Big Rock Bike Fest
Start yer engines, gearheads, the first annual Big Rock Bike Fest roars into town this weekend. This festival combines two different sorts of raucous noise: hundreds of bikes and choppers convening, coupled with rock music. The rock is being supplied by a stellar list of bands, including Ted Nugent and the Pat Travers Band, plus Louisville bands El Roostars and Big Rock Show. On Thursday, there is “The Big Rock Tour de Ville Poker Run,” a five-stop tour with a $15 registration fee that benefits the WHAS Crusade for Children. All of the finest bikes are welcome to enter their hogs in a professionally judged competition in any of five different custom bike categories: chopper, American, Harley, Metric and Sport. Visitors can peruse booths offering anything related to music or motorcycling, and food vendors will be there as well. Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. Saturday. Registration for the Poker Run or advance tickets can be found at www.bigrockbikefest.com. —Nathan Thacher
2815 Taylorsville Rd.
Fri.: $15, Sat.: $20
Advance Pass: $25
Friday, July 7
‘Southeast Indiana Trails to Freedom’
“Southeast Indiana Trails to Freedom” is a book that retells the harrowing stories of slaves using the Underground Railroad to escape to Canada, as written by the slaves themselves. The Carnegie Center is holding many events and exhibits celebrating the release of this 62-page booklet, which features three driving tours that trace Underground Railroad routes in 17 counties in southeast Indiana. The celebration kicks off with free concessions, a performance by men’s quartet Deep River Songbirds and a story of slave liberation as told by Judith Lalude-Owens. There will also be readings by “Freedom Ambassadors” from the booklet starting at 4:30 p.m. Although the celebration ends at 5 p.m., the Carnegie Center offers a full schedule of changing exhibits and other educational programs related to the Underground Railroad. The permanent exhibit “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage: Men and Women of the Underground Railroad,” is currently on display. The Carnegie Center is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. —Nathan Thacher
201 Spring St.
New Albany, Ind.
Free; 3-5 p.m.
Friday, July 7
Carly Whitmer’s ‘Regulars’
If you’ve ever worked in the food industry, you know the term “regulars.” The people who come in like clockwork and order one of three things off the menu. Whether they’re your most or least exciting customers, you serve them. Artist Carly Whitmer understands how you feel, and that’s the focus of her art show “Regulars,” opening Friday at the Old Louisville Coffee House. Whitmer says the show is about devotion and appreciation. If you wait on regulars or if you are a regular, stop by and take a look around. Her show continues through the month. —Michael Lichvar
Old Louisville Coffee House
1489 S. Fourth St.
Free; 5-8 p.m.
July 8-9, 15-16
‘Little Bear of the Miami: The Frances Slocum Story’
History joins forces with entertainment in Jeffersonville this week, offering the locals a chance to witness a musical version of the story of Frances Slocum. In 1778, at the age of 5, members of the Delaware Tribe, who were intrigued by her red hair, took Frances Slocum from her Quaker family. Frances was then given to Miami Chief Strong Bear and his wife, who lost their own child. She was raised as one of the tribe’s own and given the name Little Bear. Frances later married a Miami warrior who became Chief Deaf Man and was eventually reunited with her real family, but continued living with the Miami. Written by Bill Corcoran and Rick Neumayer, the play is an entertaining history lesson and a great way to spend a warm summer’s night. —Stephanie Salmons
Riverside Drive, Jeffersonville, Ind.
Free; 8:30 p.m.
July 8, 15, 22
The Louisville Orchestra salutes the sounds of the Silver Screen in Saturday night’s ROARchestra concert at the Louisville Zoo. Singer Tim King joins conductor Bob Bernhardt, host Terry Meiners and the orchestra. The event showcases standards by Richard Rodgers, John Williams and Leonard Bernstein. But the most intriguing item on the musical menu might be the “Captain Blood Overture.” The ROARchestra series continues through July, with guest artists The Monarchs and soprano Christina Bouras joining the orchestra July 15, and Little Anthony and the Imperials July 22. —Bill Doolittle
1100 Trevilian Way
$18 adv., $20 door; 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 9
When he was on network TV, Bill Maher got into hot water for suggesting that bombing other countries from a safe distance was actually more cowardly than flying airplanes into buildings, as the 9/11 terrorists did. That was too close to the bone in a world where context barely matters, and Maher was canned. He landed where he belongs — at HBO, where his provocative points of view don’t get run through such narrow filters. Maher, frankly, is the sharpest political voice working today (with apologies to Jon Stewart). I don’t agree with him on everything — he is a bit more chipper about the Iraq War, for example — but he shoots straight and calls B.S. on hypocrisy wherever it shows up — including his own or that coming from his buddies in the choir (and no, that’s not a gay joke). He’s also got a great comedic mind, and he smartly walks the line between literal and figurative humor. We tried hard to get an interview with the man, to no avail. (Hey, Bill, if you’re reading this, thanks a lot, smart guy.) Nonetheless, his appearance at the Kentucky Center is worth checking out for those anyone interested in the state of contemporary life and politics. —Cary Stemle
Whitney Hall, Kentucky Center
$38-$55; $7 p.m.
Saturday, July 15 (register by July 6)
Jeffersonville Pub Competition/Benefit
A scavenger hunt through the pubs of Jeffersonville to benefit breast cancer research. That’s how organizer Rebecca Crabtree describes the first-ever Jeffersonville Amazing Pub Competition. Not to be confused with a pub crawl, this competition will involve following clues and playing games at more than 10 Jeff bars. Although each establishment will have drink and food discounts for participants, the competitions will not involve alcohol, but rather activities like darts, horseshoes and even the game Operation. This is something bartender Crabtree (of Slammers and Buckets in Jeff) has been wanting to put together for some time, and after the successful J-Walk pub crawl a few months ago, she made a go of it.
An entry fee of $10 a person is needed for groups of four or more. A majority of the money goes to the American Cancer Society, with the rest divvied up as prize money. Get your group together at get over to Slammers to sign up. —Sara Havens
900 E. Chestnut St., Jeffersonville
$10/person (in teams of 4 or more)
4 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Through Aug. 19
‘I Do! I Do!: Ritual Myth and Magic of Weddings’
Americans love white wedding dresses. These symbols of purity seem mundane and, to put it nicely, a little optimistic. I’m all for the idea of wearing red for good fortune, as they do in many Asian countries.
Fifteen artists, including Ann Stewart Anderson, Meg Higgins and Suzanne Mitchell, present glimpses of imaginative ways to wed in the exhibition, “I Do! I Do!” The paintings, photographs and assemblages show various cultural rituals created to join two people in matrimony. —Jo Anne Triplett
Louisville Visual Art Association
Water Tower, 3005 River Road
Free; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.
Through Aug. 31
‘The European Eye: Photographs by Kees Scherer’
Dutch photographer Kees Scherer’s work is a travel in time as well as place. Full of quiet moments and startling images, his photographs offer the chance to relate to the European people of the mid-20th century. These vintage gelatin silver prints from his estate (Scherer died in 1993) are enlightening — he honed his craft as a photojournalist in World War II and covered events most Americans know little or nothing about, such as the 1956 Hungarian Revolt.
As an award-winning photographer, he co-founded the World Press Photo Award for excellence in photojournalism, and was a fine art photographer who published more than 25 books. —Jo Anne Triplett
Paul Paletti Gallery
713 E. Market St.
Free; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.