Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

History, MA

Committee Chair

Kelland, Lara

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Massoth, Katherine

Committee Member

Massoth, Katherine

Committee Member

Kelderman, Frank

Author's Keywords

ethnic festivals; race relations; assimilation; public history; placemaking; identity


The multicultural Heritage Weekends, which began in 1974 in time for the bicentennial, were ethnic festivals in Louisville, Kentucky, and were used by different groups in disparate ways. German Americans and American Latinos used the festivals as placemaking, as they laid claim to the city of Louisville and curated their own interpretation of an American identity. Festival organizers, including city officials, however used the festivals as a way to encourage pluralism, while still promoting hegemony and assimilation. By analyzing newspaper articles and the history of both German Americans and American Latinos in the city, the work of heritage among ethnic groups can be greater understood. However, while also considering the race relations in the city at the time, the Heritage Weekends take on a greater impact in the city as the encouragement of cultural pluralism and the complexities that come along with it arise.