We’re less than a month away from the kick off of the 2018 Kentucky Derby Festival – and there will be even more Festival events for fans to enjoy. New additions to the ever-growing schedule include a new steamboat cruise, flag football, a gala, kickball, zombies, a community-wide clean up, and a move to Southern Indiana. They will be part of the Festival’s schedule of more than 70 events produced each year in the weeks leading up to the first Saturday in May.
“It’s the Festival’s mission to make sure our schedule has a little something for everyone,” said Mike Berry, KDF President & CEO. “We continue to build on the tradition that started in 1956 with a single parade for the community.”
The new events for the 2018 Kentucky Derby Festival include:
• A Derby Festival event in New Albany, Indiana. The Festival is partnering with the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County for the new Horseshoe Foundation FamFest on April 11. The family-friendly event will have a special preview of the 2018 Festival, featuring a hot air balloon, inflatables, mini golf and bed races, face painting and more. The first 1,000 attendees receive a custom Pegasus Pin.
• An effort to help keep the city cleaner and greener. Louisville’s Brightside is making their Community-Wide Cleanup an Official Kentucky Derby Festival event on Saturday, April 14, and will be recruiting volunteers to participate. Contact Brightside for more information.
• Zombies at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville. Derby of the Dead Presented by the Louisville Zombie Walk will take over the North Great Lawn on Friday, April 27 complete with live entertainment, zombie themed wares, zombie car show and a zombie make-up demonstration. Admission is free with a 2018 Pegasus Pin.
• Another chance to ride Louisville’s steamboat. The Derby Festival is partnering with Trilogy to host the Steamboat Race Trial on Monday, April 30. The two hour cruise on the Belle of Louisville will be a relaxing way to start Derby Week, including brunch and live entertainment. Plus it’s a practice run for the Belle, as she prepares for the Great Steamboat Race later that week. Tickets $45. Purchase online at KDF.org or call (502) 584-FEST.
• Kickball and flag football tournaments on the Great Lawn. LXC Sports will bring their Flag Football and Kickball Showdowns to Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville Derby Week and they’re looking for teams to participate. For more information, check out www.lxcsports.com.
• A Derby Gala with a grand cause. Louisville Urban League’s Derby Gala is now an Official Kentucky Derby Festival Event. Themed Casino Royale, the 2nd annual Derby Gala will be held at the new OMNI hotel on Wednesday, May 2, Tickets: $250. Purchase online at www.lul.org/events/derby-gala or call (502) 585-4622.
The 2018 Kentucky Derby Festival officially kicks-off on Saturday, April 21, with the Opening Ceremonies – Thunder Over Louisville. Over the course of two weeks each year, the Festival attracts an estimated 1 million patrons to the city for its events. But, more than just fun and entertainment, the Festival also generates in excess of $127 million annually for the local economy. More information on all the events can be found at KDF.org.