Wednesday July 24, 2024
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In a united effort to promote history and tourism in Jefferson County and beyond, eight National Historic Landmarks representing the most historically significant sites in the area have united to form a new organization, National Historic Landmarks of Louisville.

The group includes Actors Theatre, Belle of Louisville, Churchill Downs’ Twin Spires, Life-Saving Station #10, Locust Grove, Louisville Water Company Pumping Station No.1 and Water Tower, the U.S. Marine Hospital and Zachary Taylor’s Boyhood Home.

“There’s only one Louisville, and Churchill Downs’ Twin Spires, the Water Tower, Actors Theatre and the other national landmarks are synonymous with who we are as a city,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “I’m excited that National Historic Landmarks of Louisville will be promoting these places of culture and history. I encourage every citizen to learn more about the landmarks of Louisville, because their history is our history.”

National Historic Landmarks of Louisville is launching a new program to encourage people to visit six of the eight sites that are currently open to the public. (The U.S. Marine Hospital is closed to the public. Zachary Taylor’s Boyhood Home is a private residence).

“The eight National Historic Landmarks of Louisville will connect you to our nation’s vibrant past in a way that cannot be experienced through images, film or the pages of a book,” says Anna Gibson Holloway, PhD, Maritime Historian, with the Park History Program, National Park Service. “Local preservation efforts are key to keeping these Landmarks accessible to current and future generations of Louisville citizens and to those visitors from around the world who come to experience Louisville’s hospitality and heritage.”

Guests can get a special pass validated at each of the public National Historic Landmark sites when they visit, and then bring the pass to the Louisville Visitor Center at 301 S. Fourth St. to receive a gift. The passes are available at any of the landmarks and the Louisville Visitor Center.

Visitors are encouraged to use the hashtag #LandmarkLover to share their experiences via social media.

Host Your Own Derby Party

Churchill Downs RacingThe annual running of the Oaks and Kentucky Derby will take place this Friday and Saturday, May 2nd and 3rd.  Throughout the course of the races, hundreds of thousands will enjoy the races and festivities from under the twin spires of Churchill Downs.  Many others, however, will choose to get in on the action from the comfort of their own home or at a Derby party.  Celebrating the event at home is a great way to enjoy the many races throughout the day:  it is less stressful, less crowded, and cheaper.

Once you have decided to throw a Derby party at your home, the next step is to plan a fun party.  There are a number of directions in which you can take your Derby party.  Check out some of the theme  ideas below from a variety of sources, including the Official Kentucky Derby website and Better Homes and Garden:

  • For a more Family Friendly Experience, have a Under-Horse Party
    • Decorations:  decorate in the colors of the under-dog horse
    • Attire:  casual – for kids (or adults), buy cotton T-shirts and fabric paint so the kids can make their own jerseys
    • Food:  potluck, grilled food, horse-shaped cookies for kids to decorate
    • Drinks:  mint juleps (for virgin mint juleps – substitute ginger ale for bourbon)
    • Games:  Corn hole, horse shoes, derby pool (put the horse numbers into a hat and have your guests draw a number, a prize or an extra drink to the winner), water balloons, pin-the-tail-on-the-race horse
  • For a more informal party, have an Infield Party
    • Decorations:  Outdoors, use plastic horse figurines or plastic trophy cups for place markers, use trophy cups as cocktail glasses, pretty much anything goes here
    • Attire:  casual
    • Food:  grilled food, potluck, burgoo
    • Drinks:  beer and mint juleps
    • Games:  corn hole, horseshoes, three-legged races, provide materials (e.g. duct tape and plastic shopping bags) for a create your own hat contest, beer pong, slip-n-slides, derby pool

Continue reading

See Something Say SomethingLMPD officials have released their safety plans for the Oaks and Derby Day events.  LMPD representatives say that they will be working in conjunction with local and federal groups to ensure that Louisvillians and visitors remain safe during the city’s Kentucky Derby Festival events, at Oaks and Derby at Churchill Downs and throughout Louisville as hundreds of thousands gallop into town to watch the race live or at Derby parties.

In addition to increased police patrols, LMPD will be coordinating sobriety checkpoints and modified traffic patterns to keep the roadways safe and flowing efficiently.  For a list of street closures and no-parking areas during the Pegasus Parade, Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, visit the LMPD Kentucky Derby Festival Information page.  To further keep roadways safe during all of the racing celebrations, Miller Lite is sponsoring free rides on TARC buses from 6 PM Friday night until 1AM for those needing a designated driver.

Officials will also be making use of cameras along the parade route to monitor the crowd.  Additionally, LMPD is advising those in attendance “if you see something, say something.

If you plan on heading to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Oaks or Kentucky Derby, you should be aware of what you can and cannot take into the venue.  Lists of permitted and prohibited items are available on the Kentucky Derby website.  A list of permitted and prohibited items is also available on Official Churchill Downs Partner Derby Experiences website, although visitors should be aware that there are some conflicts between the two lists – specifically, on the rules regarding coolers.  Louisville Dispatch staff reached out to the Kentucky Derby communications office and confirmed that the Derby Experiences website has an outdated list that that visitors should adhere to the list below, directly from the Kentucky Derby site: Continue reading

Live racing returns to Churchill Downs this Saturday, April 26.  Head out to get in the spirint ahead of Derby!  Opening day features, of course, live horse racing, live entertainment from The Louisville Crashers and the unveiling of the world’s largest 4K display from Panasonic.  Get tickets for opening day here.

4:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Kentucky Derby week kicks off with style at Opening Night. Witness the premier of the Mega Board and a brand new horse racing experience

General Admission: $10
Gates open at 4:30 p.m. First post is at 6:00 p.m.
Must be 18+ to enter (or accompanied by a responsible adult)
21+ to drink. Always drink responsibly.)

Entertainment will include:
Gate 10 – DJ From 5:00-7:00
Gate 17 – DJ from 5:00-7:00
Mill 4 & 6 – DJ from 8:00-10:00
On Plaza Main Stage – The Louisville Crashers

Fashion Suggestions:
Females: Party/cocktail dresses and headwear. The signature accessory for this event is an evening headpiece a la fascinator, feathers, etc. We want ladies to have fun in sporting a “nighttime Derby look!”

Men: Sharp pants/shirt (tie optional); headwear recommended as well!




Spring has sprung in Kentuckiana and that means one thing: Louisville is transforming into Derby City.

The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 3, 2014 under the twin spires of Churchill Downs.  Are you ready for “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports?”

Leading up to The Run for the Roses is the Kentucky Derby Festival that lasts from April 12 through Oaks Day on Friday, May 2. As always, Thunder Over Louisville kicks off three weeks of exciting events that are sure to be fun for the whole family. See the full schedlue below.

So, Louisville, use the comments below to tell us about your Derby plans. Are you having a Derby party? Are you watching the races from Millionaires Row, the infield, from home or not at all? Will you be catching the fireworks and aerobatic excitement of Thunder? Will you be among the throng lining the streets for the Pegasus Parade?

Kentucky Derby Festival Schedule


  • Give A Day: Mayor’s Week of Service
  • Thunder Over Louisville
  • Ford’s Thunder on the Ground


  • King Southern Bank Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation Pro-Am Golf Tournament


  • Horseshoe Foundation Night of the Future Stars
  • Race Expo And Packet Pickup
  • Stock Yard’s Bank & Trust $1 Million Dollar Hole-in-One Golf Contest


  • Basketball Classic presented by Papa John’s


  • NPC Derby Championships
  • Volleyball Classic
  • Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon presented by Walmart and HumanaVitality


  • U.S. Bank Great BalloonFest: Great Balloon Glimmer
  • U.S. Bank Great BalloonFest: Crew Challenge
  • Chow Wagon
  • Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront
  • U.S. Bank Great BalloonFest


  • U.S. Bank Great BalloonFest: Great Balloon Glow
  • Zumba Fitness Party
  • U.S. Bank Great BalloonFest: Great Balloon Rush-Hour Race


  • U.S. Bank Great BalloonFest: Great Balloon Race
  • ACO Derbyhole Classic
  • Da’Ville Classic Drum Line Showcase


  • miniFun Run presented by HumanaVitality and Subway Restaurants
  • Louisville Youth Orchestra Concert
  • GospelFest presented by Passport Health Plan
  • Celebration Sunday with 88.5 WJIE featuring Audio Adrenaline
  • Mayor’s Derby Brunch on the River
  • Tour de Lou
  • Children’s Tea with the Kentucky Derby Festival Princesses


  • Great Bed Races
  • Don Fightmaster Golf Outing
  • Discovery Day
  • HappyTail Hour
  • Knights of Columbus Charity Dinner


  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Health Fair
  • BetAmerica Texas Hold’Em Tournament
  • Republic Bank Pegasus Parade Preview Party
  • Kentucky Proud WineFest
  • Tuesday Concert feat. Ohio Players and Lakeside
  • Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation Student Art Contest presented by the Kentucky School of Art


  • Great Steamboat Race
  • Battle of the Bounce
  • Wednesday Concert feat. Sam Roberts Band with LEAGUES


  • Waterfront Jam presented by Laura’s Lean Beef
  • Celebrity Day at the Downs
  • Republic Bank Pegasus Parade


  • Waterfront Jam presented by Laura’s Lean Beef: Friday Concert feat. Scotty McCreery with special guest Cassadee Pope, and Steve Holy