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Looking for things to do during Derby week? Here is the Kentucky Derby Festival schedule followed by some of our favorite weekly events in order by day. Enjoy and see you Downtown!
Tuesday April 24th
- Barrel Head, Tray, Clock & Sign Party Tuesday 7 PM · Hard Rock Cafe Louisville.
- Autism Friendly Nights: Kentucky Science Center at 5 PM at the Kentucky Science Center.
- Engage Series: Inside Whiskey Row at 5:30 PM at Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen.
- 13th Annual New Voices Young Playwrights Festival at 7 PM at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
- Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown at 7:30 PM at the Brown Theatre.
- David Sedaris at 7:30 PM at the The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts Robert S. Whitney Hall.
- Smackdown Live, at 7:45 PM at the KFC Yum! Center
- Papa Roach – Crooked Teeth World Tour 7:00 PM at Mercury Ballroom
Wednesday April 25th
- WFPK Waterfront Wednesday Wed 5 PM · Big Four Lawn, Waterfront Park.
- Wii Wednesdays at LFPL at 5:00 PM Louisville Free Public Library Main Branch.
- YFN Lucci presented by B96.5 at 8:00 PM Mercury Ballroom
- Theresa Caputo: Long Island Medium at 7:30 PM Louisville Palace.
Thursday April 26th
- Kroger’s Fest-A-Ville on the Waterfront Thu 11 AM · Louisville Waterfront Park – Each day, visit
- Kroger’s Fest-A-Ville on the Waterfront for live entertainment, family fun, and food! Attractions include concerts with national talent, midway rides, kids’ inflatable playground, Chow Wagon treats and drinks, and more! Happy Hour Weekdays 4-6pm: $2 beer Admission is FREE with a 2018 Pegasus Pin!
- Miller Lite Music Stage Line-Up: Kirby’s Dreamland on Thursday, April 26
- KY Derby Festival Health Fair Thu 4 PM · Fourth Street Live! Entertainment District · Louisville, Kentucky
- Business Women First Thu 11 AM · Omni Louisville Hotel
- Rabbit Hole Presents: Jacob Duncan & Friends Thu 5 PM – Jimmy Can’t Dance
- The Piano Guys at 8:00 PM at the Louisville Palace.
- Buckethead, at 8:00 PM at Mercury Ballroom.
Friday April 27th
- Beethoven Piano Concerto Fri 11 AM · The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts · Louisville, Kentucky – Three selections from the bedrock of the classical Romantic Era repertory. Hsu is described as “[channeling] Horowitz right down to the brilliant-yet-delicate high-treble sonority.” – PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
- Miller Lite Music Stage Line-Up: Radiotronic on Friday, April 27
- Celtic Woman: Homecoming Tour, at 7:30 PM at the Louisville Palace and Real Love/Essence Love : A Conversation Fri 4:30 PM · The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts · Louisville, Kentucky – Real Love/Essence Love: A Conversation with Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Sharon Salzberg Occurring at the Festival of Faiths, Friday, April 27th at 4:30 p.m. EDT, we will let you know via Facebook closer to the event’s day and time, if we are going to be able to go with a livestream.
- Scarlet Revolt, 7 Mile Mushroom @ 3rd St Dive Louisville KY Fri 10 PM · Third Street Dive
- Jose Sulaiman World Invitational at 7:00 PM KFC Yum! Center, Papadosio, at 9:00 PM at the Mercury Ballroom
- Derby of the Dead Presented by Louisville Zombie Walk – Friday, April 27, 2018 – 6-11pm – Entertainment by Nulydedz zombie rockabilly band, sideshow and fire arts entertainment by Artemisia, local artists & zombie themed wares, zombie car show, zombie makeup demonstration by Team Demon Fabulous from The Devil’s Attic. Admission is free with a 2018 Pegasus Pin. Derby of the Dead
Saturday April 28th
- Grown Folks Pre Derby All White Attire Boat Ride and After Party Sat 7:30 PM · Belle of Louisville Riverboats
- Mister & Miss Kentuckiana Pride Pageant on Sat 6 PM CDT · Play Louisville
- Derby Edition of Bourbon and Chocolate Sat 1:30 PM · Cooking at Millie’s
- ROCK STATION Rocks The Chow Wagon Sat 4 PM · Louisville Waterfront Park
- Booze and Vinyl Pop Up Sat 4 PM · Against The Grain Brewery and Restaurant · Louisville, Kentucky
- PBR Sat 8 PM · PBR
- Louisville Waterfront Jam with Tyler Farr Sat 7 PM · Louisville Waterfront Park
- Pride Waterstop for KDF miniMarathon/MarathonSat 7 AM Everyone loves FREE things, so how about admission to 2018 Pride Festival, a T-shirt, and admission to the Derby Festival Chow Wagon!
- Alanna Fugate & Owen Reynolds Sat 8 PM · Goodwood Brewing
- 2018 KDF miniMarathon for Uspiritus Sat 7:30 AM · Kentucky Derby Festival
- Earn Your Beer Challenge: Louisville City FC & Against The Grain Sat 4:30 PM · Louisville Slugger Field
- Watch and Wine Down Movie Series: Seabiscuit Sat 12 PM · Old 502 Winery
- The Misty Mountain String Band at Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen Sat 8 PM · Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen
- Festival of Faiths with Tsoknyi Rinpoche Sat 10 AM · Center for Interfaith Relations
- Pig & Swig Sat 1 PM · Fourth Street Live! Entertainment District.
- Miller Lite Music Stage Line-Up: Wax Factory on Saturday, April 28.
- 12th Annual DaVille Classic Drumline Showcase – 5:00 PM Louisville Palace
- Rock -n- Derby featuring Jefferson Tarc Bus – 8:00 PM Mercury Ballroom
- NPC Kentucky Derby Festival Championships, Sat, Apr 28 – 10:30 AM – The nations best fitness and physique athletes converge onto Louisville Kentucky to compete for top honors. Featuring Divisions : Bikini, Physique, Bodybuilding, Figure, Fitness at the Galt House Hotel
- Louisville Fats & Rhythm Cats and The Decades Sat 6:30 PM · Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar
- Trap n Paint Louisville, Pt.4! (Show 1) (SOLD OUT) Sat 6 PM · Tim Faulkner Gallery
- GRLwood, Belushi Speed Ball, Dr. Zero, Rock-N-Roll Suicides WolfxPss Sat 6 PM · Spinelli’s Downtown
Sunday April 29th
- Girls IdeaFestival 2018 by Louisville Girls Leadership
- PNC Tour de Lou Sun 8:30 AM · Kentucky Derby Festival
- Miller Lite Music Stage Line-Up: The Jesse Lees on Sunday, April 29
- Kevin Hart: The Irresponsible Tour, – 8:00 PM at the KFC Yum! Center
- Brit Floyd Eclipse World Tour 2018, Apr 29 – 7:30 PM at the Louisville Palace
- Living Room Sessions: Jason Gray, Chris August – Waterfront Park – 5:00PM – Free with Pegasus Pin
Monday April 30th
- Miller Lite Music Stage Line-Up: Shane Dawson on Monday, April 30
- Steamboat Race Trial Presented by Trilogy – Enjoy a brunch cruise on the Ohio River as the Belle of Louisville makes a practice run in preparation for the annual Great Steamboat Race. Tickets include brunch and live entertainment by The Wulfe Bros.
- Waterfront Jam Monday Concert: Walker Montgomery – 6:00PM – Admission is FREE with a 2018 Pegasus Pin.
- Chow Wagon Flag Football Showdown – 5:30 PM – 11:00 PM – Flag Football at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront. Every team is guaranteed 2 games. Coordinated by LXC Sports. For more information visit lxcsports.com
- HappyTail Hour – For more information call Metro Animal Services at (502) 473-PETS – 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Dogs – Bring Your Owners to HappyTail Hour at Kroger’s Fest-a-VilleSM event at Waterfront Park!
Once again, Metro Animal Services will host HappyTail Hour, in conjunction with Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront. This “pet inclusive” cocktail event will take place Monday, April 30, from 5 – 9 pm at Waterfront Park with entertainment. All pets must be on leashes. Featuring Walker Montgomery in concert on the Great Stage. The event will provide a fun opportunity for the pet-loving community to come together. Guests can listen to music, mingle, and play games with their dogs!
Tuesday May 1st
- Muse Cruise – Belle of Louisville – 5:30PM – 10PM – Brought to you in part by WFPK, Eastwood Records, Rose Blade Creative, Doo Wop Shop and others, this event is for working professionals in the fim, tv and music industry, press, government officials and people offering services to the entertainment industry and others who want to network with them.
- Kentucky Proud WineFest – 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Did you know that there are over 66 wineries located here in Kentucky and nearly 30 in Indiana? The Kentucky Derby Festival WineFest event is your chance to learn more about them, and sample some great wines at a comfortable venue. WineFest will be held on the Belvedere at Waterfront Park. Tickets, which cost $45, include a complimentary wine glass, event pin and samplings of some of Kentucky’s finest beverages. Designated Driver tickets will also be available to purchase at the door for $10 each. Ticket includes access to the venue and a 2018 event pin.
- Texas Hold’Em Tournament – 4:00 PM: Boarding and check-in begins. 6:00 PM: Tournament begins.
– Professional Dealers
– $125 buy-in: Includes $10,000 in chips and a commemorative Texas Hold’em event pin
– Add-on available 1st hour of play: $40 for $4,000 in chips
– Up to 325 participants (payouts prorated based on actual number of players)
– Payouts for 1st-24th place
– Guest tickets: $15 at the door
– Cash bar, cash games, single table tournaments
– Cruise during first 90 minutes of play
– Player wristbands will be issued at check-in
– No Re-Buys
2018 will be the 12th year for the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Texas Hold’Em Tournament. The event will be held aboard the Belle of Cincinnati. The cruise and tournament starts at 6 p.m. Cruise will last 90 minutes at the beginning of the event; the remainder of the tournament will take place at the dock so those who are out of the game may disembark.
- Chow Wagon Kickball Showdown – 5:30 PM-11:00 PM – Kickball showdown at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville. Every team is guaranteed 2 games. Coordinated by LXC Sports.
- Waterfront Jam Tuesday Concert: Sheila E. – 9:00PM – Admission is FREE with a 2018 Pegasus Pin.
- Health Fair Presented by WellCare Health Plans
Wednesday May 2nd
- Great Steamboat Race Presented by IBEW Local 369 – 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM: Boarding. 5:45 PM: Departure. 6:00 PM: Race Begins. Tickets for the Belle of Louisville cost $150 (includes food & drinks, and entertainment). Belle of Cincinnati tickets cost $60 (includes cruise only). Once again, Four Roses Bourbon will be providing a special bourbon tasting on the Belle of Cincinnati; tickets cost $95 (includes food, cruise, and bourbon tasting).
- Battle of the Bounce – 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM – Do you and your colleagues love having FUN? Do you live for ADVENTURE and enjoy a CHALLENGE? If so, BATTLE OF THE BOUNCE is an event you don’t want to miss! Four-member teams from local companies and organizations will compete to finish an obstacle course with the fastest time. Racers will be climbing, crawling, sliding and jumping their way through this one-of-a-kind relay race. Come on out and watch WDRB’s Keith Kaiser and Kelly K. of 99.7 WDJX, as they compete against each other. Participants and spectators will enjoy being a part of this fast-paced, exciting event, sponsored by Louisville Inflatables! Gather some of your coworkers or friends and join us for some fun at the Waterfront!
- BeerFest Presented by American Founders Bank – 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Returning to the 2018 Kentucky Derby Festival event schedule is BeerFest Presented by American Founders Bank. Come out to the Overlook inside Kroger’s Fest-A-Ville and enjoy samplings of both regional and national craft beers. Tickets for the event are $45 each and include tastings, a souvenir sampling glass and a BeerFest pin. BeerFest will be open from 6 PM to 9 PM on Wednesday, May 2. VIP tickets will also be available for $75 each. This exclusive ticket will gain entry to the event an hour before it opens to the public, dinner, VIP glass, a goodie bag and private port-o-lets. Designated Driver tickets will also be available to purchase at the door for $10 each. Ticket includes access to the venue and a 2018 event pin.
- Waterfront Jam WFPK Wednesday Concert: The Lone Bellow ft. Special Guest Billy Raffoul – 9:00 PM – Admission is FREE with a 2018 Pegasus Pin.
- Venture Sharks Finals – 11:30 AM – 1:15 PM – Muhammad Ali Center – Come swim with the sharks during our May luncheon! Five lucky finalists will compete for $30,000 in cash and prizes in our 9th annual business pitch competition!
- Bourbon Raw Smoke & Sip – Bourbon Raw at Fourth Street Live! – 12PM – $30 Small Batch Flights and Bourbon Dipped Cigar
Thursday May 3rd
- Waterfront Jam: Judah & The Lion featuring special guest The Brook & The Bluff – 8:00PM – Admission is FREE with a 2018 Pegasus Pin.
- Vegas in the Ville – Frazier History Museum – 6PM – 12:30AM – Are you looking for something fun and unique to do with clients, friends or family in town for Derby? Join us at Vegas in the Ville on the Thursday before Derby for an exciting evening featuring a Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament, casino games, live DJ, food and drinks.
Republic Bank Pegasus® Parade – The 2018 Pegasus Parade will march down Broadway on Thursday, May 3. This family-friendly annual event showcases some of the nation’s finest marching bands and equestrian units, along with inflatable characters and colorful floats. Led by the “Peggy Bank” inflatable Pegasus balloon, the parade marches west on Broadway for 17 blocks and lasts approximately two hours. Thanks to the sponsorship of Republic Bank, more than 90% of the parade route offers free public viewing. Over the years, the Pegasus Parade has featured a wide variety of celebrities, including Grand Marshals such as Muhammad Ali, John Wayne, Loretta Lynn, William Shatner, Bill Monroe, Diane Sawyer, Colonel Harland Sanders, Rick Pitino, John Calipari, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and the 2013 University of Louisville Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams. Originating in 1956 on a budget of only $640, the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade is the Kentucky Derby Festival’s oldest event. Today, the Pegasus Parade is one of the largest in the country, contributing an estimated impact of more than $22 million to the local economy.
- Mayor’s Music Series – Thursday, May 3 from noon to 1 p.m. – West Lawn @ Metro Hall, Mayor’s Gallery in case of bad weather – Free admission – Join us Thursday, May 3, for the Mayor’s Music Series featuring local R&B artist, Kori Black! Attendees can bring their own lunch or enjoy free samples of BIRRACIBO KY pizza. Music starts at 12:10 p.m. with a brief interview with the band and Mayor Fischer.
Friday May 4th
- Derby Eve Jam®: Lost Kings featuring special guest Grandtheft – 8:00PM – Admission to this one-of-a-kind show is free with a 2018 Pegasus Pin.
- Republic Bank First Friday Hop – The Republic Bank First Friday Hop is an art show, tourist attraction, street party and celebration of Downtown Louisville that brings new visitors and new life to the Main and Market corridor. Previously called the “Trolley Hop”, the republic Bank First Friday Hop takes place on the first Friday of each month, rain or shine and includes over 50 stops with events, sales and fun ways to participate every month. Attending the Hop is always FREE! First Friday is now an all day event running from morning til night! So get ready to enjoy gallery walks, events, sales, discounts and happy hours for your Republic Bank First Friday all day long. To better serve our new expanded hours the TARC Zerobus will be running on an adjusted schedule from 7am until 7pm for free to all who attend.
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