Shepherd Insurance Great Steamboat Race

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As one of the original and longest standing traditions of the Kentucky Derby Festival, the Great Steamboat Race has been taking place on the Ohio River since 1963. Ask any local, this event has become a Louisville tradition in the leadup to Derby weekend!

The event pits vessels against each other, including the Belle of Cincinnati, as they compete for bragging rights in this race on the river!

The Belle of Louisville was declared the winner in 2022. Come see if our beloved local steamboat reigns supreme in 2023.

The race lasts about 2 hours, finishing back at the Wharf. Following the race, the victor is awarded the pair of coveted Silver Antlers during an Awards Ceremony at the Chow Wagon at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville.

1963 – Delta Queen
1964 – Belle of Louisville
1965 – Delta Queen
1966 – Delta Queen
1967 – No race (due to high water)
1968 – Delta Queen
1969 – Belle of Louisville
1970 – Belle of Louisville
1971 – Belle of Louisville (by default)
1972 – Belle of Louisville
1973 – Delta Queen
1974 – Delta Queen
1975 – Belle of Louisville
1976 – Julia Belle Swain (from Peoria, Illinois)
1977 – Delta Queen
1978 – Delta Queen
1979 – Belle of Louisville
1980 – Belle of Louisville (by default)
1981 – Belle of Louisville
1982 – Natchez (from New Orleans, Louisiana)
1983 – Belle of Louisville
1984 – Delta Queen
1985 – Delta Queen
1986 – Delta Queen
1987 – Belle of Louisville
1988 – Belle of Louisville
1989 – Delta Queen
1990 – Delta Queen
1991 – Belle of Louisville
1992 – Delta Queen
1993 – Belle of Louisville
1994 – Delta Queen
1995 – Belle of Louisville
1996 – Belle of Louisville
1997 – Delta Queen
1998 – Belle of Louisville
1999 – Spirit of Jefferson (racing for the side-lined Belle)
2000 – Belle of Louisville
2001 – Delta Queen
2002 – Belle of Louisville
2003 – Delta Queen
2004 – Belle of Louisville
2005 – Belle of Louisville
2006 – Delta Queen
2007 – Belle of Louisville
2008 – Delta Queen
2009 – Belle of Louisville
2010 – Belle of Cincinnati
2011 – Belle of Louisville
2012 – Belle of Louisville
2013 – Belle of Cincinnati
2014 – Belle of Louisville
2015 – Belle of Louisville
2016 – Belle of Cincinnati
2017 – Belle of Cincinnati
2018 – American Duchess
2019 – Belle of Louisville
2020 – No Race
2021 – Belle of Louisville

2022 – Belle of Louisville

January 12 - April 22
February 25
March 16 - March 16
March 25
March 30