March 1, 2014

Kentucky Derby Festival: It’s just around the corner…

By Ben Graven–

It may seem like a long shot that warm weather, blue skies and green grass are on their way, but we are, in fact, on the home stretch.  Come early April, the Kentucky Derby Festival kicks-off spring in tremendous fashion.  In Louisville, this is the time when all the fun begins. It’s when the trees begin to blossom, the grass begins to grow, and the hype for the Derby festivities are born.

What is not to love about extravagant waterfront fireworks, greasy corndogs, hot air balloons, and giant floats marching down Broadway? The Kentucky Derby Festival has the Louisville culture in its’ grasp for an exciting two week period featuring fun-filled events. Since 1956, the festival has been entertaining Louisvillian’s with free concerts, parties, and family-friendly activities that have left a lasting impact on the local economy.

The Kentucky Derby Festival includes a staggering 72 events that last right at the three week mark. One of the more popular events is the “Fest-A-Ville” down on the Ohio River. Beginning Apr. 24 and continuing through May 2, you can enjoy a variety of tasty foods, games, and most importantly, live music from popular bands. The event stretches nine exciting days and all you need for admission is a five dollar Pegasus pin–that’s a lot of bang for your buck!

This year, marks the 59th anniversary of the Kentucky Derby Festival. In the forefront of the excitement is “Thunder Over Louisville.” The event draws an average of 500,000 spectators each year, lining the mighty Ohio River. This year, the famous Blue Angels Flight Team will be performing during the airshow, along with military planes that were not present in previous years. As far as the fireworks are concerned, be prepared for another great thunder evening packed with colorful explosions in the sky and waterfalls of light falling from the downtown bridges.

There is something fun for all ages during the Derby Festival. For you college kids (over 21 of course) there is the annual WineFest on the Belvedere on Apr. 29. On Apr. 30, the Beer Fest kicks off “Fest-A-Ville” down on the scenic waterfront, with beer tastings from both regional and national craft breweries.

The Derby Festival is a wonderful and unique time in the city of Louisville. It gives the community the opportunity to unwind, enjoy the weather, and celebrate the weirdly awesome culture that makes our city so great. Just remember, there is no greater place for leisure and cultural celebration than in “the possibility city.”

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