Nulu Bock Fest 2016

THE BREAK DOWN
 
This past Saturday, there was a new festival in Nulu (a neighborhood near Downtown surrounding East Market Street). Nulu already has a festival in the Fall season. Now we have a new excuse to be festive in the streets and visit the trendy boutiques and restaurants of the area! Actually, folks who live “inside the Watterson” don’t really need an “excuse” (per se) to visit Nulu. However, judging by the crowd in attendance, this event attracted people from far and wide… including some out-of-town NCAA basketball fans attending tournament games at the YUM Center stadium.
 
There was even a theme – Bock beer and Goats! 
 
From what I gather, the theme aims to revive two old-school traditions from Louisville’s past – goat racing and beer festivals. Since the word “bock” is a style of beer and apparently means “goat” in German, the two activities seem like a perfect match. The serendipity doesn’t stop there. Two alleys in Nulu were home to goat races way-back-when (acccording to InsiderLouisville.com). The alleys are now named Nanny Goat Strut and Billy Goat Strut and were supposed to mark the start and end points for this year’s races per the official event map on the Nulu Bock Festival official website. In actuality, the races did not cross Market St – but the thought was awesome!
 
MY EXPERIENCE
 
To begin, the weather was amazing!! It was the kind of day you wish every day could be, so deciding whether or not to go out wasn’t an issue. I actually remembered to get cash before driving to the event, but it turns out there was at least one accessible ATM set up outside the Garage Bar. Parking wasn’t as bad as I presumed. My wife and I arrived with our baby daughter near the start time of the first race and there was already a significant crowd. Still, we were able to park just a few blocks from the activities.
 

The first thing we approached was a petting area holding some adult and baby goats. There was a $10.00 fee to hang out in the area and $2.00 for a selfie. I didn’t watch closely enough to figure out how they managed these activities. For example, I wonder if you only bought a selfie – did they let you into the pen then immediately escort you out of the petting area? Or if you paid for time to hangout, was a selfie included? As I was busy taking pics, we missed the first race which started a couple minutes before schedule.

 

There was an hour between each goat race, so we decided to wander around. We walked towards the music stage on Market Street, but decided not to get too close with our baby due to the high volume. We noticed a long line in front of Garage Bar that we presumed was for beer and decided to move on. On the opposite end of the festival there was a much smaller line. Luckily, some friends had instructed us to stand in a separate ticket line first! That was the line where they checked your ID, put a wrist band on you, issued tickets for beer, offered t-shirts for sale, and collected the cash. I wonder how many poor souls waited in the beer line without tickets. The cost for a beer was $6.00. Although we found the short beer line, it’s worth pointing out that each beer tent was host to different breweries with their Bock beers (only).


After collecting our drinks, we dropped into Revelry Boutique Gallery for a few minutes. It was nice to see business hopping. So much so, Major, the “shop dog” had taken respite in the back room away from the crowd.

Outside The Holy Goat, there was a table of folks who were selling Goat Hats to anyone wanting to take their celebration to another level.

Soon, it was nearly time for the second race!


I hadn’t really considered the logistics of goat racing before. Apparently, goats don’t naturally dash down a man-made race track. It takes a little guidance from a few human guides. About half the goats needed a lot of prompting to even start running. Each race consisted of different goats and the winners moved on to a final race at the end of the day. When we watched, all the goats ran from one end to the other, then lined up again and came back. So, I’m not sure if one counted and not the other, but we did get to see the goats run twice. There’s something adorable about baby goats jumping and prancing around that is quite exciting. The crowd around me seemed entertained as well.

All in all, the festival worked for me. I would recommend it to anyone looking for some unique fun and an excuse to eat, drink, or shop in Nulu. P.S. the Flea Off Market coincided this year and attracted some of our food-money. Maybe in the future, if the Bock Fest continues, there will be more tents and food options on site. 

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A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
My name is Jeremiah Butts. Besides blogging about the people, homes, events, and businesses “inside the Watterson,” I’m also a Realtor associated with Kentucky Select Properties. Not surprisingly, I focus my time selling homes “inside the Watterson.” If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in Louisville, check out my website HomesInside264.com or email me at jbutts@kyselectproperties.com.
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