Spotlight on Buy Local Fair

Photo by Tim Valentino.

This Sunday, the Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA) will be hosting the ninth annual Buy Local Fair at Louisville Water Tower Park from noon to 6 p.m. The afternoon is always a much anticipated event as it shines a spotlight on the eclectic and diverse businesses that make Louisville’s cultural identity so wonderfully unique. To learn more about this year’s event, we spoke with LIBA Executive Director Jennifer Rubenstein.

What is the Buy Local Fair?

This is the ninth annual Buy Local Fair, which grew from very humble beginnings to the major event it is today. It features 180+ local shops, artists, services, farmers, restaurants and libations, plus live music, a Kids Area, craft cocktail competition and live cooking competition – and more.

What can guests expect at the event?

A truly enjoyable afternoon with friends and family, where something can be found for all while also making an important impact on our community. Shopping is of course a major attraction (and there are so many unique items to choose from!), but with the live music, excellent food and drink, Kids Zone and Back Porch (for the adults), it’s easy to make a day of it. 

Why is the event important for the Louisville Independent Business Alliance and the greater community?

Our mission is to educate the public about the impact of buying local, so what better way than to bring our local businesses together with thousands of Louisvillians who are ready to buy!

How has the event grown over the years?

The event was started with just 10 or 15 businesses as a partnership with Louisville Visual Art and Grasshoppers. Over the years, LIBA has grown in membership (over 900 members now), and so has the Fair. Various components have been added every year. This year, we’re adding a Cocktail Competition. Patrons will be able to purchase a $5 flight of samples then vote for their favorite. We now estimate 8,000 people attend the Fair.

What impact do you think LIBA as a whole has on the community?

There are two major ways (along with countless others) that buying local impacts our community. First, it keeps more money circulating locally. A study conducted in Louisville showed that for every $100 spent, $55 remains circulating when spent at a local, independent business (whereas only $14 when spent with a chain). But also, when you support local businesses, you support the places that give our city its sense of place – keeping it unique and weird! These businesses can’t be found anywhere besides our home sweet home.

Is it too late to get tickets?

No tickets needed! Bicycles are free, and parking is $5 per carload. Come one, come all! VT

LIBA Buy Local Fair

Sunday, May 21

Noon-6 p.m.

Louisville Water Tower Park

Free, $5 to park