The Centennial Festival of Riverboats, a celebration of American riverboat heritage, will take place in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 14-19, 2014.
During the celebration, nine riverboats will gather on the Ohio River in Louisville to honor the 100th birthday of the Belle of Louisville paddlewheeler.
There will be bluegrass music, dining and bourbon tastings as well as special event cruises on all nine boats.
The other boats that will be joining the Centennial Festival of Riverboats are: Spirit of Jefferson (from Louisville, Ky.); Belle of Cincinnati (from Cincinnati); Spirit of Peoria (from Peoria, Ill.); River Queen (from Newport, Ky.); General Jackson (from Nashville); Anson Northrup (from St. Paul, Minn.); Colonel (from Galveston, Texas); and American Queen (from Memphis).
The Belle of Louisville was originally named the Idlewild when the vessel was built in 1914 in Pittsburgh. The boat was initially designed to be a ferry.
Completely paddlewheel-driven with a steel hull, the Belle of Louisville was able to travel on most of the country’s navigable inland waterways, earning her the distinction of being the most widely traveled river steamboat in the nation. The vessel was named a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
“Riverboat heritage is one of the most celebrated traditions in American history, and we’re lucky to have one of its most enduring symbols — the Belle of Louisville — here at home in Kentucky,” Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement.
For more information, visit www.festivalofriverboats.com.