It’s time to stretch that famous two-minute race into a month-long party! The Kentucky Derby Festival will be in full swing this weekend, providing a multitude of festivities (including Balloonfest, pictured above) to bolster your Derby spirit. In addition to the festival, other activities this weekend range from outdoor and indoor concerts, a celebration of Derby’s past, a day of leadership for girls, and more.
Check out our suggestions below for a memorable weekend:
- Gather your kids Sunday and enjoy two Kentucky Derby Festival activities perfect for families. YMCA Healthy Kids Day is a free event with healthy interactive activities, inflatables, and a fun obstacle course that kids and adults can both enjoy, all on the North Great Lawn at Waterfront Park inside Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville. Or your child can dress like a prince or princess and attend the Children’s Tea with the Kentucky Derby Festival Princesses at The Crowne Plaza Hotel. Today’s Family magazine is a proud media sponsor of both events.
- Some of horse racing’s biggest names will be on hand for the second annual Fan Fest Day, Sunday at the Kentucky Derby Museum. The day will pay tribute to Hall of Fame Trainer D. Wayne Lukas and each of his four Kentucky Derby-winning horses: Winning Colors, Thunder Gulch, Grindstone, and Charismatic. Lukas will be on-hand for activities such as a unique morning rail side chat during a walking tour, green-screen photo opportunities, and more. Jockeys Pat Day and Calvin Borel and trainer Carl Nafzger will also be in attendance, and lots of children’s activities will be offered.
- Visit the New Albany Riverfront Skatepark on Saturday for “Skate and Create” with Hunger Skateparks, and share your ideas about how to improve the park as a skating experience and a work of downtown public art. Park schematics and art materials including modeling clay will be on hand to help you sketch out the possibilities for this skatepark, and free pizza will be available.
- Gear up for Crashing the Parklands, a free, family-friendly event Sunday at Broad Run Park. Shakespeare in the Park will present Julius Caesar, and the Louisville Crashers will perform.
- Saturday night is Opening Night at Churchill Downs. A ticketed event that night will be the Moonlight Masquerade, hosted by Mom’s Closet Resource Center and featuring a live and silent auction, dinner buffet, bar service, betting windows in room, and racing program.
- Get ready for some BBQ, bourbon, and beer at the second annual Pig & Swig, Saturday at Fourth Street Live! Entertainment District. It will feature dozens of local craft beers and bourbons, smoked meats, and live music.
- Old Louisville LIVE presents performances by the Louisville Leopard Percussionists Sunday at Central Park Amphitheater. Bring a picnic to the park and enjoy.
- The final Louisville Orchestra concert of the season Saturday, Festival of American Music II: American Journey, features excerpts from Teddy Abrams’ opera The Greatest: Muhammad Ali along with works by renowned American composers from Samuel Barber to Herbie Hancock.
- Louisville Girls Leadership (LGL) will present the fourth annual Girls IdeaFestival, geared toward current and incoming high school girls, the adults in their lives, and male allies. The goal of Saturday’s program, held at Bellarmine University, is to develop creative and innovative solutions to challenges girls face today, including self-care, women’s history, college and career readiness, and more.