LouisvilleKY’s famous track sponsors free opening day for Kroger’s Fest-A-Ville

Louisville, KY. – The Kentucky Derby Festival’s ultimate entertainment venue – Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront – opens on Thursday, April 26. Thanks to Churchill Downs Incorporated Foundation, there will be free admission on opening day. On Thursday ONLY, patrons will not need a Pegasus Pin to enter Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville. The venue boasts a full schedule of events again this year which span nine days, including the Waterfront Jam with nearly 30 local and regional bands and 7 national act concerts on two stages; 100 different food and drink vendors; and five full service bars.

“The Churchill Downs Incorporated Foundation is excited to sponsor the opening day of Kroger’s Fest-A-Ville. We invite everyone to join us at the Waterfront and enjoy this special part of Kentucky Derby season.” said Tonya Abeln, President of Churchill Downs Incorporated Foundation.

Everyone who comes out to Opening Day of Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville can also enter to win box seats to the 2018 Kentucky Oaks, courtesy of Churchill Downs.

fest a ville

There will be new events at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville this year, including Derby of the Dead presented by Louisville Zombie Walk, as well as the LXC Chow Wagon Kickball and Flag Football Showdowns. Pegasus Play-Ville will have free rides for kids 12 and under from 4-6 PM daily courtesy of AETNA Better health of KentuckyPlus, Military Day returns on Saturday, April 28with free admission all day for Veterans and Active Military with their military ID courtesy of Belterra Casino Resort.

Events that have become fan favorites will also return including: the U.S. Bank Great Balloon Glimmer, HappyTail Hour, Neigh-maste on the Waterfront, BeerFest Presented by American Founders Bank, Fitness Jam, Ohio Valley Wrestling Run for the Ropes, and YMCA Healthy Kids Day.

“Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville really is the ultimate entertainment venue during the Derby Festival,” said Mike Berry, KDF President & CEO. “Not only is there something for everyone in one place, but there is something different every day.”

From classic favorites to new fare, Fest-a-Ville wouldn’t be complete without the food vendors! On the menu this year are Menu Wood Fired Pizza, the 2018 Derby Burger, Gyros, Giant Strawberry with Dole Whip, Apple Dumplings, Brisket, Roasted Sweet Corn, and traditional favorites like Elephant Ears, Funnel Cakes and Corn Dogs.

Happy Hour returns with $2 Miller Lite beers in addition to $4 Classic Camarena Margaritas, weekdays from 4-6 p.m. Throughout the venue, guests will also have a variety of drink options including 9 different specialty cocktails to choose from at one of five full service bars.


Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville Bars include:

  • Drake’s By the River: A full- service bar with specialty Thunder Punch drink featuring Four Roses Bourbon. Located by the Miller Lite Music Stage.
  • Old 502 Wine & Spirits: Full-service bar serving Old 502 Wines like Bourbon Barrel Red, Kentucky Lady Rose’ and Bach’s Wine. Located inside Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville.
  • Chow Wagon Beer Garden: One of the go-to spots for Happy Hour. Grab a $2 Miller Lite beer every weekday from 4-6 p.m.
  • Camerena Tequilla Bar: Located inside The IKORCC Grove, a full-service bar featuring Specialty Margarita Drinks. Sip and socialize with hammocks and relaxed seating.
  • Jeptha Creed Vodka Bar: Full Service Bar featuring Jeptha Creed Vodka, serving up specialty drinks, “Bluegrass Belle” and “The Golden Mule.” The hangout for all the Great Stage shows!

Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville opens Thursday, April 26, for a nine-day run ending Derby Eve, Friday, May 4. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, except Sunday 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Admission is a 2018 Pegasus Pin. Kroger is Title Sponsor of the event, with Media Sponsor The Courier-Journal.