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The Annual Horse race at Kentucky Derby and Oaks

Welcome to the most exciting horse race event of America – Kentucky Derby and Oaks is a series of events held over a period of two days at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. It is one of those events that attracts thousands of enthusiasts to Louisville. The event includes horse racing along with cultural events, culinary fests and a fashion. This year is celebrating the 150th edition of the Kentucky Derby. 

Kentucky Derby and Oaks


Started in 1875, Kentucky Derby has decently earned the title of “Most exciting Two Minutes of Sports”. Through the years it has become a testament of not just the horse races but also a cultural centre. This is one of the few annual events that still take place at their inception grounds. Similarly, Kentucky Oaks was also inaugurated in 1875 as a companion event to Kentucky Derby. It showcases the best three-year old fillies or female horses that compete to win the prestigious race. This event is also called “Lillies for the Fillies” as the winning horse is adorned with a garland of lilies.  

Events and Tickets to Kentucky Derby and Oaks

Though the week-long races will begin on 27th of April,2024, the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby will take place on 3rd and 4th of May respectively. If you can get around the city for the whole week, here’s the list of things you can experience. 
  • Opening Night: Derby Through the Decades Powered by LG&E and KU – 27th April,2024 
  • Dawn at the Downs: 25th April- 1st May,2024 from 7am ET to 10am ET watch your favorite contenders warm-up on the tracks.  
  • 502’sDay: Celebrating 150 Years of Louisville Businesses- 30th April 2024 where the contribution of business players will be recognised. You can join the event for $5 general pass. 
  • Champions Day: Celebrating Kentucky’s Champions- 1st May,2024- A Day set to pay tribute to the champions of Kentucky from diverse fields. 
  • Thurby: 2nd May,2024- This day would celebrate the culture of the city. This is a great chance to immerse yourself in the Bluegrass culture. 
  • Kentucky Oaks: 3rd May,2024- The day most awaited for is this. The three-year old fillies would show their prowess and compete to win. On this day fashion takes centre stage and sophistication is in the air.  
  • Kentucky Derby- Run for the Roses: 4th May,2024- This is final day a week-long event, where grand celebration of 150 years of Kentucky Derby would take place.
The tickets can be purchased for a single day or for the whole week. These range from general tickets to premium tickets. The purchase of the tickets is live till the final day and can be purchased from the official website, though we recommend you buy the tickets much in advance along with the booking for a stay.   Other places where you can check the tickets are: 
Race Course

Things to remember

  • Make sure to wear a hat: Kentucky derby is mostly about sophistication in summer heat. So, you can wear anything that you generally wear to a summer wedding but top it up with a hat to beat the heat. 
  • Read the Purse policy: The events allow a certain size of the purse that women can carry and so, it is essential that you comply by the policy. Some tips would be to carry a water bottle and some cash if you bet on the races. 
  • Apply and reapply sunscreen: To beat the summer sun you will need to apply sunscreen and keep yourself hydrated at the same time. 
  • Wear comfortable clothes: The days are mostly scheduled in such a way that it will take you at least 8 hours before you go back to your hotel. So, make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes that can support you for more than eight hours.  
  • Book your amenities from before: Kentucky Derby is a big event attracting people from all round the world and so, you will need to book your hotel, reserve your dining tables and rides from before to avoid any kind of last-minute hassle. 


This special parade will take place on the 3rd of May, 2024. What is so special about this parade is that it honors 150 breast and ovarian cancer survivors. This year marks the 16th edition for this parade. Every year the survivors register themselves and are selected on random basis by the month of February. 


All set to be held on 2nd of May 2024, this event showcases a wide range of dishes by 14 chefs that particularly curate the dishes for the event. The entry begins at 7pm and sets you in the mood for the weekend full of delightful races. With diverse collection of tasty foods, you are sure to have a culinary delight. The ticket for this event can also be purchased for the official website. 


After a day of watching the mesmerising fillies compete for the win on 3rd May, now is the time to celebrate the day. Beginning at 10pm, head to the Kentucky Derby Museum for a night full of entertainment, live music, delightful retreats and lots of excitement. 

Lilies for the Fillies


Soon after the day ends the party will be all set to begin at 9pm at the Kentucky Derby Museum. Here you can witness the crowning of the champion of the Derby race and much more. With this the “Run for the Roses” event would finally come to an end. 

With this we have come to an end of giving away all the important information that you would need for a delightful time at the Kentucky Derby and Oaks festival. We hope that you have enjoyed reading this and now it is your time to take action and gather your dresses to witness the second most watched horse race event from the stands of stadium and bet on your favourite fillies.  

You can also read: Carnaval San Francisco 

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