April 27, 2022, Louisville, KY. The Kentucky Derby Festival’s ultimate entertainment venue – Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront – returns Thursday, April 28, at 11 a.m. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. in front of the main entrance to mark the official opening of the 8-day event. The first 300 guests will also receive a free gift from Kroger. As part of the opening day festivities, attendees will have an opportunity to taste $2 to $4 food samples during Flavors of Fest-a-Ville from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

One of the Derby Festival’s signature events, this year’s Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville includes local, regional and national concerts, festive food, family-friendly fun, hot-air balloon displays, midway rides, helicopter excursions and even professional wrestling. Fest-a-Ville is open daily through May 6. (Closed on Monday, May 2.) Hours are 11.a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday and noon to 10 p.m., Sunday.  Admission to Fest-a-Ville is free with a 2022 Pegasus Pin. (Food, drink and pets are not permitted).

Of course, Fest-a-Ville wouldn’t be complete without food – and lots of it! Some new items on the menu this year include Philly chicken and cheese sandwiches, street tacos, beef brisket, cotton candy, elephant ears, and Italian sausage. Foodies will also find the traditional favorites like Funnel Cakes, Corn Dogs, the Derby Burger and Gyros.

Happy Hour returns weekdays 4-6 p.m. with $3 12oz Miller Lite, available in both the Chow Wagon Beer Garden and Great Lawn Beer Garden. Throughout the venue, guests will also have a variety of drink options including 4 different specialty cocktails to choose from at one of five full-service bars.

Events happening at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville include:

  • Kentucky Derby Festival Chow Wagon: Open during the entire eight days of Fest-a-Ville, this outdoor food and live music venue is a long-running Derby Festival tradition. Happy Hour Weekdays: 4-6 p.m. $3 beers at the Miller Lite Beer Garden.
  • NEW THIS YEAR: Flavors of Fest-a-Ville: Sample foodie favorites from popular Festival tradition, the Chow Wagon. It’s open weekdays only from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Samples range from $2 to $4.
  • Pegasus PlayVille, sponsored by Norton Children’s, features a variety of kid-friendly activities, including Charlie Chopper, Rainbow Rock, Fun Slide, Lil Wheel and more.
  • Military Day returns on Thursday, April 28 with free admission all day for Veterans and active military with their military ID.
  • The Kentucky Association of Health Plans (KAHP) will give patrons a free Pegasus Pin or money card (valued at $7) to be used at Fest-a-Ville from 4-6 p.m. each day if they get a COVID-19 vaccination. The KAHP tent will be located at the entrance, with Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory administering vaccines.
  • Kentucky Derby Festival Neigh-Maste on the Waterfront: Friday, April 29, noon-1 p.m. Festivalgoers can relax and recharge at this yoga event while enjoying views of the Ohio River and Louisville skyline.
  • Kentucky Derby Festival Ohio Valley Wrestling Run for the Ropes: Friday, April 29, 6-7:30 p.m. Special meet-and-greet with OVW stars at 5 p.m., followed by six big matches, including a special “Every Man for Himself Free-For-All” over the top rope Battle Royal.
  • Kentucky Derby Festival Great Balloon Glow: Friday, April 29, 9 p.m. The event has been moved to Fest-a-Ville this year and features a dozen balloons lighting up the city skyline.
  • Kentucky Derby Festival Ken-Ducky Derby: Saturday, April 30, call to the post at 2 p.m. See the launch of 46,000 ducks into the Ohio River for a chance to race and compete for prizes. Proceeds benefit Harbor House of Louisville.
  • Kentucky Derby Festival Sunday Funday Drag Show Brunch: Sunday, May 1, 1-3 p.m. Coordinated by the Louisville Pride Foundation, this event showcases some of Louisville’s finest entertainers. Food and drinks available for purchase. $200 VIP Experience includes prime seating for a table of six, $50 in food and drink tickets and a special swag bag.
  • Kentucky Derby Festival HappyTail Hour: Tuesday, May 3, 1-4 p.m. Bring your four-legged friend to this pet-friendly event on the Great Lawn. Coordinated by Metro Animal Services.
  • Heroes of Education Day: Thursday, May 5. All education employees (with a valid ID) are invited to head down after school and experience an evening at Fest-a-Ville. They will receive free admission that day, along with a commemorative, custom Pegasus Pin while supplies last, courtesy of Class Act Federal Credit Union.

Fest-a-Ville culminates with the ZYN Derby Eve Jam on Friday, May 6, where country singer-songwriter Parker McCollum, the Academy of Country Music’s 2022 New Male Artist of the Year, will take the stage. The Texas native’s debut MCA Nashville album, “Gold Chain Cowboy,” was the highest first week debut album of 2021, and his platinum single, “Pretty Heart,” was the only debut single to ship to radio and reach #1 in 2020. He’ll be joined by special guest, the multi-Platinum artist and creator of the #TrailerTrap sound, Blanco Brown. Known for his global smash single, “The Git Up,” and his recent #1 song, “Just The Way” with Parmalee, Blanco has collaborated across genres with the likes of Nelly, Ciara, Diplo and more. The show starts at 8 p.m. Sponsors: Kroger and ZYN, along with Media Sponsor: Q103.1. VIP tickets starting at $25 are on sale now at KDF.org.

Hip hop and freestyle artist Rob Base has been performing for more than 30 years and is known for hits, “It Takes Two,” “Get on the Dance Floor” and “Joy and Pain.” He’ll take the Fest-a-Ville stage on Tuesday, May 3 at 8 p.m., and will be joined by DJ Quinnette. Media Sponsors: B96.5 and Magic 101.3.

Concerts featuring a variety of genres will also take the stage:

  • Alex Miller with special guest Scott T. Smith: Thursday, April 28, 8 p.m.
  • The Homies (the Louisville group is part of the music collective, Private Garden, co-founded by Jack Harlow) with co-headliner Kyle Hume: Friday, April 29, 8 p.m.
  • Kentucky Derby Festival GospelFest Presented by Passport Health Plan by Molina Healthcare and Republic Bank: April 30, 7 p.m. This Gospel Choir Showcase features performances by national acts, including Jason Clayborn, Randy Weston, Nate Bean and more and has moved to Fest-a-Ville this year.
  • D. Shelburne: Saturday, April 30, 8 p.m.
  • Joslyn & The Sweet Compression with Casey Powell: Sunday, May 1, 7 p.m.
  • Tony & The Tan Lines with special guest Jameron: Wednesday, May 4, 8 p.m.
  • The Crashers with special guest Hawks: Thursday, May 5, 8 p.m.

Fest-a-Ville is Sponsored by Kroger. Stage Sponsor: ZYN. Beer Garden Sponsor: Miller Lite. Supporting Sponsor: Kentucky Association of Health Plans.