Planning a three-week (plus) festival for an entire community of all ages is quite a feat, but year after year, the Kentucky Derby Festival does just that — satisfying everyone from 5 to 105.
Although most of the events are for all ages, such as the Pegasus Parade and the Great Balloon Glow, we wanted to take a closer look at the adults-only happenings coming soon so you can go ahead and secure a sitter. (If you’re interested in attending these events, it’s recommended you go ahead and buy your tickets because most of them sell out closer to the event date.)
First up is the King Southern Bank BourbonVille on Thursday, April 18, held at the Louisville Palace. This is the newest addition to the KDF lineup, and if you like your bourbon like a good Kentuckian should, then you’ll have fun sampling nearly 20 brands, shaking hands with master distillers and munching on some bourbon-inspired fare.
There also will be plenty of cocktail samples if you’re not keen on drinking it neat or on the rocks, and attendees get a free commemorative glass. General admission tickets are $50, and VIP tickets, which get you in an hour early and access to a special lounge, are $85. It runs from 6 to 9 p.m.
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The next adults-only affair is the Kentucky Proud WineFest held on two consecutive days — Tuesday, April 30, and Wednesday, May 1 — at the Belvedere. If you consider yourself a wine aficionado, you’ll get a chance to explore samples from more 15 wineries in Kentucky and Indiana.
If you were unaware, there are, in fact, more than 66 wineries in Kentucky and nearly 30 in Indiana.
Attendees get a commemorative wine glass, a pin and a fun night tasting everything from Purple Toad to Smith-Berry. General admission tickets are $45, and VIP tickets, which let you skip lines and have your own bathroom, among other amenities, are $85.
WineFest runs from 5 to 9 p.m. both nights.
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Last but certainly not least, it’s the BeerFest presented by Liberty Financial on Wednesday, May 1, at the Overlook at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville at Waterfront Park. Attendees will sample both regional and national craft beer from nearly 40 breweries and receive a souvenir glass and BeerFest pin.
Local participating breweries include Great Flood, Against the Grain, New Albanian, Old Louisville Brewery and Goodwood to name a few, and other standouts include Sun King, Upland Brewing Co., Magic Hat, New Belgium and SweetWater.
Tickets are $50 for general admission and $85 for VIP, which gets you in an hour early, dinner, a goodie bag and private bathrooms. It runs from 6 to 9 p.m.