Taylorsville Lake dam celebrates 40th Anniversary with an all-day family event

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District
Published May 31, 2023
AmVets Memorial Day ceremony

The AmVets Memorial Day ceremony takes place during the 40th Anniversary event at Taylorsville Lake in Taylorsville, Kentucky, May 28.

he U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Taylorsville Lake’s dam with a family event held May 28, 2023, at the project’s visitor center located in Taylorsville, Kentucky. 

The Friends of Taylorsville Lake, in coordination with USACE, hosted the celebratory event where more than 2,000 people were in attendance throughout the day.

“The event went really well,” said Evan McKinney, Taylorsville Lake project manager. “We are all first- time organizers and learned a lot. We did not receive any negative feedback, and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.”

McKinney was involved in ‘Light Up Salt River’ in its last years and attended the event when he was a kid, so being involved in this event was very special for him. 

“It has been 13 years since the last event here and it was great to be able to bring it back for the community,” McKinney said. “It provides a great opportunity to showcase our facilities and provides folks that don’t have a boat an opportunity to get out and enjoy the lake. There was something to do for people of all ages.”  

The festival began at noon, and families were able to enjoy craft booths, food trucks, hiking trails, a fossil-dig site, children’s play and game area, live music, local vendors and more. 

Louisville District Commander Col. Eric Crispino also attended the celebration and was the guest speaker for the AmVets Memorial Day ceremony, which was held during the event.

“In addition to providing quality recreation to visitors, the Taylorsville Lake Dam has played a crucial role in reducing the risk of flooding to downstream communities,” Crispino said. “The project here at Taylorsville has provided more than $145 million in flood damage reduction benefits since it became operational. This event is an opportunity to thank the public, employees, volunteers, partnering agencies and local community for your part in the success of Taylorsville Lake.”

The celebration concluded with fireworks above the dam – something the project has not had in over 10 years.

“The fireworks were fantastic,” McKinney said. “It was great to hear the kiddos clapping and cheering throughout the duration of the fireworks.”

Construction of Taylorsville Lake’s dam began in 1974 and was completed in 1983. The dam is over four football fields in length and 15 stories high. It is an earth and rock fill structure designed to hold an additional 45 feet of water over seasonal pool as flood storage. In addition to the primary purpose of flood control, the Taylorsville Lake project offers 3,050 acres of water which provide outdoor recreation opportunities, fish and wildlife enhancement, and quality water storage.

“It did take a great deal of time to help plan this event, but we have great volunteers that played a crucial role in making it happen,” McKinney added. “I would like to commend the entire Taylorsville team and all the volunteers for a job well done.”