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.
April 30 & May 1, 2019: 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
April 30-May 2, 2019: 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 1, 2019: 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 1, 2019: Jocktails at The Derby
Jocktails is a celebrity bartending event that takes place at the Ice House on Wednesday, May 1. 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 2, 2019: Pegasus Parade
If there was a bucket list for all things Derby, this would certainly be on it. On Thursday, May 2, 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 2, 2019: 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 3, 2019: The Longines Kentucky Oaks
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. churchilldowns.com
May 3, 2019: ‘The Trifecta’ Derby Eve Gala at The KFC YUM! Center
Ready to hit the trifecta? This year, ‘The Trifecta,’ a star-studded Derby Eve Gala takes place at The KFC YUM! Center. Walk the red carpet and feel like a celebrity at this black tie event with incredible entertainment by Usher. The Trifecta, an official event of the Kentucky Derby, benefits the West End School and the V Foundation. The gala goes from 7 p.m. to midnight. To inquire about tickets, visit trifectagala.com.
May 3, 2019: Fillies and Stallions at Mellwood Arts Center
Fillies and Stallions is entering its 9th 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 3, 2019: Unbridled Eve
On Friday, May 3, 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. Watch the stars as they will walk the red carpet and even get the chance to mingle. 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, 2019: 41st Annual Derby Breakfast presented by Blade & Bow Bourbon
Guests will enjoy a Kentucky Proud sit-down brunch by Farm to Fork Catering, open bar featuring Blade & Bow Bourbon (presenting sponsor), and live bluegrass music from the Misty Mountain String Band. Yard games and garden tours will also be available (weather permitting).The event begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at noon at the Farmington Historic Plantation. Tickets begin at $165 for an individual. historichomes.org
May 4, 2019: The Kentucky Derby
The first Saturday in May is sacred here in Kentucky. The Derby is an experience like no other and nicknamed “the fastest two minutes in sports.” 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. churchilldowns.com
** Take a breath, Louisville **
May 11 & 12, 2019: Spring Art Show at Mellwood Art Center
Join in on the art celebration at Mellwood Art & Entertainment Center’s Third Annual Spring Art Show. On May 11th, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., enjoy the preview party with cocktails. On May 12th, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., support our Kentucky artists! The event is free to enter. mellwoodartcenter.com
May 17, 2019: Sunset Concert Series at Foxhollow Farm
Each second Friday from May 17 through October 12, 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. Season passes are $50. Children 12 and under are admitted free but must have a ticket. foxhollow.com
May 13 & 14, 2019: Mother’s Day 5K Run/Walk
Do something different with mom this Mother’s Day. On Saturday, 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 Kids Fun Run. Extended registration continues on May 14. runsignup.com
May 18, 2019: Great Strides 5K
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Kentucky and Southern Indiana is hosting the 2019 Great Strides 5K on Saturday, May 18 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 18, 2018: Walk MS Louisville
Walk MS Louisville 2019 takes place on May 18 at 10 a.m. at Waterfront Park – Great South Lawn. 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, but if you raise $100 you get a Walk MS T-shirt! main.nationalmssociety.org
May 18 through June 12, 2019: Welcome Home Tour & Design Show at Norton Commons
Join the Norton Commons for a fabulous tour of 12 stunning, fully-furnished geothermal homes, each with unique interior designs for one of the largest home design show in the region. Centered around the Peppermint Green, a football field-sized civic space, this Old Louisville inspired space will be open to the public from May 18 to June 2 for $15 at Norton Commons. nortoncommons.com
May 19, 2019: Clip for Kids at Fourth Street LIVE!
Participants raise funds in return for clipping, trimming or shaving their hair in solidarity with kids fighting cancer at Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville. Registration is FREE with a $25 fundraising minimum! clipforkids.org
May 19, 2019: Buy Local Fair
The Louisville Independent Business Alliance will host the 11th Annual Buy Local Fair on Sunday, May 19 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 23-27, 2019: 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 starring The Cowsills, The Grass Roots, The Buckinghams, Peter Asher & Jeremy Clyde, and 50 more amazing bands.Tickets start at $25 for one day general admission. arotr.com
May 29, 2019: Waterfront Wednesday
It’s time again for the WFPK Waterfront Wednesday Concert Series. The lineup for May’s free concert on the Big Four Lawn is TBD. 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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