Fest-a-Ville celebrates milestone Louisville Ky

New décor, bars and events to highlight Waterfront festivities

Photos from KDF’s Facebook Page.

April 25, 2016 Louisville, KY. Celebrating 10 years as the Kentucky Derby Festival’s ultimate entertainment venue on the Waterfront, Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville is more than just a Chow Wagon. When the venue opens on Thursday, April 28, it will boast a full schedule of events spanning nine days; a new look courtesy of The Event Company in Louisville; the Waterfront Jam with over 30 local and regional bands and 7 national concerts on two stages; 100 different food and drink vendors; and five full service bars, including Drake’s By the River and the NEW Firefly Sweet Tea Bar.


Large chandeliers, strings of lights and a new stone bar are just a few of the changes fans will notice when they visit the Waterfront venue this year. Festival organizers have worked with The Event Company in Louisville to add new décor, giving the 900,000 square-foot venue a new look and ambience. One new area is called “The Grove” – a grassy spot that will be the perfect place to relax, walk across a replica of the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge, or get a close up view of Kentucky’s largest disco ball.

kdf derby festival logo

“Built on the tradition of the Chow Wagon, Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville has really become a main attraction for the Derby Festival,” said Mike Berry, KDF President & CEO. “Not only is there something for everyone at a single venue, but there is something different every day.”


New events coming to the venue include Ken-Ducky Derby, with the launch of 20,000 ducks into the Ohio River; Splat Out Cancer where patrons can launch paint filled balloons at a giant canvas; Neigh-maste for yoga aficionados; and  NeXtreme Knockerball daily that invites participants get in giant bubbles and bump, knock, and roll into each other.


The variety of food vendors throughout the venue continues to grow and change.  On the menu this year are Menu Wood Fired Pizza, Hand Dipped Ice Cream, the 2016 Derby Burger, Gyros, Brisket, Roasted Sweet Corn, and traditional favorites like Elephant Ears, Funnel Cakes and Corn Dogs.

KDF Fest a ville


Happy Hour with $2 beers returns weekdays from 4-6 p.m. Throughout the venue, guests will also have a variety of drink options to choose from at one of five full service bars.


Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville Bars include:

  • Drake’s By the River: Full Service Bar, with specialty Thunder Punch drink, cornhole and giant JENGA games, located by the Miller Lite Music Stage.
  • Firefly Sweet Tea Bar: Full Service Bar serving Sweet Tea Vodka, with relaxation and hammock area, cornhole, and special drink promotions 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. weekdays.
  • Chow Wagon Beer Garden: One of the go-to spots for Happy Hour, full-service bar that comes complete with a new stone bar, bourbon barrel tables and enhanced ambience with chandeliers and lighting.
  • Great Bar inside Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville: Full service bar, ready for Happy Hour weekdays from 4-6 p.m.
  • Bourbon Bar by the Great Stage: Full service bar with a Bourbon atmosphere. Next to the Great Stage for all the concerts.

KDF fest a ville

Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville opens Thursday, April 28, for a nine-day run ending Derby Eve, Friday, May 6. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, except Sunday 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Admission is a 2016 Pegasus Pin. Kroger is title sponsor of the event, with contributing sponsor Miller Lite.