April 27, 2021. Louisville, KY. – This year’s Great Steamboat Race Presented by Kroger will have three contenders – the hometown Belle of Louisville, up-river rival the Belle of Cincinnati and from the south in Memphis, the American Duchess. The race is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28.
The three boats will participate in a traditional race on the river. The 14-mile course on the Ohio River starts and finishes at the Clark Memorial Bridge. The winner will be determined by the first boat to cross the finish line.
There will be judges aboard the boats and the majority decision of the judges will be final. The winner will be presented with the set of 12-point Silver Antlers at the post-race ceremony. The Awards Ceremony will take place immediately following the race at the 4th Street Wharf.
The Belle of Louisville won the last race in 2019 and has won a total of 28 times since the river rivalry began in 1963. This is the second time the American Duchess has participated, she also competed in 2018.
The boats will be operating at limited capacity and following COVID-19 safety protocols. There are tickets still available, but they are in limited supply. For Belle of Cincinnati tickets call 1-800-261-8586; and for tickets aboard the Chaser Boat, the Mary M. Miller, call (502) 574-2992. More information can be found online at KDF.org.
Boarding for the Great Steamboat Race will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., with all the boats departing the shore at 5:45 for a 6 p.m. start.
Kroger is the Presenting Sponsor of this year’s Great Steamboat Race. Contributing Sponsors: Four Roses and PPL Therapeutic Services, PLLC. Media Sponsors: Q103.1 and WLKY TV.
Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.