Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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April 10, 2014

Louisville: 5 free things for visitors to do

(Continued)

The park's Great Lawn stretches out as a giant front yard for downtown. There are playgrounds and an amphitheater. A popular attraction is the Big Four Bridge, an old railroad span that's been turned into a pedestrian and cycling path spanning the Ohio River between Louisville and Jeffersonville, Ind.

CONTEMPORARY ART

Contemporary art is a mainstay at the acclaimed 21c Museum Hotel and the exhibitions are free to the public. Artwork is on display in 9,000 square feet (836 square meters) of exhibition space in the award-winning boutique hotel in downtown Louisville. The artwork ranges from quirky and whimsical to daring, dark and thought-provoking. It was a goal of the hotel's owners to introduce contemporary art to a wider audience.

The exhibitions feature internationally acclaimed artists as well as emerging artists, some from the area. The hotel offers free cultural programming for the public that includes artist lectures and film screenings. There are free, twice-a-week tours of the exhibitions. The hotel's most recognizable artwork is outside looming over Main Street — a 37-foot-tall (11-meter-tall) replica of Michelangelo's David. The replica created by a Turkish artist is made of steel and fiberglass and was painted gold.

BASEBALL

Known as a basketball hotbed, the city's name is also synonymous with baseball. Visitors can trace that baseball heritage along the Louisville Slugger Walk of Fame, stretching about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory to the city's minor-league ballpark. Many of the game's greatest players — from Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb to George Brett and Ken Griffey Jr. — are enshrined with bronze castes of the Louisville Slugger model bats they used, along with bronze home plates that highlight their careers.

At the downtown Slugger Museum, visitors can stroll through the main lobby for free. The lobby's features include the Signature Wall — emblazoned with the signatures of more than 8,000 players who signed contracts to use Louisville Slugger bats. Visitors can grip replica bats used by some of the game's greatest sluggers. Youngsters can climb on a ball and glove sculpture made of Kentucky limestone. Hovering outside is one of the city's most popular landmarks — a 120-foot-tall (37-meter-high) bat made of steel and hand-painted to resemble wood.

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