5 Kentucky Derby Festival events not to miss
The best Kentucky Derby Festival events for families
KDF is such an amazing opportunities to get out together and enjoy our city. Sometimes, it can seem like such an undertaking to figure out which events are the best for kids and families. Here are some suggestions of events we know and love!
April 23 air show and fireworks.
- The 2022 Thunder Air Show will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United States Air Force with a packed line-up of military and civilian aircraft. Scheduled performances include the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo, U.S. Air Force C-17 Demo, U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight, the Kentucky Air National Guard 123rd Airlift Wing with the new C-130J, and the Commemorative Air Force’s B-29, B-24, and B-25, as well as the U.S. Navy E/A-18 Growler Demo with a Legacy Flight, Younkin Airshows, and many more. The air show also returns with a Category 1 aerobatic box, which allows for more of the fast and loud aircraft, as well as the demo teams. More details on the 2022 Thunder Air Show will be released closer to the show date.
- Thunder’s fireworks show is choreographed to an original soundtrack each year. Zambelli Fireworks will design the show again in 2022. On Thunder Day the FoodFest and Ford’s Thunder On the Ground open at 11:00 AM, the air show starts at 3:00 PM, and fireworks roll at 9:30 PM.
NEW BONUS EVENT!!! Tour de Lou Family Ride 1-3 mile options / Children and Families (for ages 4-12 years old). Snacks and water will be provided along with some fun surprises and entertainment along the route
2. Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville – BACK FOR 2022!
April 28-May 6 but not May 2. 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM: Daily Hours,12:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Sunday Hours. Entry is free with a Pegasus Pin. This is a family friendly area with tickets rides, food, and drinks.
Pegasus PlayVille, sponsored by Norton Children’s, features a variety of kid-friendly activities, including Charlie Chopper, Rainbow Rock, Fun Slide, Lil Wheel and more.
Military Day returns on Thursday, April 28 with free admission all day for Veterans and active military with their military ID
Kentucky Derby Festival Neigh-Maste on the Waterfront: Friday, April 29, noon-1 p.m. Festivalgoers can relax and recharge at this yoga event while enjoying views of the Ohio River and Louisville skyline.
Heroes of Education Day: Thursday, May 5. All education employees (with a valid ID) are invited to head down after school and experience an evening at Fest-a-Ville. They will receive free admission that day, along with a commemorative, custom Pegasus Pin while supplies last, courtesy of Class Act Federal Credit Union.
There are a variety of free concerts- many of the acts are family friendly. Dance the night away while enjoying the waterfront. A fantastic concert lineup.
BONUS for Kentucky Derby Festival events 2022! Instead, go to Churchill Downs and watch the horses workout in the morning. It’s free. A lot of families typically do this Derby week for Dawn at the Downs, they still have this. But, they also have the track open for visitors daily now and you can bring in breakfast some days. Click here for info.
3. Caesar’s Foundation FamFest – April 8, 2022 4-8pm.
This new-ish event is taking place in New Albany as a special preview of the festival. Details to come. It’s great they are able to do this as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival events 2022. Featuring inflatables, mini golf and bed races, face painting and more! First 1,000 attendees receive a custom Event Pin.
4. Republic Bank Pegasus® Parade– YES for 2022! May 1 starting at 3pm down Broadway. This year’s theme is “Loving Louisville.” There’s also a touring parade again this year. The touring parade is April 2 and takes place all around the city from 10am – 6pm. Here is a link to the route so you can be ready.
- 9 a.m.: Leaves Kentucky Exposition Center (en route to Zoeller Pump Company)
- 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Taylor-Berry, North Shively
- 10 a.m.: Ribbon Cutting at Zoeller Pump Company (Official Start of Touring Parade)
- 10 a.m. – Noon: Hallmark, Park DuValle, Parkland, Chickasaw, Shawnee, Russell
- Noon – 2 p.m.: Parkland, California, Limerick, Old Louisville, Smoketown/Shelby Park, Germantown, Highlands, Tyler Park, Deer Park, Belknap, Hayfield Dundee
- 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Bashford Manor, Newburg, Highview, Okolona, Auburndale
- 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Kenwood Hills, Iroquois Park, Cloverleaf, Hazelwood, Beechmont, Highland Park
April 29 at 8pm at Waterfront Park (At Fest-a-Ville) *NEW LOCATION*. See the balloon up close either at the Glow or for the race – the Great Balloon race is April 30 at 7am. For the race, the balloons launch from Bowman Field. The kids are always memorized with them. Be sure to check the weather and news because these events can get canceled due to certain weather conditions.