Beloved boy bands New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys rev the engines of adoration among droves of fans with their poptastic summer tour. New Kids on the Block has been plucking heartstrings and handcrafting harmonies since 1986, combining a collection of international hits such as "Hangin' Tough" and "Step by Step" with five-part choreography and fashionable duds. Following in its footsteps, the Backstreet Boys began blowing up charts in the '90s, producing a songbook replete with favorites such as "I Want It That Way," "All I Have to Give," and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." The NKOTBSB Tour brings both acts together for a songful extravaganza, forming the more perfect union prophesied nearly 50 years ago by the Constitution. The Wednesday, July 20 concert also includes the vocal virtuosity of special guest and Glee star Matthew Morrison, adding to an ear-pleasing stew of dulcet melodies sure to soothe the most savage beast or most irascible mail carrier.
The starting pistol fires and the runners are off, but they're in for a surprise. Rather than running an easy 5K around gentle bends and smooth pavement, they have to clamber over parked cars, carry hefty tires, and participate in burlap sack races before they even get near the finish line. This is the Waterfront Challenge, an urban race designed to test a runner's mettle, strength, and endurance on a route that runs through Louisville's scenic, 85-acre Waterfront Park along the Ohio River. The excitement extends beyond the unorthodox obstacles with waves that run late into the night—those who take off at 9 p.m. make up the Glow Race, which elevates the fun by illuminating runners with glow sticks, glow-in-the dark costumes, and the runners' own sweat, which is naturally bioluminescent. At the end of the race, runners celebrate their victories on Big Four Lawn where music, cold beer, and food join an awards ceremony for top finishers and best glow-in-the-dark costume.
In polite company, one should never slurp spaghetti or eat dinner with sauce all over their chin. But such propriety flies out the window during the spaghetti-eating contest at the Jeffersonville Italian Festival, when participants vie to scarf down heaps of pasta the fastest. The festival's cake- and cannoli-eating contests likewise require speedy mastication, but languorous visitors can take their time savoring the Italian cuisine served by local vendors, enjoying it alfresco among friends and neighbors. In between bites of chicken parmesan or tiramisu, attendees can also show off their artistic sides with crafts or two-step to Italian tunes crooned by live musicians.
Ensconcing visitors in spacious rooms surrounded by 30 lush acres of grapevines, Elk Creek Vineyards merges the grandeur of Napa Valley with Kentucky hospitality. Among three discrete lodgings, the Estates' wraparound deck sounds the creak of rocking chairs, the Inn's communial living room welcomes late-night conversation, and the Lodge's private decks open up onto vineyard and lake. Live entertainment every Friday and Saturday keeps eardrums occupied, and a gallery exhibits the creations of local artists. During tastings and tours, guests sample the vineyard's products and stroll through the fields, popping grapes to figure out which ones are alcoholic.