The Kentucky Derby Festival is returning to tradition with one of its signature events – Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville – heading back to the Waterfront.
With 900,000 square feet of fun taking place over eight days, this go-to spot for spring features performances by more than 30 local, regional and national acts, including The Homies, Parker McCollum, Blanco Brown, Rob Base, J.D. Shelburne and many more.
Concerts, festive food, family-friendly fun, hot-air balloon displays, midway rides, helicopter excursions and even professional wrestling make up the packed line-up at this Derby Festival favorite, now in its 14th year. Fest-a-Ville is open daily through May 6. (Closed on Monday, May 2.) Hours are 11.a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday and noon to 10 p.m., Sunday.
Fest-a-Ville culminates with the ZYN Derby Eve Jam on Friday, May 6, where country singer-songwriter Parker McCollum, the Academy of Country Music’s 2022 New Male Artist of the Year, will take the stage.
The Texas native’s debut MCA Nashville album, “Gold Chain Cowboy,” was the highest first week debut album of 2021, and his platinum single, “Pretty Heart,” was the only debut single to ship to radio and reach #1 in 2020.
He’ll be joined by special guest, the multi-Platinum artist and creator of the #TrailerTrap sound, Blanco Brown. Known for his global smash single, “The Git Up,” and his recent #1 song, “Just The Way” with Parmalee, Blanco has collaborated across genres with the likes of Nelly, Ciara, Diplo and more.
The show starts at 8 p.m. Sponsors: Kroger and ZYN, along with Media Sponsor: Q103.1. VIP tickets starting at $25 are on sale now at KDF.org.
Hip hop and freestyle artist Rob Base has been performing for more than 30 years and is known for hits, “It Takes Two,” “Get on the Dance Floor” and “Joy and Pain.”
He’ll take the Fest-a-Ville stage on Tuesday, May 3 at 8 p.m., and will be joined by DJ Quinnette. Media Sponsors: B96.5 and Magic 101.3. VIP tickets are $25 and are on sale now at KDF.org.
Concerts featuring a variety of genres will also take the stage:
- Alex Miller with special guest Scott T. Smith: Thursday, April 28, 8 p.m.
- The Homies (the Louisville group is part of the music collective, Private Garden, co-founded by
- Jack Harlow) with co-headliner Kyle Hume: Friday, April 29, 8 p.m. Media Sponsor is 99.7 DJX.
- Kentucky Derby Festival GospelFest Presented by Passport Health Plan by Molina Healthcare and Republic Bank: April 30, 7 p.m. This Gospel Choir Showcase features performances by national acts, including Jason Clayborn, Randy Weston, Nate Bean and more and has moved to Fest-a-Ville this year.
- J.D. Shelburne: Saturday, April 30, 8 p.m.
- Joslyn & The Sweet Compression with Casey Powell: Sunday, May 1, 7 p.m.
- Tony & The Tan Lines with special guest Jameron: Wednesday, May 4, 8 p.m.
- The Crashers with special guest Hawks: Thursday, May 5, 8 p.m.
- Additional acts will round out the line-up. Complete details available on KDF.org
Other hot happenings at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville include:
- Kentucky Derby Festival Chow Wagon: Open during the entire eight days of Fest-a-Ville, this outdoor food and live music venue is a long-running Derby Festival tradition. Happy Hour Weekdays: 4-6 p.m. $3 beers at the Miller Lite Beer Garden.
- NEW THIS YEAR: Flavors of Fest-a-Ville: Sample foodie favorites from popular Festival tradition, the Chow Wagon. It’s open weekdays only from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Samples range from $2 to $4.
- 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.
- NEW THIS YEAR: The Kentucky Association of Health Plans (KAHP) will give patrons a free Pegasus Pin or money card (valued at $7) to be used at Fest-a-Ville if they get a COVID-19 vaccination (vaccines are available from 4-6 p.m. each day). The KAHP tent will be located at the entrance, with Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory administering vaccines.
- 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.
- Kentucky Derby Festival Ohio Valley Wrestling Run for the Ropes: Friday, April 29, 6-7:30 p.m. Special meet-and-greet with OVW stars at 5 p.m., followed by six big matches, including a special “Every Man for Himself Free-For-All” over the top rope Battle Royal.
- Kentucky Derby Festival Great Balloon Glow: Friday, April 29, 9 p.m. The event has been moved to Fest-a-Ville this year and features a dozen balloons lighting up the city skyline.
- Kentucky Derby Festival Ken-Ducky Derby: Saturday, April 30, call to the post at 2 p.m. See the launch of 46,000 ducks into the Ohio River for a chance to race and compete for prizes. Proceeds benefit Harbor House of Louisville.
- Kentucky Derby Festival Sunday Funday Drag Show Brunch: Sunday, May 1, 1-3 p.m. Coordinated by the Louisville Pride Foundation, this event showcases some of Louisville’s finest entertainers. Food and drinks available for purchase. $200 VIP Experience includes prime seating for a table of six, $50 in food and drink tickets and a special swag bag.
- Kentucky Derby Festival HappyTail Hour: Tuesday, May 3, 1-4 p.m. Bring your four-legged friend to this pet-friendly event on the Great Lawn. Coordinated by Metro Animal Services.
- NEW THIS YEAR: Heroes in 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.
- Admission to Fest-a-Ville is free with a 2022 Pegasus Pin. (Food, drink and pets are not permitted). Sponsored by Kroger. Stage Sponsor: ZYN. Beer Garden Sponsor: Miller Lite. Supporting Sponsor: Kentucky Association of Health Plans.