Plan Your Derby Week: Great events leading up to the big weekend

Happy Derby Week!

With one of the biggest sporting events in the world taking place here in Louisville, there is definitely no shortage of events and activities to help celebrate.

Here are a few you don't want to miss:

MON-FRI: Chow Wagon

Great food and live entertainment take over Waterfront Park for the Fest-A-Ville.

Open 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

MONDAY: Great Bed Races

Before the horses, come the mattresses. On Monday, the beds will be rolling out for the Great Bed Races.

Teams will fill Broadbent Arena for the annual Great Bed Races. Participants grab four of their co-workers, build a bed on wheels, decorate it, dress in a ridiculous costume and then race.

Kentucky Derby Festival and Thorntons will make a cash donation to the cause or charity represented by the first place winners.

Admission is free with a 2018 Pegasus Pin.

The official Tailgate Party starts at 4 p.m. with the Parade of the Beds kicking off at 6 and the races start at 7.

If you can’t be there, don’t worry! Derby City Weekend will be LIVE at the event – click here to watch on Facebook

TUESDAY: Sheila E. at Waterfront Jam

The Kentucky Derby Festival Waterfront Jam will include live music on two stages at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville featuring over 30 local and regional bands and 7 national acts.

On Tuesday, musical legend Sheila E. hits the stage at 9 p.m.

Admission is FREE with a 2018 Pegasus Pin, or you can buy VIP Viewing Tickets for $20.


WEDNESDAY: Great Steamboat Race

This year, instead of seeing two boats, you’ll see three battling it out for the gilded antlers: the Belle of Louisville, the Belle of Cincinnati and the American Duchess.

The American Duchess is the newest steamboat built by the New Albany-based American Queen Steamboat Company.

The format of the race is also changing a bit. The crews will not do crew challenges like in years past, instead it will be just a fast race to the finish.

Click here to buy tickets

Belle of Louisville – $150 (includes food & drinks, and entertainment).

Belle of Cincinnati tickets – $60 (includes cruise only).

Four Roses Bourbon will be providing a special bourbon tasting on the Belle of Cincinnati; tickets cost $95 (includes food, cruise, and bourbon tasting).

4:30-5:30: Boarding
5:45: Departure
6:00: Race Begins

THURSDAY: Pegasus Parade on WAVE 3 News

Floats, bands, horses and much more will march down Broadway, between Campbell and 9th Streets, for the 2018 Pegasus Parade.

This year’s theme for the is #ThrowbackThursday.

The parade starts at 5 p.m.

WAVE 3 News will be broadcasting LIVE coverage of the parade.

Click here for reserved seating.

Oaks day at Churchill Downs

Grab your fave pink duds and hit the track for Oaks day!

Survivors of breast cancer and ovarian cancer will be honored in the Survivors Parade

Fourteen fillies are slated to run in the race:

1: Sassy Sienna
2: Coach Rocks
3: Classy Act
4: Chocolate Martini
5: Wonder Gadot
6: Kelly’s Humor
7: Rayya
8: Heavenhasmynikki
9: Take Charge Paula
10: Midnight Bisou
11: My Miss Lilly
12: Patrona Margarita
13: Eskino Kisses
14: Monomoy Girl

Click here for real-time odds

Mint Julep Race

Derby City Weekend will be announcing the winner of our Mint Julep Race during LIVE Oaks coverage on WAVE 3 News.

Tune in Friday at noon as Dawne Gee and Amber Powell tally the votes to see who you think has the best mint julep in town.

Click here to VOTE NOW!

The bars participating in the Mint Julep Race include:

Red Herring
Doc Crow’s
The Brown Hotel
Butchertown Grocery
Down One Bourbon Bar
Jeff Ruby’s
Match Cigar Bar
Pearl of Germantown
Proof on Main
Bristol Bar & Grille

For a full list of Kentucky Derby Festival events, go to