National Guard March 2017 : Page 29

ATTRACTIONS Louisville has unique sights, sounds and flavors. This is where bourbon was born and the Kentucky Derby is held. One of the city’s distinctive dishes is the Hot Brown (center), an open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich covered with cheese and baked until brown. It was created in 1926 by chefs at the Brown Hotel, a conference hotel. products that are here that people come to see,” says Chief Warrant Officer 5 James Simms, the executive director of the Kentucky National Guard Association, which is the local organizer of this year’s event. One conference event sure to show attendees the best of the city is the Governor’s Reception, which is set for Churchill Downs. The site is home to the Kentucky Der-by, which is the first leg of horseracing’s Triple Crown, often referred to as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” The actual race attracts more than 150,000 spectators who consume 120,000 mint juleps (mint leaf, bourbon, sugar syrup, and crushed ice) and, in all, about 7,000 liters of bourbon. Simms promises the Governor’s Reception will have a Derby-like atmosphere, just a little bit smaller, com-plete with a special race just for attendees, mint juleps and women in lovely traditional hats. But the city is not a one-horserace town. Louisville, Simms says, is “the racehorse capital of the world.” “We have horses that are stabled here that are owned by people from all around the world,” Simms says. “We have numerous horse events throughout the year. Not only do we have the Kentucky Derby, we have equestrian events.” Louisville also has history. It was founded in 1778 by Col. George Rogers Clark, a Revolutionary War hero. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark met there in 1803 before beginning their famous exploration of America’s West. And F. Scott Fitzgerald was stationed at a camp near Louisville as a young Army officer. Parts of the city, such as the Seelbach Hotel, served as inspiration for his classic novel, The Great Gatsby . Among the most famous areas of the city is Museum Row. There you will find the Louisville Slugger Museum, which is home to the world’s biggest bat. It is 120-feet tall, weighs 68,000 pounds and is a replica of the bat wielded by Babe Ruth. Tours allow you to see how the bat used by your favorite ballplayer is made. Right down the street is the Muhammad Ali Center, which honors the man many believe to be the greatest boxer of all of time. He’s a Louisville native who tran-scended his sport and maintains a global reputation even after his death. Inside, you can see artifacts from the champ’s life, including gloves and trunks he wore in some of his famous fights. Haven’t quite found what you’re looking for yet? SHUTTERSTOCK HEART OF THE CITY Popular places downtown include the Muhammad Ali Center and Fourth Street Live!, a blocked-off street featuring 20 different bars and restaurants. LOUISVILLE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

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