One of the biggest events to hit Louisville, Kentucky is the Kentucky Derby and the two week long Kentucky Derby Festival that precedes it. From fashion shows, to spelling bees to brunches and golf tournaments, there are all kinds of events taking place in Louisville. This year, the festival runs from April 12th until May 2nd. We’ve showcased some of our favorite events taking place during the festival.
The Royal Court
Each year, a selection of 5 Princesses are chosen from a pool of applicants and they attend many pre-Derby festivities, hoping to become the Queen and attend all of the official Kentucky Derby Festival events and receive a $2000 scholarship. This year’s Princesses were: Morgan Cooksey, Julia Springate, Eriauna Stratton, Grace Trimble and Grace Wainright.
Unlike a normal pageant where a panel of judges choose the winner, to be fair, the Royal Court’s Queen is determined with a spin of the wheel. The 2014 Royal Court Queen was chosen last Friday and the winner was Julia Springate!
Thunder Over Louisville
Thunder Over Louisville is the big kickoff celebration of the Kentucky Derby Festival. The event took place on Saturday, April 11th. It started 3:00pm with an amazing Air Show. The best part was seeing the incredible Blue Angles perform. Then at 9:00 when the sun finally set, the nation’s largest annual fireworks spectacle started. It was fantastic as always and really set the tone for the rest of the festival!
Kentucky Derby Marathon
The 2014 Kentucky Derby Marathon will be taking place on Saturday April 19th. In additional to the full marathon, there is also a half marathon and a kid’s race. The Start Line will be at Main Street and Brock Street in downtown Louisville and the Finish Line will be at Preston and Witherspoon Street.
While everyone tends to think of Mint Juleps when they heard about the Kentucky Derby, the festival provides a great opportunity to try out some new beers. Beer Fest will be held on April 30th and attendees will have the opportunity to sample many National and Craft beers. It will be hard to choose a favorite!
The main event, the Kentucky Derby is a two minute horse race, held at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Even though the race is short, ticket holders arrive early to see and be seen. Both men and women dress up in their finest Spring fashions. If you’re attending, be sure to place a bet on your favorite horse and sip on a Mint Julep, the Kentucky Derby’s official drink.
Will you be in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby Festival? If you need a place to stay, we still have some availabilities at our Louisville Properties!