Fillies Derby Ball
Saturday, April 8
Louisville Marriott Downtown

The 2017 Kentucky Derby Festival’s Fillies Derby Ball will crown the Derby Queen who, as always, will be selected by a spin of the wheel.  As her first royal act, the newly-crowned Kentucky Derby Queen will induct the Knights and Dames to the Royal Court of Pegasus in recognition of their civic accomplishments. The Fillies Ball is one of the many fundraisers held for the KDF Foundation.
Benefitting: Kentucky Derby Festival

Gallop Gala
Saturday, April 21
Louisville Marriott Downtown

The sixth annual Gallop Gala kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with a red carpet entrance. The ball benefits Down Syndrome of Louisville, and features dinner and a live auction. A cocktail party with hors d’oeuvres starts the festivities. VIP attendees will enjoy a dinner for eight and a gift package from the event’s sponsors. The energy gets amped up at the end of the evening when guests dance to the wildly versatile musical act The Louisville Crashers.
Benefitting: Down Syndrome of Louisville

Taste of Derby Festival
Tuesday, April 25
Louisville Slugger Field

Taste of Derby Festival is in its 30th year. This popular event brings together 40 restaurants, and 20 local distilleries and beverage companies that serve up generous samples. It’s a great chance to learn what Louisville has to offer. There is also a silent auction, and all the fun benefits Dare to Care. The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. in the Louisville Slugger Hall of Fame Pavilion and finishes at 8 p.m. Tickets are sold in advance only, with early-bird pricing until April 18.
Benefitting: Dare to Care Food Bank

The Kentucky Derby Museum Gala
Friday, April 28
Churchill Downs

The 31st year of this gala kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails in The Mansion at Churchill Downs. Dinner follows in the museum. The Celebrity Allstar Band will cap off the evening by getting everyone dancing. The festivities, sponsored by Brown-Forman and the Churchill Downs Racetrack, benefit curatorial and educational initiatives at The Kentucky Derby Museum throughout the year. A Gala Lounge package includes dessert, drinking and dancing starting at 10 p.m.
Benefitting: The Kentucky Derby Museum

KTA/KTOB Derby Trainers’ Dinner
Tuesday, May 2
Hyatt Regency

First Lady of the Kentucky Derby, Jill Byrne, and sportscaster Paul Rogers host this year’s Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Derby Trainers’ Dinner at The Hyatt Regency Hotel. The guest of honor for 2017 is Doug O’Neill, trainer of Nyquist, winner of the 2016 Kentucky Derby.  Cocktails will be served at 6:00, followed by dinner at 6:45. This Derby insider event benefits The Backside Learning Center and The Healing Place.
Benefitting: The Backside Learning Center and The Healing Place
Tickets: Vickie Garcia at 859-259-1643 or [email protected]

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 2 and 3
The Belvedere

The Belvedere at Waterfront Park turns into a regional wine tour both nights of Kentucky Derby Festival’s WineFest. Some of the area’s more-than-90 wineries will have varieties available to sample. Entry includes a wine glass, which attendees use to taste throughout the evening, an event pin, and a chance to learn about the many varieties of reds and whites from the Bluegrass State and surrounding areas.
Benefitting: Kentucky Derby Festival

Jocktails at The Derby
Wednesday, May 3
The Ice House

Jocktails is a celebrity bartending event. Each Derby season, they bring their blend of personality and libations to The Ice House and get the world’s top jockeys in the mix shaking cocktails for charity. The fundraiser features appetizers and an open bar. The event, from 7:00-10:00 is invite only, but after 10:00, the 21+ party opens to the general public. Proceeds benefit Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Benefitting: Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund

Taste of the Derby
Thursday, May 4
KFC Yum! Center

Get ready to taste to your heart’s content. Racing personalities mix and mingle while celebrity chefs pair their delicacies with wine for everyone to sample. The event opens with a tasting at 7:00 that keeps rolling until 9:30. For fun, catch the Future Chef Showdown brought to you by Sullivan University. The band this year is Atlanta’s Underground Social Club. Stella Artois is sponsoring the event, which benefits hunger relief, including Dare to Care.
Benefitting: Dare to Care

Barnstable-Brown Gala
Friday, May 5
Barnstable Brown Mansion

The Barnstable-Brown Gala turns 29 this year. Known for its star-appeal, locals crowd up along the red carpet, hoping to get a glimpse of a-listers on their way in. Top-shelf food and drink are on offer all night while any number of celebrities take the stage. There’s no predicting who will be inspired to collaborate for a one-off musical number once the night gets going. The gala benefits diabetes research through the Barnstable-Brown Foundation.
Benefitting: Barnstable-Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center
Tickets: 502.491.6778

Fillies & Lilies Party
Friday, May 5
Kentucky Derby Museum

This party kicks off immediately after The Oaks. What better place  is there to be on Derby Eve than Churchill Downs? This year, the Fillies & Lilies Party features a live performance from country music star Clint Black. Hors d’oeuvres stations and open bars are set up inside the museum where guests are free to graze, quaff, and roam. The bourbon lounge pours the best of Kentucky’s spirits for guests’ sipping pleasure.

Unbridled Eve Gala
Friday, May 5
The Galt House

More than 30 celebrity guests are expected to walk the red carpet at this year’s Unbridled Eve Gala. Attendees will enjoy a gourmet dinner and a variety of specialty bars provided by Southern Glazer Wine and Spirits serving wines, champagnes, bourbons, and more. Celebrity musical guests and dancing are always part of the gala. There will also be live and silent auctions. This year’s primary charitable beneficiaries are Blessings in a Backpack, which feeds needy children, and The Fund for the Arts.
Benefitting: The Unbridled Charitable Foundation

Fillies & Stallions
Friday, May 5
Mellwood Arts Center

This is Fillies & Stallions 7th year. If past events are any indication, there will be plenty of celebrity appearances. Guests have included Scottie Pippen, Travis Tritt, Ashton Kutcher, and Boyz 2 Men, to name a few. This year’s performers are yet to be announced, but guests can remain in the know by following Fillies & Stallions on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Doors open at 10:00 and the party lasts until 3:00 a.m.

Derby Eve Gala
Friday, May 5
The Seelbach

The theme of the 23rd annual Derby Eve Gala is Fiesta because this year, Derby Eve falls on Cinco de Mayo. Those who attend will enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres followed by a gourmet dinner with wine service.  This gala focuses on the spectacle perhaps more than any other, and the decor promises to dazzle with light and color this year. Dancing to the band Burning Las Vegas follows. The event benefits The American Lung Association.
Benefitting: The American Lung Association

Silks in the Bluegrass
Friday, May 5
Crowne Plaza

Silks in the Bluegrass is a night of music, entertainment, and dancing for a good cause. In its ninth year, the event switches from Derby night to Derby Eve this time around. The musical act is The Atlanta Showstoppers, a twelve-piece outfit who pack the dance floor with their energetic vibe.  The evening benefits Operation Open Arms, Inc., an organization that finds home for the children of female prisoners. Doors open at 7:00 p.m..
Benefitting: Operation Open Arms

Winner’s Party
Saturday, May 6
Kentucky Derby Museum

Immediately following the Run for the Roses, many will gather at The Kentucky Derby Museum to witness the crowning of this year’s champion. This exclusive event lasts until 9 p.m. and features an open bar, a plethora of hors d’oeuvres, music and dancing.  This is the season’s last hurrah -- a final chance to drink in the majesty of the most famous horse race in the world. Until Kentucky Derby 144 in 2018, that is.
Benefitting: The American Lung Association

Posted on 2017-03-01 by