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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Belle of Louisville is Preparing for Another 100 Years on the Ohio River

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Today the Belle of Louisville began the 100 year celebration a little early with the announcement of reconditioned engines that were donated by Atlas Machine and Supply. Atlas is a local company that has been operating in Louisville since 1907. Atlas also donated their time to the project. The Belle’s engines, before the restore, were 120+ years old.

Louisville is very lucky to have this historic icon for all to enjoy. Most steamboats were only estimated to last 5 years and The Belle has long exceeded that estimate and hopes to make it another 100+ years. The chief engineer Rob Furlong is a native Louisvillian and said he did this project as a labor of love and would not have wanted anyone else to work on the project. He also stated that this job was “a lot of fun” for him and his crew. Everyone involved truly had The Belle at heart and put a lot of love into the project.   

 photo belle1_zpsd37c000b.jpg photo belle3_zps53e4ccb3.jpgThe updated engines will make The Belle a little faster and a lot more energy efficient as she rolls down the river. This year’s Great Steam Boat Race put on by the Kentucky Derby Festival on April 30th and The Belle and her pretty engines are hoping to take the Golden Antlers.

On October 18, 2014 The Belle will officially be 100 years old. There will be many events surrounding the 100 year celebration, including a 6 day celebration from October 14-19. You can check out more information about the festival at http://festivalofriverboats.com/.   

The Belle will be open for cruises down the Ohio in April and families can see the new engines at work. The engine room is open for viewing and you might get lucky with someone on hand to answer some questions. It is highly recommended that you take your family to see the engine room and on a Belle cruise.


The president of Atlas, Rich Gimmel, stated that he “Loves the River, Loves Louisville, and Loves the Belle.” With all that love, this project is one to be remember and seen. You can read all about the Belle of Louisville by visiting the website, http://www.belleoflouisville.org. Visiting the Belle of Louisville in 2014 is a must do activity. 

By guest contributor: Christine

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