Jeffersontown Gaslight Festival
|Jeffersontown Gaslight Festival|
|Dates||Third weekend in September|
|Location(s)||Jeffersontown, Kentucky, United States|
In 1966 the Jeffersontown Restoration Society lead by Peggy Weber and Petra Williams were remodeling Jefersontown's town square. Jeffersontown had just built a new City Hall building in the Federal Style and the Restoration Society was able to convince business owners on the town square to remodel their store fronts in the same style. During a separate renovation at a local church one of the original gaslights that lined the town square until 1912 was found under a stairwell. This prompted several replica gaslights to be built and installed in the newly renovated town square and eventually lead to the town square's current name; Gaslight Square. To showcase the new renovations and promote the businesses there a festival was held.
The inaugural Gaslight Festival was held on June 7, 1970 immediately preceding the Jeffersontown Community Fair scheduled for June 10–13. Although the festival was originally conceived to promote the Gaslight Square it was decided by Mayor Franklin Chambers that the square was too new and clean to risk throwing a party there. Instead it was held at J-Town Center. The first Gaslight Festival has a half-day event and included a parade that went from City Hall to the Jeffersontown Community Center and carnival rides. The first festival was a success but was overshadowed by that year's Jeffersontown Community Fair.
The second Gaslight Festival in 1971 was again held in June but was Gaslight Square where has been held ever since. The third Gaslight Festival in 1972 was used to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Jeffersontown's founding and was a multi-day event held from September 30 to October 2. Attendance continued to grow and by 1977 it was estimated that 150,000 people attended the festival. Although originally intended to supplement the Community Fair the Gaslight Festival would eventually replace it entirely.
Today the festival is an eight-day event beginning the Sunday before the 3rd weekend in September and attracts over 200,000 visitors. Making it the second largest festival in Kentucky behind the Kentucky State Fair and fifth largest in the region. Over this eight-day stretch several events take place such as a motorcycle rally, 5K road race, and a parade culminating with the gaslight festival weekend. The gaslight festival weekend is a three day street festival with over 250 booths, live music, and carnival rides.
- Motorcycle Rally
- Car Show
- 3 Day Street Festival
- Golf Scramble
- 5K Road Race
- Gaslight Bowl, a youth football game
- Workout Series
- Balloon Glow
- Kentucky Pipe Smoking Championship, the oldest gaslight festival tradition
- "Jeffersontown Gaslight Festival History". www.jeffersontownky.com. City of Jeffersontown. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
- Wilder, Beth; Foreman, Clay S (2005). "5". Jeffersontown. Images of America. Chicago, IL: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 124–128. ISBN 9780738517742. LCCN 2004116494.
- Wilder, Beth (September 2017). Brown, Josh (ed.). "A History of the Gaslight Festival". Jeffersontown. Vol. 1 no. 6. Jeffersontown, KY: Town Post Network Inc. pp. 6–9. Archived from the original on July 7, 2018. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
- Heitger-Ewing, Christy (September 2017). Brown, Josh (ed.). "Behind the Scenes of the Gaslight Festival". Jeffersontown. Vol. 1 no. 6. Jeffersontown, KY: Town Post Network Inc. pp. 14–16. Archived from the original on July 7, 2018. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
- "Jeffersontown Community Fair History". www.jeffersontownky.com. City of Jeffersontown. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
- Gibson, Kevin (2014-09-12). "J-town tradition: Week-long Gaslight Festival kicks off Sunday, Sept. 14". insiderlouisville.com/. Louisville, KY: Insider Louisville. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
- Grace, Caray; Kemetz, Mike; Minrath, Brian (September 14, 2018). 49th annual Gaslight Festival underway in Jtown. Louisville, KY: WLKY. Archived from the original on September 15, 2018. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- Lynch, Kathy (June 21, 2019). Boston, Corey (ed.). "The Chamber Jeffersontown". Jeffersontown Magazine. Louisville, KY: Towne Post Network. pp. 6–9. Archived from the original on June 27, 2019. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
- Havens, Sara (September 10, 2018). "J-Town's Gaslight Festival takes over the streets this weekend". Culture. insiderlouisville.com. Louisville, KY: Insider Louisville. Archived from the original on September 11, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
The main feature, however, is the three-day street festival that’ll feature more than 250 vendor booths, live music, food, adult beverages and carnival rides.
- "Gaslight Festival continues in Jeffersontown through Sept. 18th". www.wdrb.com. Louisville, KY: WDRB News. Archived from the original on September 11, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2018.