And they’re off!
That’s how May always starts — with the most popular day of the year in Kentucky being the first Saturday, otherwise known as The Derby. After the most exciting two minutes in sports, Louisvillians coast through the rest of May, enjoying Mother’s Day, graduations and Memorial Day weekend in the warmer weather. Here’s what is happening around town for the month.
May 1 & 2, 2018: WineFest
The Belvedere at Waterfront Park turns into a regional wine tour both nights of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s WineFest. Some of the area’s more-than-90 wineries will have varietals available to sample. Entry includes a wine glass, which attendees use for tastings throughout the evening, an event pin and a chance to learn about the many varieties of reds and whites from the Bluegrass State and surrounding areas. The event is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $45, and designated driver tickets are also available at the door for $10. kdf.org
May 1-3, 2018: Dawn at the Downs
Each Derby season, locals and out-of-town Derby fans are given the chance to see the contenders train for the big race, while listening to expert commentary at Dawn at the Downs. This popular tradition will go from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. all three days. Listen while they announce the horses on the track, evaluate their workouts, discuss past performances and lend insight into this year’s Kentucky Oaks and Derby races. Tickets start at $41 for an adult and include a reserved dining seat and breakfast chef’s table. kentuckyderby.com
May 2, 2018: Great Steamboat Race
Always held on the Wednesday before Derby, the Great Steamboat Race pits the venerated Belle of Louisville against the Belle of Cincinnati, racing on the Ohio River. For Louisvillians, this day is the last day you will “work” until the Monday after Derby. Some people get tickets for the boats; others watch from the Riverfront. No matter the winner, it’s always fun. Boarding starts at 4:30 p.m., and the race starts at 6 p.m. Belle of Louisville tickets are $150, and Belle of Cincinnati tickets are $60. discover.kdf.org
May 2, 2018: Jocktails at The Derby
Jocktails is a celebrity bartending event that takes place at the Ice House on Wednesday, May 2. Each Derby season, they bring their blend of personality and libations to Louisville and get the world’s top jockeys in the mix shaking cocktails for charity. The fundraiser features appetizers and an open bar. The event takes place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and is 21+. Tips go to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. To inquire about tickets, visit derbyvip.com.
May 3, 2018: Pegasus Parade
If there was a bucket list for all things Derby, this would certainly be on it. On Thursday, May 3, the annual free Republic Bank Pegasus Parade is held on Broadway starting at 5 p.m. This is a great event for the whole family, as well as a great way to see all the celebrities in town for the Derby. Fun fact: this parade is the oldest event of the Kentucky Derby Festival. discover.kdf.org
May 3, 2018: Thurby
Thurby is what Oaks used to be to local Louisvillians – a day to call our own without all of the tourists. There’s great racing, specialty bourbon cocktails and a sneak peek at the Derby contenders. This is a favorite day to go to the track! churchilldowns.com
May 4, 2018: Kentucky Oaks 144
Let’s hear it for the girls! Watch the fillies race for the lilies in the Kentucky Oaks. This great day of racing is the day before Derby. Don’t forget to try the signature drink, the Grey Goose Oaks Lily. Most importantly, don’t forget to wear your pink in support of cancer survivors who will walk in the Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade presented by Kroger and in support of Churchill Downs’ partnership with Bright Pink and Horses and Hope. derbymuseum.org
May 4, 2018: ‘The Trifecta’ Derby Eve Gala at The Omni Louisville
Ready to hit the trifecta? This year, ‘The Trifecta,’ a star-studded Derby Eve Gala takes place at the new Omni Hotel Louisville! Walk the red carpet and feel like a celebrity at this black tie event with incredible entertainment. The Trifecta, an official event of the Kentucky Derby, benefits the West End School and the University of Louisville Autism Center at Kosair. The gala goes from 7 p.m. to midnight. To inquire about tickets, visit trifectagala.com.
May 4, 2018: Fillies and Stallions
Fillies and Stallions is entering its 8th year and is no longer Louisville’s best-kept Derby weekend secret. Louisville’s signature celebrity social event is held annually on Derby Eve and features a 40-foot red carpet complete with paparazzi. The music will keep partygoers up late, as this event takes place from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. To inquire about tickets, visit filliesandstallions.com.
May 4, 2018: Unbridled Eve
On Friday, May 4, The Unbridled Eve Gala takes place at the Galt House starting at 7 p.m. This gala is a fundraiser for The Unbridled Charitable Foundation. Stars including Dennis Quaid, J-Woww, Paul Sorvino and more will walk the red carpet. Unbridled Eve is co-chaired by the York Sisters, Tonya York Dees and Tammy York Day. To inquire about tickets, visit unbridledeve.com.
May 4, 2018: Woodford Reserve Oaks Garden Party and Brunch
Kentucky Derby Weekend is far and away the most coveted time to be a Kentuckian. This weekend, Woodford Reserve hosts their 5th annual Oaks Garden Party and Brunch. Join in the fun and kick off the weekend in style, while celebrating Woodford Reserve, the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. Guests will enjoy a seated family-style brunch prepared by Proof Executive Chef Mike Wajda of 21c Museum Hotels Louisville. Tickets start at $150 and a portion of all ticket sales will be donated to the American Cancer Society. originalmakers.com
May 4, 2018: Boys and Girls Haven’s 2018 Oaks Breakfast at the Olmsted
This year’s Boys and Girls Haven’s 2018 Oaks Breakfast will be held at the Olmsted from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The event will feature live music by Linkin Bridge, the inspiring story of host Angie Fenton and a plated breakfast of seven classic Kentucky dishes. Attendees will also hear from legendary jockey, Pat Day, and Boys and Girls Haven alumnus, Petty Officer First Class John Lowe. Tickets start at $100. louisvilletickets.com
May 5, 2018: Kentucky Derby 144
The first Saturday in May is sacred here in Kentucky. The Derby is an experience like no other. Don’t miss a chance to be a part of the action on Saturday, May 5, and be sure to wear your best frock and hat. Check out our What to Wear article to find out how to do Derby right. Also, there have been some BIG hanges to the parking areas for Derby week this year. Visit kentuckyderby.com for all of the updated info.
** Take a breath, Louisville **
May 11, 2018: Sunset Concert Series at Foxhollow Farm
Each second Friday from May through September, Foxhollow Farm in Crestwood opens the farm to friends and neighbors to enjoy music, local food and drinks for its annual Sunset Concert Series. The event is family-friendly and open to all ages. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs, friends, family and even their pets, as long as they are on leashes. Tickets include admission and parking. Savory and sweet treats will be available to purchase from a variety of local restaurants and food trucks, along with craft beer and a bar perched on the farm lawn. Concerts start at 6 p.m., rain or shine. This month, the music will be provided by Roanoke and The Family Secret. Tickets are $12. Children 12 and under are admitted free but must have a ticket. foxhollow.com
May 13, 2018: Mother’s Day 5K Run/Walk
Do something different with mom this Mother’s Day. On Sunday, May 13 at 8:30 a.m., celebrate your mom with family and friends by running or walking on the paths of Waterfront Park for the Mother’s Day 5K. There is a rose for every finisher and cake pops waiting for you at the finish line. Don’t forget to bring the kids for the 100-meter kids’ dash. The registration fee is $35. kentuckyruns.com
May 19, 2018: Great Strides 5K
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Kentucky and Southern Indiana is hosting the 2018 Great Strides 5K on Saturday, May 19 at Louisville Slugger Field. This is a great way for the community to get involved with a worthy cause. The day will be filled with family-oriented events, a healthy 5K walk, children’s activities, food and festivities. The fundraising goal for an individual is suggested at $300. fightcf.cff.org
May 19, 2018: Walk MS Louisville
Walk MS Louisville 2018 takes place on May 19 at 10 a.m. at the Louisville Water Tower. Walk MS helps the National MS Society of Kentucky and Southeast Indiana team up with friends, loved ones and coworkers to change the world for those affected by multiple sclerosis. Ending multiple sclerosis for good is going to take a team effort, and this walk is one more step in the right direction. There are no fees to participate in this walk! main.nationalmssociety.org
May 20, 2018: Buy Local Fair
The Louisville Independent Business Alliance will host the 10th Annual Buy Local Fair on Sunday, May 20 from noon until 6 p.m. at Louisville Water Tower Park. The event will feature booths from a variety of local businesses, artists and craftspeople, community organizations and farmers as well as live music, a cooking competition, food and retail vendors, a craft beer tent and a children’s area. This event is free to attend. keeplouisvilleweird.com
May 24-28, 2018: Abbey Road on the River
Celebrate the 60’s at the WAVE 3 News Abbey Road on the River, the world’s largest Beatles-inspired music festival. The five day event will be held at the Big Four Station Park in Jeffersonville, IN over Memorial Day Weekend. More than 50 bands will perform, including Grammy-winning rock group America and the fathers of psychedelic rock Vanilla Fudge. Other festival highlights will include presentations by The Beatles’ legendary sound and recording engineer Geoff Emerick and a Tom Petty tribute show by The Petty Hearts. Tickets start at $35 for one day general admission. arotr.com
May 30, 2018: Waterfront Wednesday
It’s time again for the WFPK Waterfront Wednesday Concert Series. May’s free concert on the Big Four Lawn will feature music from J Roddy Walston and the Business, Sunflower Bean and Parker Millsap. Grab your chairs and blankets, pack a snack and head down to the riverfront to enjoy an evening of music. The lawns open at 5 p.m. wfpk.org
Have a wonderful May!
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