Catie Nelson Director of Events at Waterfront Park
Catie joined the Waterfront Park team in 2010 and her natural ability for entertaining, organizing and infusing life into the party was immediately recognized among her colleagues moving her quickly into the event role. Catie provides 110% of spirit into every special occasion from New Year’s to Christmas and everything in between – with notable enthusiasm for the NCAA Basketball Tournament, St. Patrick’s Day and staff birthdays!
Catie’s attention to detail benefits every event and her relationships with event producers and vendors play an important role in ensuring every special event is a success at Waterfront Park. Her work also protects the park from overuse in a normal year through careful planning and coordination which balances wear and tear from event activity throughout the park and calendar year.
When the pandemic hit last March, Catie took a leadership role with the Louisville Tourism Re-Opening Taskforce. She has been working tirelessly to learn new guidelines in real time and quickly relay best practices to event producers for their planning. Her exhaustive work has poised Waterfront Park with the information and resources to re-open events safely. Catie is married to Garfield and they are proud parents of a precious 3 year old daughter, Norah.
Q: How has your job changed as a result of the pandemic?
A: My job has been upended as a result of the pandemic. Prior to COVID, we were on track to have an incredible year with a full calendar including several exciting new events. Our season was planned to open early last March. It has been an emotionally difficult year of cancellations, lost revenue, and uncertainty. I have spent a great deal of time learning, adapting, and figuring out how to bring events safely back to Waterfront Park. I’ve strived to provide a constant stream of current information to our event producers and be available to them for questions, strategy sessions and to provide as much flexibility as possible to move dates on our calendar. We have worked together to bring one another the latest information. I’ve missed the in-person comradery of all those we work with in the event industry, but I look forward to returning to doing what we love soon.
Q: What kind of events might we see at Waterfront Park in 2021?
A: I believe that events play a powerful role in revitalizing our city and will be a start to bringing back some normalcy to life again. Waterfront Park understands the importance and we look forward to welcoming back walks/runs, festivals, art shows, and music! New this year, we will be implementing some food truck concepts in the park called Fridays at the Front and Brunch by the Bridge.
Q: Can people schedule events at Waterfront Park?
A: Yes, we are happily accepting event applications to host your event at Waterfront Park. As part of the application process, event producers must complete and submit a COVID action plan that follows the Governor’s guidelines. For more information, please visit our website – https://ourwaterfront.org/event-forms/
Q: What events are on the books for 2021?
A: Events are eager to come back to Waterfront Park and I’m grateful they have stayed engaged and retained their optimism throughout the past year. We look forward to welcoming back events like the Pride Festival, Big Four Arts Festival, KY Craft Bash, Wine on the River, and Via Colori. Our event season will ramp up as summer progresses and extend further into the fall. Things are finally happening and I’m looking forward to it!