It’s hard to believe it’s already August. Luckily, Louisville offers plenty of events this month that’ll help make this summer one for the books. From live music to festivals and a 5K, here are the top events and happenings in August. Enjoy!

12 Louisville Events & Happenings: August 2021

Through August 15, 2021: Shakespeare Festival in Central Park

Through Sunday, August 15, shake up your summer with the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. Enjoy food trucks, a great play under the stars, and nightly pre-show performances. All performances are held in Old Louisville’s Central Park at the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheatre. Food trucks start at 6 p.m., and the free performances begin at 8 p.m. This is the ideal low-cost date night or family outing. kyshakespeare.com

August 7, 2021: Made Market — Louisville Summer Market

Experience Louisville’s finest handmade market with more than 70 local and regional makers at the Mellwood Art Center. Get ready to shop ’til you drop with your friends as you enjoy food and drinks at the summer Made Market. The event is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free to attend. mademkt.com

August 7, 2021: Splash ‘n’ Dash Walk/Run

Prepare to get soaked at the Splash ‘n’ Dash Walk/Run, where participants make their way through a course filled with water obstacles at Waterfront Park. If you’d rather join from a distance, you can participate virtually at a course of your choosing. The 5K begins at 8:30 a.m. or 9:30 a.m., and the 1K begins at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., or 11 a.m. Registration begins at $20 for kids (ages 5-17) and $25 for adults. Proceeds benefit Norton Children’s Hospital. nortonchildrens.com

August 13 & 14, 2021: The 172nd Annual Picnic at St. Joseph Children’s Home

This annual fundraiser has become a beloved local tradition for 172 years. Each August, friends and family gather at St. Joseph’s Children’s Home to enjoy fried chicken dinners, live music, and games to support St. Joe’s mission of “Giving Children a Home.” The fundraiser is a two-night event on Friday, August 13, and Saturday, August 14, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets for all food and activities can be purchased in advance, or you can buy tickets at any ticket booth on the day of the event. sjkids.org

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August 19 – 29, 2021: Kentucky State Fair

It’s time to celebrate all things Kentucky at the Kentucky State Fair. The 11-day festival celebrates local and statewide heritage with blue ribbon competitions and special exhibits. Don’t forget the concerts and carnival rides, too. Tickets are available online at a discounted price of $8 until Thursday, August 5. Otherwise, tickets are $10 at the gate. kystatefair.org

August 21, 2021: Tuxes & Tails Gala

Grab your tickets for the Kentucky Humane Society’s 27th Annual Tuxes & Tails Gala at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. Enjoy a night full of fun, food, and other entertaining surprises from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. This year’s theme is “Woofstock,” so be sure to grab your hippy beads and bell-bottoms. Individual tickets are $250, and all proceeds benefit the dogs, cats, and horses of the Kentucky Humane Society. There is also an option to attend the gala virtually, with tickets costing $25. kyhumane.org

August 21, 2021: Louisville Water Lantern Festival

The Louisville Water Lantern Festival is an unforgettable experience where you can witness the magic of lanterns as they light up Waterfront Park. Write to a loved one on a lit lantern and send it away into the sky. The event also includes local food trucks, music, and plenty of family-friendly fun! Regular tickets can be purchased for $35.99 until Friday, August 13, late tickets are $45.99 until Friday, August 20, and tickets purchased on the day of the event are $55.99  The festival is from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. waterlanternfestival.com

August 21 – 28, 2021: World’s Championship Horse Show

As “the most prestigious Saddlebred horse show since 1902,” the World’s Championship Horse Show returns to Louisville August 21-28. Spectators can watch as Saddlebreds, Hackney ponies, and road horses compete for more than $1 million in awards. Tickets begin at $8, and the event takes place at the Kentucky State Fair Grounds. wchorseshow.com

August 27, 2021: Old Louisville Brew Craft Beer Festival

Enjoy a night of fun at the Old Louisville Brew Craft Beer Festival, where you can try unique beers from some of Kentucky’s best craft brewers, chow down on food from local food trucks, and listen to live music! Tickets are $15, and the event is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Central Park. oldlouisville.org

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August 28, 2021: Back to Brew

It’s time for Back to Brew at the Louisville Zoo, where you can experience exciting animal encounters and live entertainment. New this year, enjoy catered heavy appetizers from local restaurants and specialty pours from craft breweries and wineries. A selection of non-alcoholic beverages and water are also provided, and designated driver tickets are also available. The event takes place on Saturday, August 28, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $125, and all proceeds benefit the Louisville Zoo. louisvillezoo.org

August 28, 2021: Louisville on the Lawn

Reserve your table for Louisville on the Lawn: A Gilded Age Picnic at the Conrad-Caldwell Museum. Invite your friends, pack a delicious picnic, and don festive summer whites — all while listening to the soul-driven harmonies of Louisville’s Justin Paul Lewis. Tables for four are available for $200, tables for six are $300, and tables for eight are $400. All proceeds from the event benefit the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum. conrad-caldwell.org

August 28 & 29, 2021: Art in Speed Park

Celebrate creativity and culture at the 30th Annual Art in Speed Park event! Artisans from across the nation fill beautiful, historic Speed Park with original, handcrafted works in a variety of mediums. With high-quality, one-of-a-kind art pieces, talented musicians, a wine and craft beer garden, and plenty of activities for kids, there’s something for everyone at this fine art fair! The free event is held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. artinspeedpark.com

Now, get out there and make this an August to remember!

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To see more great Louisville events, visit our Happenings page.