Three years ago, when members of the East Downtown Business Association sought to rebrand the East Market Street neighborhood, they settled on a nameÂ that embodied the literal and metaphysical transformations of the neighborhood. And, thus, NuLu â€“ new Louisville â€“ was born.
â€œItâ€™s a local food center, itâ€™s a sustainability hub, itâ€™s a creative public space, itâ€™s a start up,â€ said Gill Holland, co-developer of The Green Building. â€œWeâ€™re like an open source environment. At the end of the day, we want to be the coolest, most sustainabile, most creative heart-and-soul district in the entire Midwest slash Upper South slash Lower Northeast.â€
Holland and his fellow residents hope to showcase the neighborhood this weekend at NuLu Fest, the official IdeaFestival after-party.
â€œ(Itâ€™s) a celebration of the NuLu neighborhood, and the festival is kind of just a way for us to really show it off, and get people down here to see how fun it is, see what there is to offer,â€ explained NuLu Fest Committee Chair Ina Miller. â€œIt gives (attendees) a taste of the neighborhood, and thatâ€™s the whole purpose of it.â€
Now in its fourth year, the event has partnered with the Louisville Beer Store, which will offer 16 different varieties of brew. Booths will line the 700 block of East Market Street from 2 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22. Visitors can peruse an eclectic variety of art, jewelry, information and food from local area businesses and restaurants. The family-friendly event will even offer a special kidsâ€™ section, complete with face painting, duck ponds and a bubble truck, to ensure that everyone has a great time.
A diverse lineup of six bands and artists â€“ from Louisvilleâ€™s own Leigh Ann Yost to Russian guitarist Misha Feigin â€“ will take the stage beginning at 4 p.m. Music fans voted online to see their favorite local group perform at NuLu Fest, and the crowd-chosen favorite, Jake Parker Band, will deliver a lively mix of rock nâ€™ roll covers and originals. Nerves Junior, an adventurous, experimental garage rock and pop band, will headline.
Last year, more than 3,000 people attended Nulu Fest. This time around, organizers expect at least 5,000 throughout the day.
â€œ(The festival has) really grown more and more, and I think that itâ€™s going to continue to grow,â€ Miller predicted. â€œAnd I think that people should be proud to have a neighborhood like this.â€
Nulu Fest will take place Sept. 22 from 2 to 11 p.m., in the 700 block of East Market Street. The event is family-friendly, free and open to the public. For more information visit www.nulufest.com.