This is the event that really lets Louisvillians know that Derby Festival time has arrived. Kick back at Waterfront Park for an afternoon air show featuring vintage and military aircraft, then be thrilled by one of the largest fireworks displays in the world when the sun sets. It’s a Louisville tradition that annually draws hundreds of thousands of spectators.
The zoo is a cool place to be any time, but the EGGStravaganza just adds to the fun. The animals will engage in Easter-themed activities with additional events including family games, Easter egg hunts for kids 11 and under, and the chance to kick it with the Easter Bunny himself. You can even get in on an Easter brunch, if you purchase tickets in advance.
Cost: Free (with zoo admission or membership)
Monnik Beer Co.
Once a year, the folks of Schnitzelburg get together for a day-long street festival to help welcome spring and also Derby Week. The Walk & Rock, in conjunction with the Flea Off Market, features street sales, games, beer, food and live music, with the block surrounding Monnik Beer Co. closed off to traffic. Bring the kids and have a ball.
Kentucky Center for African American Heritage
Taste food from chefs and caterers all over the city while enjoying live jazz, blues and R&B music in an elegant setting. The event benefits TheSlice, a non-profit organization that raises funds to support social service organizations and scholarships throughout West Louisville. This year’s theme is: “A salute to a more compassionate Louisville.”
April 27 - April 28
Cherokee Parkway between Willow Avenue and Cherokee Road
The Cherokee Triangle Art Fair is a Louisville tradition that happens every spring on the weekend before the Kentucky Derby. Residents in the neighborhood and all over the city descend upon the unique atmosphere to shop the booths of hundreds of artists and other vendors. It’s one of those events where, if you’re from Louisville and you attend, you’re almost guaranteed to run into someone you know.
Start & finish at Waterfront Park
Get out your bike to get spring started in a healthy way. Choose from three different courses of 62, 35 or 20 miles and join hundreds of others in this bike tour around Louisville. Course highlights include Olmsted park tours as well as cruising through all areas of the city from Downtown and Churchill Downs to the South End and Highlands.
On your mark, get set, steam! Yeah, steamboats racing each other might sound about as exciting as watching paint dry, but steamboats are part of Louisville’s heritage, and the event is an annual family favorite during the week before the Kentucky Derby. Folks flock to the riverfront to watch the great steamers do their thing and see if the Belle of Louisville can reclaim the title.