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Derby Week Celebrations Around Town

Enjoy the glitz, glamour & fun at these 20+ Kentucky Derby Week parties and events

There is plenty to celebrate at the track during the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby with cheering on your favorite horse and sipping Mint Juleps, but the celebration doesn’t stop there. In the days leading up to the races, start showing off your Derby finest at any of these upcoming parties, brunches & concerts happening around town that are sure to get you in the Derby spirit.

May 4 | Biscuits & Bourbon
Jump start your day at the track with a southern-inspired brunch at the Kentucky Derby Museum where a menu with mimosa , bourbon, and decadent breakfast goodies await. After brunch, you’ll head next door to Churchill Downs to enjoy the day cheering on the horses as they race past.

May 5-7 | Derby Concert Series at Fourth Street Live!
Dance the night away at Fourth Street Live’s Derby Concert Series with country music star Chase Rice (May 5), award-winning DJ Steve Aoki (May 6), and a post-Derby party with DJ Ryan Coxx (May 7).

May 5 | Taste of Derby
Enjoy a night sampling wine and dishes from both celebrity and award-winning chefs representing of all the races and places that lead up to the Kentucky Derby.

May 5 | Thurby Brunch & Racing
The Thursday before Derby has traditionally been the local’s day at the track, but the excitement of the races has exploded over the last few years with the creation of Thurby. The Kentucky Derby Museum invites you to their Thurby Brunch that includes food, cocktails, and special Thoroughbred racing industry guests before heading to the track to cheer on your favorite horses.

May 5-6 | Esquire Derby Lounge
The Omni Hotel Lobby and Library Bar is the transformed into the 3rd Annual Derby Lounge filled with music and black-tie clad staff serving up craft cocktails to enjoy. Stop by for some entertainment before your trip to the track for the day or finishing your evening with a late-night dance party and a nightcap.

May 6 | Clayton & Crume Oaks Day Brunch + Block Party
Makers of fine leather goods, Clayton & Crume, are celebrating with their first-ever VIP Oaks Day Brunch that includes a menu by locally owned Mayan Café. Afterwards, stick around for a block party with live music by Larry Fleet and Ray Boudreaux.

May 6 | Makers House Ninth Annual Oak Brunch
Mint Juleps, mimosas, and meeting Woodford Reserves Master Distiller (plus other special guests) await you at one of the most coveted brunches of the last decade before heading to Churchill Downs to cheer on the fillies racing for the lilies.

May 6 | Sherby
Started in 2009 as a porch party for a group of friends on Sherwood Avenue the night before the Kentucky Derby, Sherby has not only grown in attendance and added to the numbers of disco balls on display but has continued to give back to local non-profits each year. Come Derby Like a Local at this annual Derby-eve block party in the Highlands with cocktails by Old Forester, live music from local and regional musicians, and food provided by several local food trucks.

May 6 | Rockin’ Derby Eve at Paristown
Rock the evening away at one of the newest Derby Eve parties like no other under the lights at Paristown with a performance by country music recording artist (and first time Kentucky Derby attendee) Jake Owen. Christy’s Garden at Paristown will be transformed into a turf club and garden party with cocktails and food for VIP ticket holders.

May 6 | Fillies & Lilies
As the official kickoff party of the Kentucky Derby, the Fillies & Lilies Party takes over the Kentucky Derby Museum with live musical performances, gourmet food, and a private bourbon lounge making it the place to be start your Derby weekend.

May 6 | Down the Rabbit Hole Kentucky Derby Party
Head to the modern and immersive Rabbit Hole Distillery to enjoy a Kentucky Oaks party. This artful afterparty includes craft cocktails, open bar, live entertainment and artistic installations that are picture perfect.

May 6 | Barnstable Brown Gala
Started by two Louisville twin sisters, who were the Doublemint Twins in commercials during the 1970s, the Barnstable Brown Gala on Derby Eve is the “premier” black-tie/star-studded bash that has been welcoming celebrities and VIP’s for over 30 years. With music from well-known artists, guests have a chance to rub shoulders with celebrities throughout the evening. (Tip: Can’t get a ticket to the event but want to see some celebrities? Join the locals who line the streets near the house in the Highlands to welcome the celebrities and VIP’s as they arrive.)

May 6 | American Lung Association Derby Eve Gala at the Seelbach Hotel
You will feel like you stepped back in time one you set foot inside the historic Seelbach Hotel for the Derby Eva Gala in the Medallion Ballroom. Help raise money for research while enjoying a gourmet dinner, signature cocktails, and dancing the night away to live music.

May 6 | Party Horses Derby Eve Party
Crypto-currency fans are able to purchase tickets to an exclusive Derby Eve party hosted by locally owned Party Horse with live music all night long by Diplo and DJ Irie.

May 6 | Unbridled Eve Gala
With all the Southern charm, grace, glamour, and hospitality on aplenty, the 8th Annual Unbridled Eve Gala is one of the most anticipated events of the Kentucky Derby weekend for both local, celebrities and horse racing fanatics.

May 6 | Fillies & Stallions
Entering its 10th year, the Fillies & Stallions Ball is one of Louisville signature celebrity social events the night before the Kentucky Derby. You may share a cocktail with a movie star, enjoy an appetizer with a pro football player, or dance to live music next to a well-known musician—there are some surprises in store.

May 6 | Derby Eve Party at 21C Museum Hotel
Help support the Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund at Louisville’s 21c Museum Hotel on Derby Eve surrounded by local and national celebrities, including honor guest Louisville’s own—Jack Harlow.

May 6 | A Stitzel-Weller Affair
Join Blade and Bow along with Garden & Gun for the fifth annual Stitzel-Weller Affair the evening before the Kentucky Derby. This special evening features signature bourbon cocktails, alfresco dining at the distillery, and live music. The 2022 event will also showcase the opening of the new Garden & Gun club in Louisville.

May 7 | 43rd Annual Derby Breakfast
Begin your Derby Day on the right hoof at the 43rd
Annual Derby Breakfast presented by Blade & Bow and the Kentucky Historic Home Foundation at historic Farmington (where Abraham Lincoln spent three weeks as a guest of Joshua Speed, who was later appointed Attorney General by Lincoln).

May 7 | Winner’s Party
After they have won the garland of roses at the Kentucky Derby, see the new Derby champion crowned at the Winner’s Party with appearances by the winning jockey, owner and trainer.

May 7 | Avant Garden Derby Night Party
Beyond a velvet roped entrance, a post-Derby affair awaits you filled with grandeur and pageantry sure be the capstone of your Kentucky Derby weekend. With entertainment and activations, you will spend the evening with other attendees from the art, fashion and equine worlds.

May 7 | Janet Jackson & New Edition at Lynn Family Stadium
For the first-ever concert, Lynn Family Stadium welcome Janet Jackson & New Edition on May 7 for a Derby Night event like no other. Multi-award-winning performers Janet Jackson and New Edition will fill the night with music song from each of their extensive musical catalogs like “Rhythm Nation” and “Cool It Now.” What better way to conclude your 2022 Kentucky Derby weekend!

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Lynnelle Morgan

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