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    It’s decadent, it’s depraved, and it’s here. Derby week is upon us! Buckle in, take your B-12 and do it up right with these events:


    Fest-A-Ville With a Lion Named  Roar
    Feast on everything from deep fried peanut butter and jelly to turkey legs and elephant ears and enjoy a Lion Named Roar. 
    April 27, 11 – 11 p.m.
    Waterfront Park
    1 River Road
    Louisville, KY 40202
    Free with a Pegasus Pin

    HappyTail Hour at Fest-a-Ville
    Dogs – bring Your Owners to HappyTail Hour at Kroger’s Fest-a-VilleSM event at Waterfront Park! This “pet inclusive” cocktail event will take place Monday, April 27, from 5 – 9 p.m. at Waterfront Park and will feature live entertainment. All pets must be on leashes.
    April 27, 5 – 9 p.m.
    Waterfront Park
    1 River Road
    Louisville, KY 40202

    Kentucky Proud WineFest
    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.  Tickets, which cost $40, include a complimentary wine glass, event pin and samplings of some of Kentucky’s finest beverages.
    April 27, 5 – 9 p.m.
    The Belvedere
    485 W Main St
    Louisville, KY 40202

    Yelp's Countdown to Derby: De-Stress at Garage Bar
    The events! The out-of-town visitors! The traffic! Choosing the right horse to plunk some hard-earned dough down on for the big race! Derby time is stressful, whether you're planning to go to Churchill Downs or not. So take some time to de-stress at Garage Bar before many of the real shindigs commence. Massage therapy students from Louisville School of Massage will be on hand to provide free massages. And Paws with Purpose will have puppies to pet and play with. This event also coincides with Garage Bar's happy hour from 5-7 p.m., which features $3 well drinks, $2 PBRs and $2 off craft draft beers. Paws with Purpose will be accepting supplies for their dogs. You are encouraged to bring a supply with you to this event. Attend and check in to this event via the Yelp app to get a free Yelp pint glass to keep, with purchase of a beer, while supplies last.
    April 27, 5 – 8 p.m.
    Garage Bar
    700 E. Market St.
    Louisville, KY 40202

    Great Bed Races
    Grab four of your co-workers, build a bed on wheels, decorate it, dress in a ridiculous costume—and then race. That pretty much sums up the Kentucky Derby Festival Bed Races. Each year, thousands of enthusiasts gather to cheer on more than 40 teams, while on-air personalities from WAVE TV anchor the live coverage from every angle, from the crowd to the pits.
    April 27, 6 – 10 p.m.
    Kentucky Exposition Center, Broadbent Arena
    937 Phillips Lane
    Louisville, KY 40209
    FREE with 2015 Pegasus Pin

    Basil Hayden's Drink Competition
    We're kicking off Derby Week this year with our 4th annual Drink Competition! Bartenders across Louisville will be coming out to create their best cocktail using Basil Hayden's.
    April 27, 7 – 11:55 p.m.
    Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge
    446 S. Fourth St.
    Louisville, KY 40202



    Kentucky Derby Trunk Show featuring Milli Starr
    Fabulous hats and fascinators that are perfect for Oaks Day and Derby Day 2015! Austin-based couture milliner Milli Starr will be at Gifthorse boutique on South 4th Street in historic downtown Louisville on April 28, 29 & 30. Find the perfect hat for the big weekend at the races!
    April 28, 10:30 – 6 p.m.
    554 South Fourth Street
    Louisville, KY 40202

    Kentucky Derby Festival Health Fair
    The 8th annual Kentucky Derby Festival Health Fair will be held in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center, in conjunction with the Republic Bank Parade Preview Party. 
    April 28, 5 – 9 p.m.
    Kentucky Exposition Center, South Wing
    937 Phillips Ln
    Louisville, KY 40209
    Free healthscreenings done onsite

    Pegasus Parade Preview Party
    Get Up Close and Personal with the Parade! Private Group Tours 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Open to the Public 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Get a sneak peek of each Float & Inflatable during the 2015 Republic Bank Pegasus Parade Preview Party! The 2015 event will be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in South Wing C. The venue will explode with larger-than-life animation. Bring your family for an evening of fun with the people who make the parade truly spectacular. Giant Inflatable Character Units along with Equestrian Units will join the Floats on display for an “inside” view of a parade. Your children can get an autograph or photo of the Derby Festival Queen and Royal Court while they stroll through this indoor “carnival of fun.”
    April 28, 5 – 9 p.m.
    Kentucky Exposition Center
    937 Phillips Ln
    Louisville, KY 40209
    Entry is a Pegasus Pin admission; $8 KEC Parking Fee

    Yelp's Countdown to Derby: a Derby Chapeaus Show at KMAC
    Fashion is as integral to Derby as horses are, in our opinion. And no other piece is more indicative of this than the celebrated Derby hat. At this event, The Mysterious Rack Kentucky will host a Derby fashion show, showing off hats for men and women, in the beautiful Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. The Mysterious Rack will also host a free “Make Your Own Fascinator” workshop in the MakerSpace (RSVPs required). Hats will be for sale and a cash bar will also be available. This is a 21+ event. YOU MUST RSVP ON THIS PAGE:
    April 28, 6 – 9 p.m.
    Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft
    715 West Main Street
    Louisville, KY 40202
    Free! This is a 21+ event



    Pimento Cheese Social
    How can you resist this southern staple, presented a half-dozen different ways by local chefs? From fried pimento cheese balls to BBQ and pimento cheese sliders and mini brioche grilled cheese to pimento kimchi, no two offerings are the same. And the bonus? Bourbon cocktails for dessert of course!
    April 29, 7 – 10 p.m.
    Stitzel-Weller Distillery
    3860 Fitzgerald Road
    Louisville, KY 40216

    Yelp's Countdown to Derby: Lunchtime Food Truck Bourbon Challenge on South Fourth Street
    Take a break from work and come to the South Fourth Street district downtown to enjoy the best of what some of Louisville's finest food trucks have to offer. Plus each truck is making an extra special dish using Maker's Mark bourbon.
    April 29, 11 – 1:30 p.m.
    South Fourth Street
    South 4th Street
    Louisville, KY 40202

    Battle of the Bounce
    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. Participants and spectators will enjoy being a part of this fast-paced, exciting race! Gather some of your coworkers or friends and join us for some fun at the Waterfront! This year’s course, furnished by Louisville Inflatables, will feature five incredible obstacles. Each team will be challenged by a 21-foot dual rock climbing wall, a human hamster ball race, a huge inflatable obstacle course and an inflatable bouncing pony race to the finish line!
    April 29, 11 – 1 p.m.
    Kroger’s Fest-A-Ville Waterfront
    1 River Road
    Louisville, KY 40202
    $75 per person to participate in the Bounce

    Great Steamboat Race
    Tickets for the Belle of Louisville cost $130 (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 $80 (includes food, cruise, and bourbon tasting). 
    April 29 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. -Boarding
    5:30 p.m. Departure
    6:00 p.m. Race Begins
    Louisville, KY
    $60 - $130

    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 mug and a BeerFest pin.
    April 29, 6 – 10 p.m.
    The Overlook at Kroger’s Fest-A-Ville
    1 River Road
    Louisville, KY 40202
    $45 each and include tastings, a souvenir sampling mug and a BeerFest pin

    Jocktails is a Celebrity Bartending Event that Features some of the Top Athletes in the World Bartending while raising money for some the most amazing charities out there. Jocktails at the Derby Presented by Sun Tan City & Planet Fitness. 100% of your Ticket will go to the PDJF - Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Ticket Includes Admission, Cocktails, and Appetizers
    April 29, 7 – 10 p.m.
    Ice House
    226 E Washington St.
    Louisville, KY 40202

    Derby High Sounds With Matt Anthony at 8UP
    Hang up to enjoy High Sounds with DJ Matt Anthony at 8UP! Matt Anthony, of Matt Anthony's Record Shop.
    April 29, 7:30 -11:30 p.m.
    350 W Chestnut St
    Louisville, KY 40202

    Funtown Mountain Big Fundraiser
    We are celebrating the opening of Funtown Mountain with the Funtown Mountian Big Funraiser in Louisville on April 29th! Join us for the wildest night of your life. Featuring:
    Jesco White (Official) - The Dancin Outlaw!
    Elvis & Meatloaf - The Perkins Brothers!
    Kentucky Prophet - The Hip Hop Wonder!
    The Rock-afire Explosion - Playing all the hits! 
    Go-Go Amy - Burlesque & Variety!
    Christopher Wonder - Live Chicken Magic!
    DJ Shit Show - Songs of your Wildest Dreams
    More! More! More! 
    And as if that wasn't Yolo enough, this joyous occasion is going to be at the second most wonderful place in Kentucky, Jim Porters Good Time Emporium!!!
    April 29, 8 – 10 p.m.
    Jim Porters Good Tim Emporium
    2345 Lexington Road
    Louisville, KY 40206



    Celebrate the trifecta of Kentucky pride at Thurby, Thursday of Kentucky Derby week. Guests can register for an opportunity to win a box for 6 for the 2015 Kentucky Derby and Oaks. Enjoy great horse racing, an Old Forrester Cocktail showdown, specialty bourbon cocktails, and live music from 91.9 WFPK Radio Louisville!
    April 30, 11 – 9 p.m.
    Churchill Downs
    700 Central Avenue
    Louisville, KY 40208

    Jim Beam Perfect Mint Julep Day Celebration
    Jim Beam is kicking off Derby season with a Perfect Mint Julep Day Celebration on Thursday, April 30 at the Jim Beam distillery. Bourbon fans near and far who are of legal drinking age are invited to join seventh generation Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe for a day full of live music, delicious barbeque from Fred’s Smokehouse and samples of the Beam family mint julep recipe. Attendees will also be given an opportunity to meet whiskey authority Noah Rothbaum as he hosts the first-ever public reading of his newest release, “The Art of American Whiskey.” Must be 21+ years old.
    April 30, 11 – 5 p.m.
    Jim Beam American Stillhouse
    526 Happy Hollow Road
    Clermont, KY 40110

    Yelp's Countdown to Derby: Pegasus Parade Watching Party at The Café
    Why sit on the hard bleachers on Broadway when you can sit under a covered porch, enjoy delicious eats and drinks and take part in activities before and during the Pegasus Parade? The Cafe is playing host to yelpers, with discounted eats and other fun. Bring your family, or bring your coworkers.
    April 30, 3 – 6:30 p.m.
    The Cafe
    712 Brent Street
    Louisville, KY 40204

    KDF Pegasus Parade “Best of Louisville”
    The 2015 Pegasus Parade will march down Broadway on Thursday, April 30. This family-friendly annual event showcases some of the nation’s finest marching bands and equestrian units, along with inflatable characters and colorful floats that are designed and decorated to reflect the 2015 theme, “Best of Louisville”. 
    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.
    April 30, 5 – 8 p.m.
    Parade Route: Broadway, from Campbell to 9th
    Louisville, KY

    100 Black Men Derby Scholarship Gala
    Featuring Black Street with Teddy Riley and Louisville’s own Unlimited Show Band!  The 100 Black Men of Louisville offers financial assistance to students in their high school mentoring program to assist them in entering college. April 30, 6 – 11 p.m.
    Galt House Hotel
    Louisville, KY 40202

    Sixth Annual Taste of Derby
    Kick off your Kentucky Derby weekend in style at the sixth annual Taste of Derby presented by Stella Artois. Mingle with horse racing celebrities as you savor an evening of exquisite cuisine and exceptional wines. Taste of Derby will showcase cuisine from popular horse racing destinations across the country, where masterful chefs from these cities will serve samples of their signature dishes.  Guests will enjoy unique wines paired with the chefs’ regional offerings, and mix and mingle with Thoroughbred horse racing celebrities. 
    April 30, 7 – 11:30 p.m.
    Churchill Downs
    700 Central Avenue
    Louisville, KY 40208
    Ticket prices vary

    Spina Bifida Oaks Eve Gala
    Don your Derby best and join us in the Norton Commons Town Center for the Oaks Eve Gala to benefit the Spina Bifida Association of Kentucky.  Enjoy live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks and a silent auction while raising money for a great cause. 
    April 30, 7 – 11 p.m.
    Osborn Building
    9418 Norton Commons Blvd.
    Prospect, KY 40059

    Pre~Derby Party at Chef Maria’s Bistro
    Let's celebrate the Derby at the newly opened Chef Maria's Bistro in Old Louisville, a delicious Greek buffet with lamb, cheeses, salads. Cash Bar, Hat contest and lots of fun.
    April 30, 7 – 10 p.m.
    Chef Maria's Bistro
    107 W. Oak st.
    Louisville, KY 40203
    $25.00 prepaid or $30.00 at the door

    Oaks Eve Bash at Woodhaven Country Club
    Join us for an eventing at Woodhaven Country Club to celebrate the 2nd Annual Oaks Eve Bash! Hosted by: Steve Linebaugh, Mark Krish, Tom Mercer, Chris McClellan, Sam Phillips & Nick Clark Includes complimentary appetizers & desserts, live music, and cash bar,
    April 30, 8 – 11 p.m.
    Woodhaven Country Club
    7200 Woodhaven Road
    Louisville, KY 40291



    Longines Kentucky Oaks 141
    Ladies First on Friday! Join us under the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs for the 141st running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks.PINK OUT: The official color of the Kentucky Oaks is PINK in honor of the Oaks official flower, the stargazer lily. In support of Kentucky Oaks Day, THINK PINK when it comes to your attire.
    The Survivors Parade presented by Kroger will again take place on Kentucky Oaks Day to show our fans’ support for cancer survivors. The parade will be made up of 141 cancer survivors who have been chosen through an online nomination and selection process.
    May 1, 8 – 4 p.m.
    Churchill Downs
    700 Central Avenue
    Louisville, KY 40208
    Tickets available at

    Kegs and Eggs at Anselmo’s
    Serving an Italian breakfast spectacular with a special breakfast dessert. Featuring local and regional bourbon barrel specialty brews, crafted mimosas, screwdrivers and Bloody Marys. 
    May 1, 9 – 1 p.m.
    1511 Bardstown Road
    Louisville, KY

    Riverside Cigar Shop & Lounge 4th Anniversary Celebration, a Derby Eve Gala
    Riverside Cigar Shop will celebrate its 4th anniversary on Friday, May 1 with a premiere Derby Eve Gala featuring world-renowned Cuban tobacco farmer Hirochi Robaina. The event is free and open to the public and will feature special offers throughout. It is the perfect opportunity to stock up before your Derby Day festivities. Don’t be caught in your seersucker suit celebrating your bets and bourbon without an iconic cigar!
    May 1, 6 – 8 p.m.
    Riverside Cigar Shop
    201 Spring Street
    Jeffersonville, IN 47130

    Derby City BrewFest 2015 Beer, Food and Live Bands at Yum! Center Plaza
    Bluegrass Brewing Company is hosting the first annual Derby City BrewFestwhich will be held on Derby Eve outside on the KFC Yum Center Plaza! The festival will feature Kentucky Breweries and Kentucky's own style of beer the "Kentucky Common". There will be five local bands playing, 15 breweries and over 60 local beers. The beers will be served at the respective breweries during Derby Week festivities, culminating in the event in front of the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville. The festival will include booths by each brewery with several beer styles (60 plus local craft beers) available in addition to Kentucky Common, as well as food and other refreshments for purchase.
    May 1, 4:30 p.m. – 12 a.m.
    KFC YUM! Center
    1 Arena Plaza
    Louisville, KY 40202
    $10 admission; $5 designated driver; $2 drink tickets; pre-order specials available.

    Unbridled Eve Derby Gala
    Join us for Southern charm and elegance at its best during the Unbridled Eve Derby Gala. On Saturday the Mint Juleps will flow, the call to the post will sound, hooves will pound, dirt will fly, bets will be made and dreams will come true. But first, come experience a night of Southern grace, glamour, charm and hospitality at its finest during the fourth annual Unbridled Eve Gala.
    Held the night before the Fastest Two Minutes in Sports, Unbridled Eve is one of the most anticipated black tie-optional events of the year for Louisville lovers, celebrities and racing enthusiasts!
    May 1, 7 – 1:30 a.m.
    Galt House Hotel, Grand Ball Room
    140 North Fourth St.
    Louisville, KY 40202
    Dance-only tickets available

    Derby Eve Gala at the Seelbach Hilton
    The American Lung Association’s 21st annual Derby Eve Gala brings an Italian flair to the Seelbach Hilton as we present Under the Tuscan Stars. The Seelbach’s gorgeous Medallion Ballroom will be aglow with candlelight and flowers reflecting a beautiful evening in romantic Italy.
    May 1, 8 – 12 a.m.
    Seelbach Hilton Hotel
    500 S 4th Street
    Louisville, KY 40202
    Tables of 10: $3,000 Individual seats: $300 per person

    Hermitage Grand Gala
    The Inaugural Hermitage Grand Gala will take place Friday, May 1st Derby Eve at Hermitage Farm. Hosted by Laura Lee Brown, Steve Wilson, & Junior Bridgeman.
    May 1, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m.
    Hermitage Farm
    10500 W U.S. Hwy 42
    Goshen, KY 40026
    Winners Circle Tickets $1,200 each; Dark Star Tickets $1,000 each

    Epic Derby Weekend with Fireball and Nappy Roots
    We're celebrating the Run for the Roses with an epic weekend-long party! 
    Anheuser Busch Beer Garden all weekend - We'll be pouring Bud, Bud Light, Goose Island 312, Goose Island IPA & Shock Top Banana Wheat.
    Friday, May 1st: FREE outdoor Nappy Roots concert at 10pm, sponsored by Fireball Whisky!
    May 1, 10 p.m. – 12 a.m.
    3939 Shelbyville Road
    Louisville, KY 40207


    2nd Annual Royal Derby Celebrity Brunch
    This year and promises plenty of surprises in store for our hand-picked guests!
    The most exclusive, and star-studded event of the weekend. Guests will enjoy live New Orleans jazz band along with a special performance by CHANSON singing her debut single “Sunny Side Up” and DJZNYCE will be rocking the tables. Sip Mimosas with us in your best derby hat, heels, while enjoying the latest entertainment. Invited guests will enjoy a brunch buffet, a gourmet omelet station, endless mimosas, sweet indulgences and a VIP gift bag from our sponsors (First 50 purchased tickets). 
    May 2, 11:30 – 3:30 p.m.
    1325 Bardstown Road
    Louisville, KY 40204

    Bourbon and Biscuits & Derby Breakfast at Farmington Historic Home
    Farmington Historic Plantation invites you to the annual Historic Homes Foundation Derby Breakfast presented by Garden & Gun. Enjoy a traditional sit-down brunch, Bluegrass style, with an open bar, live band, and Southern cuisine. We welcome you to enjoy coffee and dessert in our social silent auction. Your buffet wristband also allows you access to the Bourbon & Biscuits tent located behind the cabin.  The inaugural Bourbon & Biscuits event presented by Garden & Gun will have a Kentucky bourbon bar, mimosas and Bloody Marys, as well as an assortment of Southern-style biscuits. Your Bourbon & Biscuits wristband will allow you to socialize and participate in our silent auction tent, where coffee and desserts will be available. Note: This ticket will not allow access to the Derby Breakfast. 
    May 2, 9 -12
    Farmington Historic Plantation
    3033 Bardstown Road
    Louisville, KY 40205
    Derby Breakfast: $150 Bourbon & Biscuits: $60

    The Kentucky Derby
    The 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby will be run Saturday, May 2, 2015, and for the third consecutive year, a tiered point system in select races will determine who qualifies to America’s greatest race. Each year 20 horses have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to run in the Kentucky Derby. To earn a spot in the starting gate, they must travel along the Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series of 35 designated races at tracks across the country and around the world. Points are awarded to the top four finishers in each race. The 20 horses with the most points will earn a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.
    May 2, 10 – 8 p.m.
    Churchill Downs
    700 Central Avenue
    Louisville, KY 40208
    Ticket prices vary!

    Speed of Light Derby Night Celebration at 21C
    The thundering of thoroughbreds’ fastest hooves will culminate in The Speed of Light / Derby Night Celebration at 21c Museum Hotel Louisville. Celebrate the bright future of The Speed Art Museum, while immersed in contemporary art at 21c, immediately following the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. Featuring Open Bar, Music and Lasers by GlitterTitz.
    May 2, 8 – 11:30 p.m.
    700 West Main Street
    Louisville, KY 40202
    8pm Dinner + Dancing: $195 10pm Dancing: $125

    Silks in the Bluegrass
    Get ready to put on your dancing shoes and rock the house to the sounds of Motown and Funk with the Washington, D.C. based star-studded, 10-piece band Jukeboxx, the headline entertainment for this year’s Silks in the Bluegrass on Derby night! Enjoy an evening of cocktails, dinner and dancing guaranteed not to disappoint and definitely not to be missed!
    May 2, 7:30 p.m. – 12 a.m.
    Crowne Plaza Louisville - Crowne Plaza Ballroom
    830 Phillips Lane
    Louisville, KY 40209
    $150 per person

    D'USSE at The Derby Fight Night Party
    We will be showing the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiauo Fight on 2 Large Screens and 4 Televisions. Cash Bar Available. Music by DJ K-Dogg between Fights & After the Fights for the After-Party.
    May 2, 8 – 12 a.m.
    The Gillespie
    421 W Market Street
    Louisville, KY 40202

    Derby Night Party Feat. Louisville Crashers
    Derby night party featuring the Louisville Crashers, Jefferson Tarc Bus (all original members). Riff Raff, Tricycle and Dogville. Doors open 5 p.m.
    May 2, 8 – 12 a.m.
    Phoenix Hill Tavern
    644 Baxter Avenue
    Louisville, KY

    Derby Night: Studio 54 Starring Amanda Lepore
    Join us Saturday, May 2 after the races for special guest, model, artist and icon, Amanda Lepore! She joins our Play Mates in the theatre. Shows @ 10, 12 & 2 with special meet & greet after the 12:00 show. VIP Tables and Booths available with reservation. Please call for pricing and availability. (502) 882-3615. Louisville's HOTTEST dance floor ignites with all your faves till close. It's PLAY time!
    May 2, 10 – 2 p.m.
    Play Dance Bar
    1101 E. Washington St.
    Louisville, KY 40206

    Images courtesy of Gzik/Catherine Murray/Avptpgraphy/olesia bilkei/Cherly Ann Quibley/Photohouse/Remy Mussler

    Elizabeth Myers's picture

    About Elizabeth Myers

    Big fan of bacon and bourbon, deep fried anything, sweet tea and sweet nothings.

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