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Great Steamboat Race & Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront

May 1 @ 11:00 am - 11:00 pm

Shepherd Insurance Great Steamboat Race


Wednesday, May 1, 2024
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM: Boarding
5:45 PM: Departure
6:00 PM: Race Begins

As one of the original and longest standing traditions of the Kentucky Derby Festival, the Great Steamboat Race has been taking place on the Ohio River since 1963. Ask any local, this event has become a Louisville tradition in the leadup to Derby weekend!

The event pits vessels against each other, including the Belle of Cincinnati, as they compete for bragging rights in this race on the river!

The Belle of Louisville was declared the winner in 2023. Come see if our beloved local steamboat reigns supreme in 2024.

The race lasts about 2 hours, finishing back at the Wharf. Following the race, the victor is awarded the pair of coveted Silver Antlers during an Awards Ceremony at the Chow Wagon at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville.

Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville℠

April 25 – May 3, 2024

11:00 AM – 11:00 PM: Daily Hours
12:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Sunday Hours

(Food, drink and pets are NOT permitted)

The ULTIMATE ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE featuring concerts with local, regional and national acts, family fun, food, kids’ inflatable playground, midway rides and more.

Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront will return for its 18th year in 2024. Sponsored by Kroger, the party starts on the Great Lawn and runs through Derby Eve. It promises to have something for everyone – and admission is free with a 2024 Pegasus Pin.

The 900,000-square-foot venue will host several Festival events, including the L&N Federal Credit Union Great Balloon Glow, Chow Wagon, Ohio Valley Wrestling Run for the Ropes, HappyTail Hour, Ken-Ducky Derby, Neigh-Maste on the Waterfront and more.

Fest-a-Ville also offers a wide variety of activities for children, featuring midway-area and attractions at Pegasus Play-Ville Presented by Norton Children’s, including merry-go-round, ships ahoy, a giant slide and much more.

From the opening day ribbon-cutting to Derby Eve, Fest-a-Ville will be the downtown destination at Kentucky Derby Festival time.

For more information, visit: https://discover.kdf.org/krogers-fest-a-ville/

Chow Wagon®

Thursday, April 25 – Friday, May 3, 2024
11:00 AM – 11:00 PM: Daily
12:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Sunday

The Chow Wagon returns to Waterfront Park on the Ohio River. The Music Stage will feature live concerts with local and regional entertainment and a wide variety of musical genres including jazz, R&B, country, rock and blues.

The Chow Wagon is food and fun! You can feast on everything from cookie dough to turkey legs and elephant ears. There’s something for everyone!

Where else can you find great food and live musical entertainment in a riverside setting for a 2024 Pegasus Pin admission? Meet your coworkers for lunch or come down for an evening concert. There’s no way to go wrong by making a visit to this great outdoor party.

**This event is produced by the Kentucky Derby Festival**


Waterfront Park: Great Lawn
231 E. Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202 United States
View Venue Website


Kentucky Derby Festival
(800) 928-3378
View Organizer Website

Big Four® Bridge Thunder, Airshow, and Airshow Practice closure times:
Friday, April 19 – closed 11 AM until 5 PM (Airshow Practice)
Saturday, April 20 – closed 9 AM until 11:30 PM