5 Things to Do at the Kentucky Derby

This event has so much more in store than just the races!

The Kentucky Derby is an event unlike any other and one our team at Superior Executive Services looks forward to most each year. For the first weekend in May, we can all become Southerners sipping on mint juleps and hoping our horse wins big.

There’s so much to enjoy beyond what’s referred to as “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” Here are a few can’t-miss things to do at the Kentucky Derby:

  1. Thurby
  2. Derby kickoff concert
  3. People watching
  4. Food & drink
  5. Beyond the races

Keep reading for some of our favorite Derby events and Louisville sights!


Thurby is held the Thursday before the Derby and has become a can’t-miss celebration of Kentucky’s culture, food, and racing. Thurby is a great way to see and explore Churchill Downs before the crowds arrive on Saturday — and you can also sharpen up your bets before the big day.

Derby kickoff concert

The 2023 Derby Kickoff Concert, also on Thursday, features hip-hop acts T.I., Trina, and Jeezy. The concert is held at Louisville’s famed Freedom Hall and is a terrific way to start the weekend’s festivities. It’s just another one of the fun things to do at the Kentucky Derby!

People watching

The fashion of Derby weekend is truly a sight to behold. Attendees don their finest seersucker suits and fascinators, but you’ll also see some avant-garde looks and far-from-traditional outfits. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities, too — last year’s Derby welcomed Olympian Michael Phelps, rapper Jack Harlow, country music star Morgan Wallen, and many more.

Food & drink

The Derby features some of the Bluegrass State’s most outstanding cuisine and spirits. On Saturday, you can expect bountiful mint juleps, hot browns, and derby pie. If you’re a foodie, we also recommend tickets for Thursday’s Taste of Derby Culinary Experience. Chefs from all over the country create dishes new and old to delight the senses and pay homage to the Derby’s roots.

Beyond the races

Louisville is an incredible city to visit, so make sure you allow time for activities beyond Churchill Downs. The Louisville Slugger Museum and Muhammad Ali Center are great for sports fans. You can also brush up on your Derby history at the Kentucky Derby Museum. If kicking back and relaxing with a drink is more your speed, there is no shortage of world-class bourbon distillers just a short drive from downtown Louisville.

Whether you’re headed to the Derby with us this year, or are interested in booking a Kentucky Derby travel experience for next year, there are plenty of things to do at the Kentucky Derby!

The Superior team is ready to help you create a one-of-a-kind experience! Learn more about our Kentucky Derby packages here, and contact us today at 608.665.9070 or online to start planning your luxury Derby trip!

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