Scheduled from July 5-15, 2017
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 14, 2016) — Louisville will host a festival from July 5-15, 2017 to celebrate Muhammad Ali. The “I Am Ali” festival will include local arts and cultural groups, performances, events and two premier girls’ basketball tournaments that are expected to bring 10,000 players to Louisville.
The inaugural “I Am Ali” festival was held at the Kentucky Center this past summer during the week of Ali’s death and memorial, attracting 15,000 people.
“The 2017 festival will build upon that success – and become an annual event for Louisville as we show the world and young people how to be like Ali,” Mayor Greg Fischer said.
In correlation with two premier girls’ basketball tournament events—the Run 4 Roses Basketball Classic and Battle in the Boro—taking place at the Kentucky Expo Center, the festival will offer a conglomerate of programming, films, events, entertainment, and other activities around the city that connect with and reinforce Muhammad Ali’s great legacy as a global citizen, athlete, and humanitarian.
The tournaments, consisting of athletes from all 50 states and three countries, is expecting to bring 20,000 attendees to Louisville.
“The Ali Festival will expand upon the renewed interest that people have in learning more about Ali’s legacy and becoming part of something bigger than oneself,” said Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center. “Specifically, being able to kick off this Festival with female athletes reinforces one of the Ali Center’s educational focus areas: gender equality. Lonnie Ali has said that “There is Ali in All of Us,” and this festival is a way to demonstrate that.”