Make this Kentucky Derby the best one yet: Here’s your guide to Derby Week in Louisville

By Emma Collins, Building Kentucky

Image by Simon from Pixabay

Kentucky’s biggest event – the Kentucky Derby – comes just once a year on the first Saturday in May. But why limit the fun to just one day? There’s enough happening around the city that you can easily turn the event into a weeklong affair.

Are you ready to make this Derby the best one yet?

May 1

Great Bed Races – Kentucky Exposition Center

Parade of Beds 6 p.m.

What better way to start off Derby week than with the Great Bed Races? Held at the Kentucky Exposition Center, this annual event switches out horses for homemade beds. More than 30 teams will race around an obstacle course with the goal of being named the top team.

This year’s theme is “Through the Decades,” so you be on the lookout for some of your favorite movies, music and fashion trends.

May 2

502’sDay – Churchill Downs

Gates open 11:30 a.m.

Meet the Derby’s newest event – 502’sDay! This event celebrates what makes the Derby so special – the community. This is a great option for those who don’t feel like braving the crowds on Derby Day.

The first post is at 12:45 p.m., so you can easily turn this into a full day at the track. And with tickets starting at just $5, everyone can go!

May 3

Great Steamboat Race – Riverfront

Race starts 6:00 p.m.

You’ve seen horse races and bed races, why not throw in a boat race? The Great Steamboat Race is one of the oldest Kentucky Derby Festival traditions. This two-hour race pits the hometown Belle of Louisville against the Belle of Cincinnati.

The Belle of Louisville won last year, so stop by the Riverfront to see if she can pull of victory yet again.

May 4

Derby Sneaker Ball – PNC Club UofL

Doors open 9:00 p.m.

Step away from the races and head over to Derby Diversity Week’s Derby Sneaker Ball. This event is a great opportunity to show off your best Derby attire with your hottest sneakers. This stylish-athletic-footwear combo is a great way to ensure you can dance well into the night.

This party includes live performances, celebrity appearances and a sneaker photo booth.

May 5

The Longines Kentucky Oaks – Churchill Downs

Gates open 9:00 a.m.

Celebrate the ladies of horseracing with some tickets to the Kentucky Oaks. As the third-highest attended horse race in the United States, you won’t be alone in the crowd.

Make sure you arrive early in your pink attire to catch the first race of the day. You might even see the fashion contest and Survivors Parade, which celebrates breast cancer and ovarian cancer survivors.

May 6

Kentucky Derby – Churchill Downs

Gates open 9:00 a.m.

What better way to celebrate the Kentucky Derby than by attending the race itself? From mint juleps to classy hats, this race has it all. Place your bets and get ready to enjoy the most exciting two minutes in sports.

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