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Oddities & Curiosities Expo - Louisville

Oddities & Curiosities Expo @ Kentucky Exposition Center 937 Phillips Ln Louisville, KY 40209

Event Date: 2/4/23 Reviewer: Lindsay


"Keep Louisville Weird."

Those words aren't an uncommon sight around Louisville, one of Kentucky's largest cities - and also one well known for housing some of the state's quirkier residents. It's home to a number of eclectic shops and galleries as well; if you name it, no matter how odd, you will probably stumble across it somewhere in the Ville. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that an event designed to showcase the strange and unusual would eventually find its way to a city that welcomes both...

The Oddities & Curiosities Expo travels through several major cities across the United States each year. For 2023, the Expo finally added Louisville to its roster, rolling into town with promises of live entertainment, a museum of oddities guests could explore, and loads of vendors offering goods that cater to those with more eccentric tastes. This is the sort of thing all of us on Haunted Honeymooners would love, and for me personally, it was a chance to get out and experience something new. On a cold, yet beautiful afternoon this past Saturday, I decided to roll across the bridge to the Ville and see what curious things I might discover.

Louisville's venue for the event was the Kentucky Exposition Center, located right next to the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park (and very close to another place we feature a lot on our page: the Haunted Hotel). Admission was reasonable at $10 online, or $15 at the gate, with both timed and anytime ticketing available. Getting there was easy; upon pulling up to an open gate and forking over the $12 parking fee, the friendly attendant asked if I was there for the Expo and gave me directions on finding the lot closest to the wing it was held in. Although parking was quite busy, it didn't take long to find a spot. While I got situated, I spotted a couple of ladies headed back to their vehicles... both toting a taxidermied deer head and a purse made out of what used to be a fox. Well, this could get interesting.

Following a brief wait in a lengthy, yet fast moving line, I was soon admitted to the show floor. And WOW... maybe it seemed more overwhelming due to the massive crowd, but I wasn't sure where to start! There was so much to see and do. Are you a witch? Do you enjoy strange and creepy things? What about Halloween stuff? You'll find all of that and then some here. Aisles with booth after booth of vendors selling all manner of wonderfully weird items. Taxidermy was everywhere you looked: skulls, wet and dry specimens, preserved whole animals and skeletons fashioned into displays and jewelry. Several vendors sold shirts with cute, witty, or spooky things printed on them. Loads of stickers, pins, and keychains were available for purchase too. Art in every medium you could imagine. Handmade bath and personal care products. One unique booth displayed gorgeous animal skulls adorned with crowns of crystals, while another offered baking mixes with horror themes (cute!). No matter who you are- even if you're a "normie"- I can guarantee you will find something you've just gotta have!

And the fun wasn't limited to shopping. Interested in learning how to do taxidermy? Attendees could purchase tickets to classes and bring their creations home. Anyone needing a break from the busy vendor floor could have a seat and enjoy some free entertainment from sideshow performers on a nearby stage. Food could be purchased from a truck outside and a concession counter at the back of the hall, and it looked like they had a stand set up and selling drinks, too.

My main reason for being there was to shop for cool stuff, but I did partake in one extra. For a nominal fee of $5 in advance ($7 day of), you could experience the Oddities Museum: The Cryptic Collection of a Mad Clown. Got someone in your group you don't like very much and they hate clowns? Drag them into this thing... I'm known in my circle for being a clown lover, but they had a couple of bits that even creeped me out. All jokes aside, I enjoyed this - it was funny, a little unsettling, and long enough to be worth the upcharge.

On a slightly unrelated note, something else I really liked about the Oddities Expo is how diverse the environment was. Everywhere I turned, there were attendees of all ages and from many walks of life, sporting their best unusual attire. I saw people wearing horns. People wearing tails. People wearing goth and horror makeup. People with crazy hair. Hell, I even saw a furry. Truly a place where you can let your freak flag fly (within reason) - what would get you some odd looks in public is welcomed here.

Was there anything that could've been better? Let's start with the crowd: this was one of the busiest events I have ever attended, almost uncomfortably so. Fortunately, the organizers were quick to not only confirm Louisville as a stop for 2024's tour, but they've also booked *two* dates next year. That should help to tame the craziness a bit. Another indoor food vendor also would have been nice, as the line for the one I found was super long (to give you an idea - I waited well over an hour to get some lunch). Those were the only two issues I noticed, everything else seemed fine to me.

It was my first time attending any of the Oddities & Curiosities Expo events, and despite how crazy it was for most of the day, I enjoyed myself and do recommend it for anyone who shares a love of all things weird, creepy, and "out there". At the time of writing, the Expo will be making 27 more stops from now to November, so if this sounds like your kind of show, check out their website or Facebook page and see if some odd and curious things are headed to a city near you.

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