Your pre-Kentucky Derby 150 event guide

By Quin Welch, Building Kentucky

Kentucky Derby season is upon us, and that means the city of Louisville is preparing to celebrate. We’ve put together a list of notable events happening over the next month to help get you in the Derby spirit leading up to the Run for the Roses!

Caesars Foundation of Floyd County Derby Festival FamFest

April 5 from 4-8 p.m.

The Kentucky Derby Festival heads across the bridge and to Southern Indiana for an evening filled with family-friendly fun at the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County FamFest.

The annual event, featuring indoor and outdoor activities, is set for Friday, April 5 from 4-8 p.m. at the Floyd County Family YMCA (33 State St. in New Albany).

Plus, attendees will receive a custom FamFest event pin (while supplies last) that offers entry to Pin-admission events during the 2024 Derby Festival.

Attendees can meet members of the 2024 Royal Court and get their autographs, as well as enjoy live entertainment. Food trucks will also be onsite, including Fistful of Tacos and Upland Brewing Jeffersonville will be onsite offering on-tap beer.

Returning for the second year at FamFest is Rumpke Waste & Recycling’s Touch-A-Truck, which offers guests the opportunity to learn about and explore various large vehicles, including a Rumpke “Pup Truck” Garbage Truck, WDRB’s Ford Explorer Police Interceptor, dune buggies and more!

Other highlights of FamFest include:

  • Arts & Crafts provided by the American Printing House for the Blind
  • Playground Inflatables
  • Derby City Foam Parties
  • Gamerz Truck Video Game Truck
  • Face Painting
  • Interactive Displays
  • Samtec MakerMobile

Louisville City FC vs. Indy Eleven

April 6 at 4 p.m.

Come out to Lynn Family Stadium to root for the boys in purple as Louisville City FC takes on rivals Indy Eleven! The game will begin at 4 p.m., and attendees can purchase a limited edition LouCity/Kentucky Derby Festival scarf.

Call (502) 568-2489 or visit to buy tickets!

Stock Yards Bank $1 Million Dollar Hole-in-One Golf Contest SM

Preliminary Rounds Begin on April 11

Stock Yards Bank is hosting its 34th-annual $1 Million Dollar Hole-in-One Contest SM. The million-dollar prize is still up for grabs, and anyone can take a swing for the money. If no one hits a hole-in-one, a winner is still crowned and they will walk away with a $5,000 prize!

Preliminary rounds are held for 10 days, and each swing costs $1. If you purchase a Pegasus Pin at the event, you will receive 10 free swings at the million!

Learn more about the contest here.

Republic Bank Kentucky Derby Festival BourbonVille®

April 11 from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Mix, mingle and enjoy Bourbon Specialty Drinks at Republic Bank BourbonVille®. Taste signature drinks from some of Kentucky’s top Bourbon distilleries, enjoy Bourbon-inspired cuisine and meet the Master Distillers!

Held at the Frazier History Museum – the Official Starting Point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

General Admission Tickets: $75 (includes the following):

  • Signature drinks and tastings from Kentucky Bourbon distilleries
  • Bourbon-inspired cuisine
  • FREE commemorative glass and event pin
  • Access to Frazier History Museum exhibits

VIP Tickets: $125 (includes the above, plus):

  • One-hour early entrance to the event, starting at 5:30 PM
  • Access to VIP Lounge
  • Swag bag
  • Exclusive Bourbon Tasting Experience

This is a 21+ event only. Valid ID required upon entry.

Brightside Community-Wide Cleanup

April 13

The 2024 Brightside Community-Wide Cleanup is a great service opportunity for young people, faith groups, community organizations and more! Cleanup teams can sign up to help pick up litter and beautify our community as the world turns its eyes to Louisville.

Teams can register here. Contact Brightside at to participate.

Fillies Derby Ball Presented by Cadillac

April 13 at 6 p.m.

It’s the Derby Ball that starts it all! Experience an evening of “Old Hollywood Glam” featuring dinner, dancing, live entertainment by Radiotronic and a special guest. Plus, be part of the historic crowning of the Derby Queen of the 2024 Royal Court.

New this year – you’ll have an opportunity to add a speakeasy experience to your evening.

A portion of event proceeds benefits the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation. Tickets begin at $250 and are available for purchase here.

Taste of Derby Festival®

April 16 from 5:30-8 p.m.

What’s better than sampling some of Louisville’s best dishes and helping a worthy cause? Not much. Perhaps that’s why each year the turnout increases for the Taste of Derby Festival®.

All proceeds from the event benefit the Dare to Care Food Bank (contact Dare to Care by calling 502-966-3821).

This is the 23rd year for the Taste of Derby Festival event (and 35th year as a Taste event that supports Dare to Care Food Bank), which features signature dishes from more than 50 of Louisville’s finest restaurants and beverage companies. There is also a bourbon tasting, wine tasting, and a silent auction.

The Taste of Derby Festival has the feel of an upscale cocktail party, but it’s open to the public – as long as tickets are still available. The participating restaurants will offer a selection of signature appetizers, entrees and dessert items. Some of the liquor vendors will feature small-batch brands not commonly available. A Silent Auction returns to the event offering unique items from generous donors.

All proceeds benefit the Dare to Care Food Bank. Head to Dare to Care’s website to purchase tickets.

Kentucky Derby Festival Volleyball Classic

Opening Rounds Begin on April 20

2024 marks the 35th Annual Derby Festival Volleyball Classic. It’s one of the largest and oldest outdoor volleyball tournaments in the country featuring sand and grass volleyball for all levels of play including Coed, Men’s, Women’s – Doubles, Triples, Quads, and Sixes.

The Volleyball Classic is a tradition that has been passed along to many generations of volleyball players. It’s a great way for volleyball players of all ages and skill levels to participate in an official Derby Festival Event.

Spectators are welcome to attend and watch some exceptional volleyball! For more information, call The Volleyball Connection at (502) 582-3530, or visit

Thunder Over Louisville

April 20

Experience a Louisville tradition unlike any other! Join thousands of neighbors at Waterfront Park for Thunder Over Louisville, a day filled with airshows and fireworks displays. Enjoy food, music, drinks and more as we celebrate Derby season!

Chow Wagon®

Open Daily from April 25-May 3

The Chow Wagon returns to Waterfront Park on the Ohio River. The Music Stage will feature live concerts with local and regional entertainment and a wide variety of musical genres including jazz, R&B, country, rock and blues.

The Chow Wagon is food and fun! You can feast on everything from cookie dough to turkey legs and elephant ears. There’s something for everyone!

Where else can you find great food and live musical entertainment in a riverside setting for a 2024 Pegasus Pin admission? Meet your coworkers for lunch or come down for an evening concert. There’s no way to go wrong by making a visit to this great outdoor party.

Ken-Ducky Derby

April 27

Join us for the 21st Annual Ken-Ducky Derby as we drop 46,000 rubber ducks into the Ohio River for a chance to race and compete for prizes. Cheer your duck to victory as they race to the finish line!

The best part? Your duck purchase benefits individuals with disabilities at Harbor House of Louisville. Harbor House is a local, nonprofit, charity that lights the way for adults with physical and cognitive disabilities. It is a day program where the participants can come and engage in special programs like job training, educational/tutoring classes, cooking classes, gardening, community integration, social skills, technology classes, therapeutic activities, arts and humanities, and more!

For more information about Harbor House, visit or call (502) 719-0072.

Admission is free with a 2024 Pegasus Pin.

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