Beginning in 1963 with a head to head battle between two historic vessels, the Belle of Louisville and the Delta Queen, the Great Steamboat Race is one of the Kentucky Derby’s oldest festival traditions. Scheduled annually for the Wednesday before Derby day, this half a century-old tradition has seen its fair share of participants. This year’s race will include Louisville’s Belle of Louisville, BB Riverboats Belle of Cincinnati, and for the first time, the American Duchess. Since we love every reason to celebrate all things Derby, here’s a list of 5 ways you can enjoy this year’s Great Steamboat Race.
The race begins at 6pm at the 2nd Street Bridge which is considered both the start and the finish line. All boats typically come racing back (at 10mph) around 8pm, so be there for the photo finish. Also, don’t forget to bring a jacket because once the sun goes down being on the river can get chilly! Let us know how you enjoy the Great Steamboat Race this year. Be sure to tag your photos with #LouisvilleLove.