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. Louisvillians coast 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, 2017: Great Bed Races
If you are lucky enough to work for a company that participates in this race, well, the rest of us are jealous. Bed races are quite simply that. Five-man teams rig beds with wheels and try to push them around a track without crashing or collapsing. The Thorntons Great Bed Races will take place Monday, May 1, with the parade of beds at 6 p.m. and the race at 7 p.m. Can’t go? Well, it’s always shown live on WAVE-TV. Awards are given to the winner, as well as the worst drivers and the best decorated, so everyone wins here. For more information, click here: discover.kdf.org.
May 2, 2017: Derby Social at Farmington
Enjoy an old-fashioned pig roast, signature cocktails by Copper and Kings American Brandy, craft beer, live music by the Juggernaut Jub Band and a local artisan market. Tickets are $50 and include food and beverage. All proceeds will benefit Farmington Historic Plantation. farmingtonhistoricplantation.com
May 2-4, 2017: 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 is narrated by ESPN and CNN contributor Gary West, alongside resident expert handicapper, Joe Kristufek. At 7 a.m. on Thursday, May 4, the two will 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 $37. For more information and to purchase your tickets, click here: kentuckyderby.com
May 2 & 3, 2017: 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 varieties available to sample. Entry includes a wine glass, which attendees use to taste throughout the evening, an event pin and a chance to learn about the many varieties of reds and whites from 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 3, 2017: 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 on the boats; others watch from the Riverfront. No matter the winner, it’s always fun. For tickets and more information, click here: discover.kdf.org.
May 3, 2017: Jocktails at The Derby
Jocktails is a celebrity bartending event that will take place at the Ice House on Wednesday, May 3. 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, which takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., is invite only, but after 10:00 p.m. the 21+ party opens to the general public. All proceeds benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. facebook.com
May 4, 2017: Pegasus Parade
If there were a bucket list for all things Derby, this would certainly be on it. Thursday, May 5, the annual Republic Bank Pegasus Parade will be 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. This year’s Grand Marshal will be Jordan Smith, Season 9 winner of NBC’s The Voice. For more information, click here: discover.kdf.org.
May 4, 2017: Thurby
Thurby is what Oaks used to be to local Louisvillians. A day to call our own without all 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. For tickets, click here: churchilldowns.com
May 5, 2017: Kentucky Oaks 143
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, on Friday, May 5, in case you didn’t know. 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 143 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. Click here for tickets: derbymuseum.org
May 5, 2017: Fillies and Stallions
Fillies and Stallions is entering its 7th 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. Keeping the music going late into the night will be DJs Ryan Coxx, Benny, and Etrayn. For more information, inquiries and guest list consideration, click here: filliesandstallions.com
May 5, 2017: Unbridled Eve
Friday, May 5, 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. Unbridled Eve is co-chaired by the York Sisters, Tonya York Dees and Tammy York Day. For tickets and more information, click here: unbridledeve.com
May 5, 2017: Woodford Reserve Oaks Garden Party and Brunch
Kentucky Derby Weekend is far and the way the most coveted time to be a Kentuckian. Woodford Reserve is hosting their 4th 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 at Rye on Market, by executive chef Zach Chancey. Tickets start at $150 and a portion of all ticket sales will be donated to the American Cancer Society. originalmakers.com
May 5, 2017: Boys and Girls Haven’s 2017 Oaks Breakfast at the Olmsted
This year’s Boys and Girls Haven’s 2017 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 6, 2017: Kentucky Derby 143
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 6, and be sure to wear your best frock and hat. Check out all the articles on our site to catch yourself up to speed on what to wear and how to do Derby right. For tickets, click here: www.kentuckyderby.com
** take a breath Louisville**
May 12, 2017: 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. All shows are rain or shine. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs, friends, family and even their pets, so 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. This month, the music will be provided by Milenio with Freedom Moore. Tickets are $10. Children 12 and under are admitted free, but must have a ticket. foxhollow.com
May 13, 2017: CycLOUvia – Three Points
The first installment of CycLOUvia of 2017 is returning to Three Points – Germantown, Schnitzelburg and Shelby Park– on Saturday, May 13. The event, which showcases alternative transportation, will move in a circular route through the neighborhoods via Goss Avenue, Logan Street and Shelby Street. These roads will be closed to vehicular traffic from 2 to 6 p.m. This edition of CycLOUvia will take place during Better Blocks, a temporary intervention at Oak and Logan Streets that will create walkable destinations and stronger street design. Pop-up shops, vendors, public space, art, and programming are utilized to reinvigorate the neighborhood corridor. facebook.com
May 14, 2017: Mother’s Day 5K Run/Walk
Do something different with mom this Mother’s Day. On Sunday, May 14 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. For more information and to register, click here: kentuckyruns.com
May 16-21, 2017: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation. Featuring a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move”, “One Fine Day”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “You’ve Got A Friend” and the title song, Beautiful has a book by Tony® Award-nominee and Academy® Award-nominated writer Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni, choreography by Josh Prince, and took home two 2014 Tony® Awards and a 2015 Grammy® Award. Tickets start at $35. kentuckycenter.org
May 20, 2017: Great Strides
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Kentucky and Southern Indiana is hosting the 2017 Great Strides 5k on Saturday, May 20, at Louisville Slugger Field. Participating in the event is a great way for the community to get involved with a great cause. The day will be filled with family-oriented events, a healthy 5k walk, children’s activities, food and festivities. For more information and to get involved, click here: fightcf.cff.org
May 20, 2017: Louisville Story Program’s Write-A-Thon
Taking a cue from The NY Writers Coalition, Louisville Story Program is hosting their first Write-A-Thon on Saturday, May 20, at Spalding University. Here’s how it will work: Participating writers will get pledged donations from friends and family who want to support their work. Those writers who raise at least $100 will show up to Spalding University for a day of dedicated writing, peer support and creative comradeship. They’ll sit down in one of the classrooms or parlors for as much writing time as they care to have. Free coffee will be provided all day, a catered lunch will be provided and several opportunities for professionally led break-out workshops and craft-talks, and a key-note reading. Writers will also receive a tote bag, an LSP book of choice, a copy of The Louisville Review and other swag items. Prizes will be available for the writers who raise the most money. louisvillestoryprogram.org
May 20, 2017: Walk MS Louisville
Walk MS Louisville 2017 is taking place on May 20 at 8 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 co-workers 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. For more information, to register, donate or start a team, click here: main.nationalmssociety.org
May 21, 2017: Buy Local Fair
The Louisville Independent Business Alliance will host the 9th Annual Buy Local Fair on Sunday, May 21 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. keeplouisvilleweird.com
May 25-29, 2017: Abbey Road on the River
It’s hard to believe it’s not really The Beatles performing live when you attend Abbey Road on the River every year. This is the world’s largest Beatles-inspired tribute festival and it’s held annually over Memorial Day weekend. The 5-day event will feature more than 50 bands, including Hermit starring Peter Noone, Peter Asher of Peter & Gordon, The Grass Roots, The Family Stone, Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders, Ambrosia and Jake Clemons, the saxophonist from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. www.arotr.com
May 31, 2017: 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 the Mavericks, Hollis Brown and Peter Searcy. Grab your chairs and blankets, pack a snack and head down to the riverfront to enjoy an evening of music. wfpk.org
Have a wonderful May!
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