoah. The Thoroughbred dazzled fans early, easily winning the Kentucky Derby in May 2015, but it was his following victories at the Preakness and Belmont Stakes that made him a true legend as he became the first winner of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing since 1978. The Bob Baffert-trained horse is now retired but nonetheless left an indelible impression on anyone and everyone as he gave spectators a sight to see that is truly once in a lifetime.
It was a moment that was a long time coming and saw couples of any orientation rejoice, weddings finally start to get planned and Facebook profile pictures receive rainbow overlays. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled to federally legalize same-sex marriage. Though the conversation has been on the forefront of the nationâ€™s social issues for years, things came to a head when several lawsuits from different states across the country â€“ including Kentucky â€“ came together in the form of Obergefell v. Hodges and argued before the Supreme Court. Not only was it a victory for love across the U.S. when the decision was made, but, subsequently, Louisville was named by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the Nine Perfect Places for Your LGBT Destination Wedding!
Louisville Ballet Receives $1 Million Donation
Itâ€™s not every day that the Louisville Ballet wakes up to receive word that they have been given a $1 million anonymous donation. However, that was just the scene in mid-August 2015. The donation, which, understandably, made headlines, came with the expressed condition that it must be used to support the artistic vision of the Ballet. So now, under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Curran, the company may go forward producing ballets that live up its magnificent standards without fretting over the budget. And if this seasonâ€™s â€œCoppÃ©liaâ€ is any indication, 2016 will bring ballet that only further enriches the cityâ€™s cultural landscape.
Jewish Community Center Turns 125
The Jewish Community Center on Dutchmans Lane is an incredibly important place for the community. Open to those of any religious affiliation, the center provides an important gathering place for Louisvillians and offers world-class theatre, a state-of-the-art fitness facility and a host of classes, workshops and meeting groups. This year, the JCC turned 125 and celebrated with the aptly named 125 Festival on August 23, 2015. Guests were engaged throughout the day with 125 things to do, and all were reminded of the JCCâ€™s cultural significance and local importance.
Jennifer Lawrence Gets a Hometown Hero Banner
On Sunday, September 27, 2015, the west side of The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts got a whole lot prettier. That was the day the 30-by-40-foot poster of Jennifer Lawrence with the proclamation â€œJenniferâ€™s Louisvilleâ€ was unveiled. With her new Hometown Hero banner, Lawrence joins the likes of other Louisville greats such as Muhammad Ali, Colonel Sanders and Diane Sawyer, all of whom also have posters scattered about the city. But this one has an especially cool genesis story; Lawrenceâ€™s banner was sponsored by â€œLawrenceâ€™s Ladies,â€ a group of North Oldham Middle and High School students. Zoe Kuhn, along with her friends and fellow J-Law supporters, created a GoFundMe.com page to raise the $10,000 needed for the banner. By sharing the page, the group raised the necessary funds and solidified Lawrenceâ€™s rightful place among Louisville superstars.
Lincoln Bridge Opens
We can unanimously admit that the construction that has consumed Louisville for the last â€“ decade? sure seems like it â€“ has been a pain in the neck. But finally, near the end of 2015, the city started to see some payoff and boy, was it worth it. The new Abraham Lincoln Bridge opened to vehicles on December 6, 2015. The bridge is lustrously metropolitan and certainly indicative of Louisvilleâ€™s modern development. The approaches to and from the Clark Memorial Bridge have also opened and promise a future where heavy Louisville congestion is a thing of the past.