Your Guide to Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby Weekend : Official Travel Source

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Your Guide to Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby Weekend

Your Guide to Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby Weekend

45,000 fans will have the chance to see this year’s historic Kentucky Derby, but it’s bound to look different. Here’s what you need to know if you’re going to Churchill Downs for the 147th Running of the Roses, Kentucky Oaks or Thurby

COVID Guidelines to Know:
Mask will be required at all times except when race attendees are actively eating or drinking. Hand washing and sanitizing stations will be available throughout Churchill Downs, including at all food and beverage vendors and at betting stations. Social distancing will be encouraged as well, through stickers and other means.

Additionally, all attendees will be screened by metal detectors before entry. Churchill Downs recommends Oaks and Derby Day guests arrive early to accommodate search procedures at all admission gates.

When placing bets, cash will still be accepted, but other betting methods that don't require paper money are available, including the TwinSpires app, which helps to skip the line and offers bettors a chance to wager directly from their phones.

Food and Drink:

Reserved seating tickets for Oaks and Derby are all-inclusive so food and beverages are included in the admission price, to help reduce person-to-person contact. As an added bonus, the track’s famous mint julep’s will come with a lid.

Masks will be required except when eating or drinking and attendees in the infield will be subject to the same health and safety protocols that those in the stands will follow.


Infield ticket holders will be required to enter Churchill Downs through the Infield Gate at Central Avenue and Fourth Street.

Concession stands will also be open in the infield, although attendees have the option of bringing in boxed lunches or food items in clear plastic bags or containers that do not exceed the maximum size of 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches. Boxed lunches or food items must fit in the guest's bag or one-gallon clear Ziploc-style storage bag (no trash bags). Please note guests are restricted to one bag only, additional bags for food will not be permitted.


On-site parking at Churchill Downs is reserved for parking pass entry only Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Guest shuttles to the racetrack will be available at the Kentucky Exposition Center (937 Phillips Lane) those three days, and on Friday and Saturday, guests are also able to park at Cardinal Stadium's purple lot A, 2800 S Floyd St., and take a 10-minute walk to Churchill Downs. Several nearby streets will also be available for parking, though drivers may be charged to leave their cars in private lots.

The racetrack's plan calls for Central Avenue to be closed to traffic from Taylor Boulevard to Third Street beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, traffic on that same Central Avenue stretch will be closed beginning at 8 a.m., along with a closure on Oakdale Avenue from Southern Parkway to Central Avenue.

Ticket Sales:

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, there are a limited number of tickets available for each day. An official ticket resale site to buy tickets can be found at

Additional Churchill Downs info can be found on the official Kentucky Derby website:

About The Author

Rosanne Mastin

Communications & Public Affairs Manager

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