As we head into October, there are many events to look forward to in Louisville. From the annual Jack O’Lantern Spectacular to the St. James Court Art Show, there is so much happening this month you just can’t miss. Here are 15 Louisville events to help get you in the fall spirit!

15 Louisville Events & Happenings: October 2021

Through October 31, 2021: Jack O’Lantern Spectacular

The annual Jack O’Lantern Spectacular is celebrating its ninth year in Louisville! The family-friendly event is held in Iroquois Park and features 5,000 carved pumpkins illuminated at night. The event is open Sunday through Thursday from dusk to 11 p.m. and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Proceeds from the event benefit the Louisville Parks Foundation, which supports the city’s public parks and community centers. Tickets begin at $15 for adults and $12 for children.

October 1, 2021: Bluegrass Music in the Garden

Head down to Whitehall House & Gardens on Friday, October 1, at 6 p.m. for live music by the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys. This family-friendly outdoor event features live music as well as food and drink vendors, such as Boss Hog’s BBQ, Cookie Cabin Creamery, and Marigold Catering Mobile Bar. Tickets are $10 for children (ages 5-12) and $15 for adults.

October 1 – 3, 2021: St. James Court Art Show

This year marks the 65th Annual St. James Court Art Show. Expect to find ceramics, jewelry, handbags, and more from over 600 artisans. The free event is held among the country’s largest selection of Victorian homes in the heart of historic Louisville. The art show begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 1, and ends Sunday, October 3, at 5 p.m.

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October 1 – 3, 7 – 10, 14 – 17, 21 – 24, & 28 – 30, 2021: Boo at the Zoo

A Louisville tradition for over 40 years, Boo at the Zoo transforms the Louisville Zoo into a living storybook, complete with your favorite characters, fun entertainment, and a safe place for trick-or-treating for kids 11 and under. Take a photo with your favorite princess or superhero, encounter the Headless Horseman, or take a spin on the Spooktacular Carousel. Tickets are $6 for zoo members and $12.50 for non-members. Event hours are Thursday through Sunday, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

October 1 – 31, 2021: Danger Run

Explore Louisville’s spookiest spots this Halloween season with Danger Run, a self-guided ghost tour that you can do from your car. Danger Run is a scavenger-hunt-style game that features haunted houses, prizes, and other spooky fun. Simply assemble your team, choose your most convenient starting location, and begin solving your clues. If you’re not ready for the fun to end, the event also features optional add-on attractions. Tickets start at $29.99, and the scavenger hunt can be completed any time during October 1-31.

October 3, 2021: Salsa on the Belle

Salsa on the Belle returns on Sunday, October 3. The river cruise takes place on the Belle of Louisville as attendees dance the night away on the Ohio River. Your journey also includes a full bar and a concession stand. Boarding begins at 5:30 p.m., and tickets are $45 in advance or $60 at the door.

October 8 & 9, 2021: Kentuckiana Pride Festival

Kentuckiana Pride Festival is one of the largest LGBTQ+ events in Kentucky. Taking place at the Big Four Lawn at Waterfront Park, celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with a parade, vendor marketplace, food vendors, and plenty of exciting entertainment. Admission is $5 per day, and event hours are Friday, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.

October 9, 2021: Garvin Gate Blues Festival

The magic returns! An annual celebration of the blues and arts, the Garvin Gate Blues Festival features national and local performers alike. In addition to live entertainment from some of the best blues bands, the free event also offers an array of food and drink vendors. The festival begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 9.

October 9, 2021: The Show Up Summit

Presented by Mental Health Lou, hosts Lauren Muir and Jaydee Graham come together to help women in the Louisville community truly and unapologetically “show up.” The goal of The Show Up Summit is to teach women how to honor where they are now in their bodies, relationships, careers, and mind. The special day features an empowered line-up of guest speakers, panelists, booths, a delicious lunch, and a party. Tickets begin at $100, and the event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. at 5801 Haunz Lane.

October 9, 16, & 31, 2021: The Dinner Detective

Attend one of the largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner shows at the Embassy Suites in downtown Louisville. On October 9, 16, or 30, you can solve a crime while enjoying a delicious dinner. Beware, however, as you or someone near you may be found guilty of the crime. Halloween costumes are encouraged, and tickets are $64.95. Shows begin at 6 p.m.

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October 14, 2021: Fall Fashion Show

Head to Westport Village on Thursday, October 14, to peruse some of the trendiest fall and holiday clothing. Starting at 5:30 p.m., attendees can enjoy a fashion show and cocktail hour. Plus, don’t forget to shop your favorite looks at special discounts after the show! General admission tickets are $20, and VIP tickets are $35.

October 15, 2021: Bones, Barrel & Brew

Located at the WaterStep headquarters, the Bones, Barrel, and Brew event invites you to enjoy bourbon and beer tastings, live music, a delicious dinner, and silent and live auctions on Friday, October 15. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m., and tickets start at $100. Proceeds benefit WaterStep’s mission to save lives with safe water and health education.

October 16 & 17, 2021: Via Colori Street Painting Festival

Taking place at Waterfront Park, the 13th Annual Via Colori Street Painting Festival includes artistic masterpieces from over 100 artists, street performers, live music, superhero photo-ops, and other family-friendly activities. The free event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 16, and Sunday, October 17.

October 23 & 24, 2021: Louisville Taco Festival

Who doesn’t love tacos? The Louisville Taco Festival returns to Fourth Street Live! on Saturday, October 23, and Sunday, October 24. Enjoy access to 15 of the area’s best restaurants and food purveyors as they dish out a variety of tacos for just $3 each. There is also plenty of margaritas, a kids’ zone, a taco and hot chili pepper eating contest, and much more! Tickets begin at $9.99.

October 30, 2021: Louisville Tree Tour by Bike

Take in stunning views of the fall foliage as you bike around Louisville with Yew Dell Gardens’ Executive Director Paul Cappiello. The ride begins at 1 p.m. at Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, and tickets are $25 for garden members or $35 for non-members. All bikers are required to wear a helmet, carry at least one spare tube, and have at least one working rear flashing light.

Here’s to an exciting and fun-filled fall season!


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