April 14, 2022. Louisville, KY.  – The Kentucky Derby Festival’s new Block Party will make its debut this Saturday, April 16 at the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center. The free event, created with the support of Churchill Downs and Humana and the Derby Festival’s Derby Equity Community Initiative (DECI), will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The new Derby Festival event is slated to become an annual tradition and will shine the spotlight on talent and resources throughout Louisville, specifically minority-owned businesses in West Louisville. Guests can enjoy a day-long celebration featuring cuisine from local food trucks, live entertainment, a shopping marketplace, wellness activations, a vendor fair, programming and more.

In addition to partnerships with Churchill Downs and Humana, the Kentucky Derby Festival also sought input and assistance from several community members, who played an instrumental role in the creation of Block Party.

Block Party highlights include:

  • A variety of cuisine from a dozen local food trucks, along with 10 local desert vendors.
  • A Community Village featuring around 20 minority-owned local non-profit groups, all with missions to help meet the needs of residents of the West Louisville community.
  • Live entertainment on multiple stages throughout the day showcasing a variety of music genres, including performances by Unlimited Show Band, Edent Band, Mighty Shades of Ebony, Young Prodigys, and Trip J Band. The line-up also includes visual artists, DJs, dance, theatre, spoken word, comedy and more.
  • MELANnaire Marketplace will feature 60 vendors and merchants highlighting Black entrepreneurs. This local shopping marketplace is a one-stop shop for spring fashions, Derby attire, hats, accessories, gourmet food and more.
  • A Health and Wellness Center will be set up on site and offering a variety of services, including COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Children’s activities include inflatables, face painting and an Easter Egg Hunt.

Admission to Block Party is FREE. (No outside food or drinks can be brought into the venue).

The DECI, which launched in spring 2021 and is a multi-year initiative, is a combined effort to incorporate equitable programming into the Derby season and the celebrations that surround it. One of the main pillars of DECI is to CREATE new and culturally celebratory experiences, like Block Party, for the community.

Churchill Downs and Humana are Presenting Sponsors of the event, joining Contributing Sponsors: Brown-Forman, Commonwealth Credit Union and Ford Motor Company. Media Sponsor is REAL 93.1.


January 11 - April 20
February 24
March 2
March 22 - March 24
March 24 - March 24