Most people know that Louisville is the home of the Kentucky derby but there are a bunch of fun facts about the city that are sure to surprise. Read on for some interesting Louisville facts.
95% of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky
It's a stunning statistic, to be sure. Learn more about the spirit Kentucky is famous for while Touring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Or, if you want to stay in Louisville city limits, check out the Urban Bourbon Trail.
Disco balls reign. In fact, 90% of the disco balls in the USA are produced in Louisville
Most of the mirror balls are made by National Products on Baxter Ave. The company has been in the disco ball business for over 50 years.
There is a replica of Babe Ruth’s baseball bat in downtown Louisville
The difference being that the one outside the Louisville Slugger Museum is HUGE. The bat weighs 68,000 pounds and stands 120 feet tall. It is made of steel. If you tour the museum, you'll receive a bat as a souvenir (these are small, a mini version).
Over 100,000 Mint Juleps are served during the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks
A classic Mint Julep is served with bourbon and is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, so it should come as no surprise that come Derby Day (and Oaks, the day before Derby when the fillies run) the Mint Juleps are flowing. But still...over 100k?! That's alotta bourbon. Learn more about the history of the drink at our Mint Julep Recipe page.
Tourism is the third largest revenue-producing industry in Kentucky
Yup, Kentucky welcomes visitors with open arms and people come because there is plenty to see and do. Kentucky is known for horses, bourbon, southern food, Mammoth Cave and more.
KY Derby Winners are covered with 554 roses
Yes, the winning Run for the Roses horse is literally covered with roses. 554 roses are used in the garland presented to the winner of the Kentucky Derby. Kentucky Oaks winners are blanketed in lilies, which is why the race holds the nickname Lillies for the Fillies.
The oldest operating Mississippi-style steamboat in Louisville
Yup, the Belle of Louisville is over 100 years old! Belle has been a National Historic Landmark since 1989, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. She moved around the country a bit before calling Louisville home and you can still cruise the Ohio River on this lovely historical boat.
Louisville has the largest annual pyrotechnics show in the country (not for Independence Day)
The launch of Derby season comes in with a bang with plenty of things to do. Each year, people from all over flock to the Ohio River for Thunder Over Louisville, a pyrotechnic display involving 60 tons of firework shells.