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Special Events

Our city and our people celebrate special events throughout the year – why not make them extra special on board the Belle or the Spirit?

Your own calendar is filled with special events – Christmas, Easter, Derby, Thanksgiving, to name just a few. Make them extra special by joining us on board. For an extra bonus, if you choose to dine with us somebody else will do the dishes!

All cruises (except where noted) feature a a full buffet menu, music or DJ, narration of historical facts and a full bar. Sightseeing tickets may not be available for some events. Check our calendar of events and blog for details on upcoming special events and cruises.

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  • May. 3

    GREAT STEAMBOAT RACE – BELLE OF LOUISVILLE

    Belle of Louisville
    5:30 PM–8:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    It’s a tradition of river life since the 1850s, and still happening today. During Kentucky Derby Week, the historic steamboat Belle of Louisville will face off with the riverboat Belle of Cincinnati for The Battle of the Belles, in a time-honored tradition of riverboat racing to the finish! Land-based events will take place first, with the crew from each boat competing for points; then the race will bring up the stern of an exciting day. The team with the most points, wins the event!

    Please note that the tickets the Derby Festival provides us to sell are upstairs, outside seating (texas deck) without exception. Every passenger is welcome to enjoy any amenities the KDF provides, but seating is first come, first served. This event sells out every year, so make your plans early.  Tickets (all ages): $130+tax

  • May. 3

    GREAT STEAMBOAT RACE – SPIRIT BOAT CHASE

    Spirit of Jefferson
    5:30 PM–8:00 PM
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    If you’d like to have a great view of both racing riverboats – the steamboat Belle of Louisville and riverboat Belle of Cincinnati – as they compete in the Kentucky Derby Week Battle of the Belles event, then come on board the riverboat Spirit of Jefferson as she follows in their wake. A delicious buffet dinner, reserved seating, cash bar, concessions & a DJ!  Tickets (tax added on at purchase): $50 per person – all ages (including children).

  • May. 5

    OAKS DINNER CRUISE

    Spirit of Jefferson
    8:00 PM–10:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    After an exciting day at the races for Churchill Downs’ Oaks Day, this cruise will be the perfect way to spend a spring evening on the Ohio River. A scrumptious dinner buffet will be served, and a cash bar & a DJ will add to the entertainment! This cruise will leave on time as scheduled. If you go to the races at Churchill Downs, and stay for the last race, the traffic leaving the Downs will be extremely heavy, and getting to our boat on time will be difficult, if not impossible. There is no refund or exchange for the tickets if you miss the boat, so please plan accordingly. Tickets (tax added on at purchase):  $49 per person – all ages (including children).

  • May. 14

    Mother’s Day Brunch

    Belle of Louisville
    12:00 PM–2:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Show Mom how much she means to you by giving her a special day to remember, and bring the whole family on the historic Belle of Louisville for a two-hour Ohio River cruise! Include the delicious brunch buffet (guaranteed inside seating, advance reservations required) or choose sightseeing only (upstairs, all-weather outside seating without the buffet) and enjoy a relaxing and fun experience. Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults – $39, Seniors – $38, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $26.

  • May. 14

    Mother’s Day Dinner

    Belle of Louisville
    5:30 PM–7:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Take Mom out on her special day for a great evening on the historic steamboat Belle of Louisville! This two-hour Ohio River cruise is just the ticket for celebrating by yourselves or with the whole family. Include the delicious buffet dinner (guaranteed inside seating, advance reservations required) or choose sightseeing only (upstairs, all-weather outside seating without the buffet) and make some new memories. Call for information or to make a reservation, or purchase tickets on line.

    Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults – $48, Seniors – $47, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $32.

  • May. 27

    Louisville Crashers Dance Cruise

    Belle of Louisville
    8:00 PM–11:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    The Louisville Crashers are helping us open the cruising season! We’ll cruise for two hours, then the boat will remain dockside another hour for your enjoyment. It will be a perfect night to listen to fantastic music and dance on one of the largest dance floors in town! A cash bar & concessions are available. All seating (both indoor and outdoor) is open seating on a first come, first served basis, regardless of the weather. Tickets: $25 per person – all ages (including children). This cruise does not include a buffet meal.

  • May. 28

    MCALPINE LOCK BRUNCH CRUISE

    Belle of Louisville
    1:00 PM–4:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    What a great river adventure – a cruise through McAlpine Lock! This is a narrated event about the history of the lock and the impact it has made on river transportation. Get ready for a great downriver trip!

    If river conditions do not allow us to go through the lock, we’ll take a terrific cruise upriver instead. There is no refund or exchange for tickets if we are not able to go through the lock.   Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults – $38, Seniors – $37, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $28.   Sightseeing rates also available. Note: Even if you choose to include the buffet, you can go outside any time you like. The buffet guarantees inside seating.

  • May. 29

    MEMORIAL DAY LUNCH / SIGHTSEEING

    Belle of Louisville
    1:00 PM–3:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Join us for the summer season’s opening weekend! This 102-yr-old steamboat has been a part of river and Louisville history since she launched in 1914, and she is the oldest operating Mississippi River-style steamboat in the world. Include the delicious buffet (guaranteed inside seating, advance reservations required), or choose sightseeing only (upstairs, all-weather outside seating), and make it a cruise to remember. Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults – $35, Seniors – $34, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $25.

  • Jun. 3

    MOONSHINE / MOONLIGHT CRUISE 21&OVER

    Belle of Louisville
    10:00 PM–11:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Sponsored by Kentucky Peerless Lucky Moonshine, if you’re ready for a late night party on the river, this is the cruise for you! The historic steamboat Belle of Louisville is just the place to be for this moonlight trip on the Ohio River. Get ready for a moonshine tasting during the cruise!  Cash Bar, concessions & a DJ! It’s open seating, bring all your friends!  Because of the nature of this cruise, all members of your party must come into the ticket office together to show their photo ID’s before tickets are dispensed. Tickets: $21 per person – must be at least 21 years old to participate in this cruise.

     

  • Jun. 10

    Craft Beer Moonlight

    Belle of Louisville
    10:00 PM–11:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    If you’re ready for a late night party on the river, this is the cruise for you! The historic steamboat Belle of Louisville is just the place to be for this moonlight trip on the Ohio River. Get ready for a craft beer tasting during the cruise! Cash bar, concessions & a DJ! It’s all open seating. Because of the nature of this cruise, all members of your reservation must come into the ticket office to show their photo ID’s before tickets are dispensed. Please ask your group to gather on the wharf first, so they can come into the ticket office together. Tickets: TBD – must be at least 21 years old to participate in this cruise

     

  • Jun. 18

    Fathers Day BBQ / Sightseeing

    Belle of Louisville
    1:00 PM–3:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Give Dad and the whole family a day to remember, and join us for a two-hour Ohio River Father’s Day cruise on the historic Belle of Louisvllle! Include the delicious buffet lunch (guaranteed inside seating, advance reservations required) or choose sightseeing only (upstairs, all-weather outside seating) – either way, it’s a steamboating adventure and a chance to explore the oldest operating river steamboat in the country. Call for information or to make a reservation, or purchase tickets on line.

    Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults – $39, Seniors – $38, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $26

  • Jun. 26

    MCALPINE LOCK DINNER CRUISE

    Spirit of Jefferson
    6:00 PM–9:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    What a great river adventure – a cruise through McAlpine Lock! Narration is about the history of the lock and the impact it has made on river transportation.  Get ready for a great downriver cruise on the riverboat Spirit of Jefferson! The buffet dinner sells out quickly. Make your reservations now!

    If river conditions do not allow us to go through the lock, we’ll take a terrific cruise upriver instead. There is no refund or exchange for tickets if we are not able to go through the lock.  Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults – $46, Seniors – $45, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $30.   Sightseeing rates also available.

  • Jul. 4

    INDEPENDENCE SIGHTSEEING CRUISE

    Spirit of Jefferson
    8:30 PM–11:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Details TBD   Tickets: $25 – all ages (including children)

  • Jul. 4

    INDEPENDENCE SIGHTSEEING CRUISE

    Belle of Louisville
    8:30 PM–10:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Details TBD   Tickets: $25 – all ages (including children)

  • Jul. 6

    MCALPINE LOCK DINNER CRUISE

    Belle of Louisville
    6:30 PM–9:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    It’s always fun to take a downriver cruise through the lock, and on the historic Belle of Louisville it’s a great trip. An historian will narrate the cruise. The buffet dinner will sell out quickly, so make your reservations now! Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults – $46, Seniors – $45, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $30.   Sightseeing rates also available.

    We plan to go through the lock, but if river conditions prohibit it, we will have a great cruise upriver instead. There are no ticket refunds or exchanges if we cannot go through the lock.

  • Jul. 8

    MOONSHINE / MOONLIGHT CRUISE 21&OVER

    Belle of Louisville
    10:00 PM–11:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Sponsored by Kentucky Peerless Lucky Moonshine, if you’re ready for a late night party on the river, this is the cruise for you! The historic steamboat Belle of Louisville is just the place to be for this moonlight trip on the Ohio River. Get ready for a moonshine tasting during the cruise!  Cash Bar, concessions & a DJ! It’s open seating, bring all your friends!  Because of the nature of this cruise, all members of your party must come into the ticket office together to show their photo ID’s before tickets are dispensed. Tickets: $21 per person – must be at least 21 years old to participate in this cruise.

  • Jul. 29

    Craft Beer Moonlight

    Belle of Louisville
    10:00 PM–11:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    If you’re ready for a late night party on the river, this is the cruise for you! The historic steamboat Belle of Louisville is just the place to be for this moonlight trip on the Ohio River. Get ready for a craft beer tasting during the cruise! Cash bar, concessions & a DJ! It’s all open seating. Because of the nature of this cruise, all members of your reservation must come into the ticket office to show their photo ID’s before tickets are dispensed. Please ask your group to gather on the wharf first, so they can come into the ticket office together. Tickets: TBD – must be at least 21 years old to participate in this cruise

  • Jul. 31

    MCALPINE LOCK DINNER CRUISE

    Spirit of Jefferson
    6:00 PM–9:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    What a great river adventure – a cruise through McAlpine Lock! This narrated cruise about the history of the lock and the impact it has made on river transportation. Get ready for a great downriver cruise!

    If river conditions do not allow us to go through the lock, we’ll take a terrific cruise upriver instead. There is no refund or exchange for tickets if we are not able to go through the lock.  Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults – $46, Seniors – $45, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $30   Sightseeing rates also available.

  • Aug. 5

    MOONSHINE / MOONLIGHT CRUISE 21&OVER

    Belle of Louisville
    10:00 PM–11:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Sponsored by Kentucky Peerless Lucky Moonshine, if you’re ready for a late night party on the river, this is the cruise for you! The historic steamboat Belle of Louisville is just the place to be for this moonlight trip on the Ohio River. Get ready for a moonshine tasting during the cruise!  Cash Bar, concessions & a DJ! It’s open seating, bring all your friends!  Because of the nature of this cruise, all members of your party must come into the ticket office together to show their photo ID’s before tickets are dispensed. Tickets: $21 per person – must be at least 21 years old to participate in this cruise.

  • Aug. 12

    Craft Beer Moonlight

    Belle of Louisville
    10:00 PM–11:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    If you’re ready for a late night party on the river, this is the cruise for you! The historic steamboat Belle of Louisville is just the place to be for this moonlight trip on the Ohio River. Get ready for a craft beer tasting during the cruise! Cash bar, concessions & a DJ! It’s all open seating. Because of the nature of this cruise, all members of your reservation must come into the ticket office to show their photo ID’s before tickets are dispensed. Please ask your group to gather on the wharf first, so they can come into the ticket office together. Tickets: TBD – must be at least 21 years old to participate in this cruise

  • Aug. 28

    MCALPINE LOCK DINNER CRUISE

    Spirit of Jefferson
    6:00 PM–9:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    What a great river adventure – a cruise through McAlpine Lock! This narrated cruise is about the history of the lock and the impact it has made on river transportation. Get ready for a great downriver cruise!

    If river conditions do not allow us to go through the lock, we’ll take a terrific cruise upriver instead. There is no refund or exchange for tickets if we are not able to go through the lock.  Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults – $46, Seniors – $45, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $30.   Sightseeing rates also available.

  • Sep. 2

    MOONSHINE / MOONLIGHT CRUISE 21&OVER

    Belle of Louisville
    10:00 PM–11:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Sponsored by Kentucky Peerless Lucky Moonshine, if you’re ready for a late night party on the river, this is the cruise for you! The historic steamboat Belle of Louisville is just the place to be for this moonlight trip on the Ohio River. Get ready for a moonshine tasting during the cruise!  Cash Bar, concessions & a DJ! It’s open seating, bring all your friends!  Because of the nature of this cruise, all members of your party must come into the ticket office together to show their photo ID’s before tickets are dispensed. Tickets: $21 per person – must be at least 21 years old to participate in this cruise.

  • Sep. 3

    MCALPINE LOCK BRUNCH CRUISE

    Belle of Louisville
    1:00 PM–4:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    What a great river adventure – a cruise through McAlpine Lock! This narrated cruise is about the history of the lock and the impact it has made on river transportation. Get ready for a great downriver cruise!

    If river conditions do not allow us to go through the lock, we’ll take a terrific cruise upriver instead. There is no refund or exchange for tickets if we are not able to go through the lock. Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults – $38, Seniors – $37, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $28.   Sightseeing rates also available.

  • Oct. 1

    MCALPINE LOCK BRUNCH CRUISE

    Belle of Louisville
    1:00 PM–4:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    What a great river adventure – a cruise through McAlpine Lock! This narrated cruise isabout the history of the lock and the impact it has made on river transportation. Get ready for a great downriver cruise!

    If river conditions do not allow us to go through the lock, we’ll take a terrific cruise upriver instead. There is no refund or exchange for tickets if we are not able to go through the lock.  Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults – $38, Seniors – $37, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $28.   Sightseeing rates also available.

  • Oct. 7

    Oktoberfest

    Belle of Louisville
    12:00 PM–2:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    With the fall coming on, it’s a great time to be on the Ohio River! With a German-style theme for the buffet and lively music for dancing, we’ll have a wonderful time celebrating the harvest season on the historic Belle of Louisville. Join us in the buffet (guaranteed inside seating, advance reservations required) or choose sightseeing only (upstairs, all-weather seating) and be ready for a terrific steamboat experience.  Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults & Seniors – $40, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $30

  • Oct. 14

    Oktoberfest

    Belle of Louisville
    12:00 PM–2:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    With the fall coming on, it’s a great time to be on the Ohio River! With a German-style theme for the buffet and lively music for dancing, we’ll have a wonderful time celebrating the harvest season on the historic Belle of Louisville. Join us in the buffet (guaranteed inside seating, advance reservations required) or choose sightseeing only (upstairs, all-weather seating) and be ready for a terrific steamboat experience.  Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults & Seniors – $40, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $30

  • Oct. 15

    103RD BELLE BIRTHDAY LUNCH-SS

    Belle of Louisville
    1:00 PM–3:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    She is Louisville’s remarkable legendary lady, and a one-of-a-kind experience. Built in 1914, and now more than 100 years old, she is the last river steamboat operating that was built as a packet (freight) boat during the steamboat era. Join us as we celebrate an exceptional event, the Belle’s 103rd birthday. Since most steamboats lasted less than 5 years, having one (and only one) that has passed her centennial is remarkable. Include the delicious buffet brunch (inside seating, advance reservations required), or choose sightseeing only (upstairs, all-weather seating without the buffet), and be a part of it all.  Tickets with buffet (plus tax): Adults – $35, Seniors – $34, Children (ages 3 – 12) – $25

  • Oct. 16

    LOUISVILLE TO MADISON

    Belle of Louisville
    10:30 AM–5:00 PM
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    Join us for a 6 hour cruise from Louisville, KY to Madison, Indiana one way. While on board we will offer history of the boats and the river and play some background music, kick back and relax and enjoy the beauty of the Ohio River. Fall leaves are beautiful. This is a one of a kind cruise, tickets sure sell fast! Plan your hotel stay or transport back.

  • Oct. 16

    Madison Sunset Sightseeing Cruise

    Belle of Louisville
    7:00 pm–8:30 pm
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Join us for a sunset sightseeing cruise at Madison, Indiana! Bring on the whole family for a narrated harbor adventure on the historic steamboat Belle of Louisville, and enjoy a short trip on the oldest operating river steamboat in the country. It’s sightseeing only (no buffet), with first come, first served open seating, and the cash concession stand and bar will be open for your convenience. Make your reservations now! This cruise is sure to sell out in advance.

  • Oct. 17

    MADISON TO LOUISVILLE

    Belle of Louisville
    10:30 AM–5:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Join us for a 4-6 hour cruise from Madison, Indiana to Louisville, KY one way. While on board we will offer history of the boats and the river and play some background music. Fall leaves are beautiful. This is a one of a kind cruise, tickets sure sell fast! Plan your hotel stay or transport back.

  • Oct. 21

    Oktoberfest

    Belle of Louisville
    12:00 PM–2:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    With the fall coming on, it’s a great time to be on the Ohio River! With a German-style theme for the buffet and lively music for dancing, we’ll have a wonderful time celebrating the harvest season on the historic Belle of Louisville. Join us in the buffet (guaranteed inside seating, advance reservations required) or choose sightseeing only (upstairs, all-weather seating) and be ready for a terrific steamboat experience.  Tickets with buffet (tax added on at purchase): Adults & Seniors – $40, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $30

  • Oct. 23

    LOUISVILLE TO MADISON

    Belle of Louisville
    10:30 AM–5:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Join us for a 6 hour cruise from Louisville, KY to Madison, Indiana one way. While on board we will offer history of the boats and the river and play some background music, kick back and relax and enjoy the beauty of the Ohio River. Fall leaves are beautiful. This is a one of a kind cruise, tickets sure sell fast! Plan your hotel stay or transport back.

  • Oct. 24

    MADISON TO LOUISVILLE

    Belle of Louisville
    10:30 AM–5:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Join us for a 4-6 hour cruise from Madison, Indiana to Louisville, KY one way. While on board we will offer history of the boats and the river and play some background music. Fall leaves are beautiful. This is a one of a kind cruise, tickets sure sell fast! Plan your hotel stay or transport back.

  • Oct. 28

    MOONSHINE / MOONLIGHT CRUISE 21&OVER

    Belle of Louisville
    10:00 PM–11:30 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Sponsored by Kentucky Peerless Lucky Moonshine, if you’re ready for a late night party on the river, this is the cruise for you! The historic steamboat Belle of Louisville is just the place to be for this moonlight trip on the Ohio River. Get ready for a moonshine tasting during the cruise!  Cash Bar, concessions & a DJ! It’s open seating, bring all your friends!  Because of the nature of this cruise, all members of your party must come into the ticket office together to show their photo ID’s before tickets are dispensed. Tickets: $21 per person – must be at least 21 years old to participate in this cruise.

  • Oct. 28

    Boo Sightseeing Cruise

    Belle of Louisville
    12:00 PM–2:00 PM
    More Info Less Info Book now

    Goblins and Ghouls and characters galore, parading in a line across the dance floor – let’s all come on board for a Happy Halloween!  Costumes are encouraged (kids and adults too!), a DJ will provide music, and there will be activities to enjoy as we travel. It’s all open seating, on a first come, first served basis. Bring a bag or bucket for each child for Trick-or-Treating! Call for information or to make a recommended reservation, or purchase tickets on line.  Tickets (tax added on at purchase): Adults & Seniors – $25, Children (ages 4 – 12) – $15

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FAQs

  • Where do I pick up my tickets?

    Tickets should be picked up prior to your cruise in the ticket office, which is the green-and-white vessel beside the Belle.

  • What is the dress code?

    The vessel is casual; sightseers should dress according to the weather. On Sightseeing Tours, shorts and t-shirts are welcome. For Lunch Cruises, shorts or slacks and t-shirts are fine. On Dinner Cruises, casual attire is suggested. No sleeveless shirts for men, please. The Spirit of Jefferson is air-conditioned, and the Belle of Louisville has air-conditioning on the ballroom deck.

  • What is the difference between the Belle and the Spirit of Jefferson?

    The Belle is our nearly 100 year old National Historic Landmark and a much larger vessel. She is original to the steamboat era and a living operating museum. The Spirit of Jefferson is a smaller, newer riverboat.

  • Where do I park?

    The Wharf parking lot is a pay lot at 129 River Road (entrance by Joe’s Crab Shack). This lot stretches along the wharf to the Belle area. If this lot is full, the Riverview Parking Garage off of 6th Street is just a walk across the street from the Belle.

  • What are your ADA arrangements for the disabled?

    The Belle has an elevator lift to help with wheel chairs and provide access to the Ballroom Deck, however the Texas & Hurricane decks are not accessible. Wheelchairs on the Spirit can go to the first deck only.

  • What is a Sightseeing Ticket?

    A Sightseeing ticket provides a two-hour sightseeing ride on the Texas Deck (top) of the Belle or Spirit. Sightseeing passengers can also enjoy a self-guided tour of the boat, a full concession café, and full bar service. After lunch is over for those who purchased meal tickets, Sightseers are welcome to enter the ballroom for dancing and a break from outside.

  • How do I get reservations for the lunch or dinner options?

    When calling, state the type of ticket you are interested in and if they are available they will be sold to you; sometimes we sell out for meals because of limited capacity. All meal ticket reservations require a 48-hour advance notice because our caterer requires a final count the day before the cruise. Those with sightseeing passes can upgrade for a flat price posted on the certificate; this needs to be done when you make your reservation.

  • Can I bring my own food and beverages aboard the boat?

    No food or beverages can be brought onto the vessel.

  • What do I need to bring?

    You will need your confirmation number from your reservation and proper identification to pick up pre-paid tickets. Other than hopefully your sunglasses, nothing else is needed.

  • What happens if I lose my confirmation number?

    Tickets are filed by last name. Be prepared to show a photo ID in order to pick up the ticket.

  • What if it rains?

    The vessels go out in the rain unless there is a threatening storm. Should weather dictate that we cannot cruise, dockside lunch/dinner is still served and passes for another sightseeing cruise are given out based on management’s discretion.

  • When do I get on the cruise?

    Boarding is usually ½ hour before the cruise departure. Cruises depart on time.

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