Join the Kentucky Derby Museum for Fan Fest Day

By Insider Louisville | April 11, 2016

Get ready to kick-off Derby week like you never have before! Kentucky Derby Museum has a whole day of fun activities to send you into Derby week with a bang, including the opening of the brand-new American Pharoah exhibit! Bring your friends and family and be a part of it all.

Join Kentucky Derby Museum on Sunday, May 1 for Fan Fest Day Presented by Derby Experiences, the Official package provider to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Oaks and Derby, and host of the Oaks night Fillies & Lilies Party.

The Museum will have extended hours, open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., to welcome guests for an entire day of fun designed to celebrate the Thoroughbred racing industry, past and present, and the exciting countdown to Kentucky Derby 142!

You want to see horses working out on the track? You can! You want to interact with past-Derby winners? You can! You want to help open the Museum’s American Pharoah exhibit with Bob and Jill Baffert? You can! We’ve got it all and more, from a hands-on Kids’ Zone to a Celebrity Handicapping Contest! Don’t miss out on the fun!

Kentucky Derby Museum’s Fan Fest Day Presented by Derby Experiences schedule of events includes:

  • Historic walking tours of Churchill Downs Racetrack (with a chance to see Derby contenders during their morning workout on the 8:30 a.m. tour)
  • Hourly showings of the 360° movie, The Greatest Race
  • Kids’ Zone activities including Derby hat making, Derby-themed story time, balloon animals, face painting, group art activities and more!
  • Meet and greet with the winning connections of 1970 Kentucky Derby Winner Dust Commander, including jockey Mike Manganello and trainer Don Combs
  • Jockey panel discussion, emceed by Hall of Fame Jockey and two-time Kentucky Derby Winner Chris McCarron
  • Bourbon tastings and book signing with the Museum’s own Bourbon Authority and author Fred Minnick
  • Book signings with:
    • Bill Doolittle- “The Kentucky Derby”
    • Eliza McGraw- “Here comes Exterminator”
    • Jeff Neff, son of author Myles Neff- “Stylin’: The Reviving the Art of Race Riding”
    • Bob Fortus & Gary West “Ride to Win : An Inside Look at the Jockey’s Craft”
    • Kevin Gibson- “100 Things to Do in Louisville Before You Die”
  • Art signings with the official artists of the Kentucky Derby Festival
  • Special Triple Crown Gallery Talks in the Museum
  • Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert and his wife, Jill will be on hand for a ceremony to officially open the Museum’s new AMERICAN PHAROAH exhibit. Fan Fest Day visitors will be among the first to see the new exhibit, celebrating the career of Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah and his winning connections. Many never-before-seen- artifacts, including all four Triple Crown Trophies, will be on display in the exhibit.
  • Celebrity Handicapping Contest, emceed by ESPN 680’s Drew Deener
  • Special giveaway to first 500 visitors in attendance from Derby Experiences
  • Much more to come!

A general admission ticket ($15 for adults, $7 for kids ages 5-14, under 5 free) gives guests access to the entire day’s activities with an option to add on specialty tours, including Barn and Backside and Twilight Tours and brunch in the Derby Café!

Tickets for Kentucky Derby Museum’s Fan Fest Day Presented by Derby Experiences are available now at

To schedule your Fan Fest Day brunch, featuring selections from The Kentucky Derby Museum Cookbook, in the Derby Café, call (502) 637-1111 ext. 250.