Churchill Downs to go orange for opening night of Derby Week

The world’s most famous race track will kick off this year’s Derby Week with live music, performance art and a whole lot of orange.

Churchill Downs announced Wednesday that for the second straight year, patrons are encouraged on the first Saturday of the spring meet to wear orange, and plan for a fun evening.

On April 27, more than 20 live performances by more than 150 local actors, dancers, musicians and visual artists have been scheduled for locations throughout the track and on Churchill Downs’ Big Board. Each artist was chosen for how they incorporate orange into their performance.

Churchill Downs Opening Night

The schedule of performances is below:

Featured Plaza Stage

+ Short performances by YOYA Dance Troupe, Kentucky Shakespeare and Dancers Center for Training between 5:50 p.m. and 6:40 p.m.

+ Karan Chavis: 7:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

+ Zach Longoria Project: 9:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Performances throughout the track:

+ Amberly Simpson & Dancers – modern dance performances

+ Demi Bechtloff – umbrella installation art

+ BioGlitz – performance art with glitter bar & glitter models

+ Louisville Listens & Danny Seim – music and piano installation and performances

+ CirqueLouis – contemporary circus performances

+ The Art of Kacy (Kacey Jackson) – live mural painting

+ Resko Art (Braylyn Stewart) – live mural painting

+ Chris Chappell – live mural painting

+ Francisco Cardona – “Planet Orange” LED art installation

+ The Louisville Leopards – student percussion ensemble performance

+ Wheeler Elementary School – installation art by 120 Wheeler Elementary 5th graders

+ Dancer’s Center for Training – dance performances

+ YOYA Dance Troupe – Chinese folk dance performances

+ KMAC – wearable art performances

+ Sarabande Books – roaming personalized poetry

+ Fazier History Museum – actress performing in a custom-made 1904 Derby dress

+ Wonnd & Twine – barrel art installation

+ Kentucky Shakespeare – roaming performance art

+ Lynn Dunbar Bayus – live painting

+ Grant Goodwine – live painting

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During Opening Night, Fund for the Arts and Churchill Downs will present the 2019 Awards in the Arts presented by Kindred Healthcare and Joy Mangano, a separately ticketed charitable event in the Starting Gate Suites that celebrates the arts community in the Greater Louisville region and the arts contribution to our unique cultural landscape and quality of place. Most of all, Awards in the Arts celebrates the artists themselves and their talent and passion for transformative and inspiring works of art. The seven Awards in the Arts award winners, which include the National Award in the Arts, National Arts Advocate, Lifetime Achievement, Arts Innovation, Arts Education, Arts Impact and Emerging Leadership, will be broadcast live on the Big Board.

Admission starts at $17 and reserved box seats start at $34. Courtyard tickets are $104 and Winner’s Circle Suite tickets are $130 and each includes admissions, full bar, small plates and a program. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with first post at 6:00 p.m. Recommended attire is dress-to-impress cocktail attire that incorporates orange, as well as fashionable headwear.

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