The 2022 Kentucky Derby Festival is a weeklong celebration of racing and the St. James Race at Churchill Downs. Held annually at the end of April or the beginning of May, the festival features many events and activities for spectators of all ages.

KDF 2022 Event Schedule:

Here are some of this year’s highlighted events. Entry to any of these events is free with a 2022 Pegasus Pin, here’s where you can get yours.

April 28 

  • Kroger’s ‘Fest-a-Ville’ at Waterfront Park (through May 6)

April 29

  • Great BalloonFest: Balloon Glow – 8 p.m. at Fest-a-Ville

April 30

  • Great BalloonFest: Balloon Race – 7 a.m. at Bowman Field
  • GE Appliances’ Derby Festival miniMarathon & Marathon – 7 a.m.
  • Ken-Ducky Derby – 2 p.m. at Fest-a-Ville

May 1

  • Mayor’s Derby Brunch on the River – 11:00 a.m. at the Farnsley-Moremen Landing
  • Sunday Funday Drag Show Brunch – 1 p.m. at Fest-a-Ville
  • Zoeller Pump Company Pegasus Parade – 3 p.m. along Broadway
  • Louisville Youth Orchestra Concert – 4 p.m. at Iroquois Amphitheater

May 4

  • Great Steamboat Race – 4:30 p.m. boarding at the Wharf at the Waterfront

Let’s know the Kentucky Derby festival’s events and how to watch them in 2022:

Thunder Over Louisville:

Thunder Over Louisville continues to provide a pyrotechnics show unlike any other in the United States. It was created as the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies, and it serves as an electrifying kick-off to three weeks of festivities in Louisville, Kentucky, and the surrounding region of Southern Indiana.

Lots of spectators skyward every weekend. This year’s event features an impressive array of new displays. Huge crowds of people, the best viewing locations, and top-notch fireworks. It is a one-of-a-kind event with a reputation for being one of the nation’s largest annual fireworks extravaganza.

Thunder Over Louisville
Photo: Curier-Journal

Date: The event date for 2022 will be 23rd April with the fireworks scheduled for 8 pm (ET).

Popular viewing areas:

  • Thunder Chow Wagon
  • Slugger Field
  • North Great Lawn
  • Meijer family fun zone on West Belvedere
  • Big Four Bridge on East River Road

How to Watch:

There is live TV and radio broadcast coverage of the Thunder Over Louisville each year, making it easy to watch live online streaming if you can’t make it in person. Check out the following stations:

  • Thunder over Louisville coverage Wave 3
  • Coverage on WDRB
  • Coverage on WLKY

There is also live radio feed via local station WVEZ 106.9 PLAY, who will be broadcasting a live feed of the entire Thunder over Louisville soundtrack:

KDF Great BalloonFest:

The Great BalloonFest, which will take place on Saturday, April 30, weather permitting, will take place immediately after the balloon illumination event. The balloons are planned to take off from Bowman Field at 7 a.m. on Saturday for a Hare and Hound race.

The launch will take place at Bowman Field serves as the launch site for the balloons. The target is laid out by a “hare” balloon, which locates a suitable location before the other balloons drop their markings on it. So keep an eye on the sky on that particular day!

KDF Great BalloonFest
Photo: Courier-Journal

The Great Steamboat Race:

In addition to being a component of the Kentucky Derby Festival, the Great Steamboat Race is an annual steamboat race that takes place on the Wednesday before the first Saturday in May, three days prior to the Kentucky Derby.

It is one of the festival’s oldest traditions, will take place in 2022 and will match three boats against one another on the Kentucky River! With a duration of around 2 hours, the race concludes back at the Wharf, where the event’s victor is presented with a pair of Silver Antlers.

Great Steamboat Race
Photo: Courier-Journal

Half and Full Marathon:

The Kentucky Derby Celebration Marathon 2022, the biggest annual festival in the city, will take place on April 30, 2022. In 2022, the Marathon will be held for the twenty-first time. Participants will run through neighborhoods. It will include the famed infield of Churchill Downs, before returning to the starting point at Louisville Slugger Field downtown.

This year’s event will take place in more normal conditions than in previous years. There will be a 13.1-mile race starting at Louisville Slugger Field. Both the 2020 and 2021 marathon routes are combinations of the two previous courses. The route takes you through Churchill Downs, the Big Four Walking Bridge, and the Ohio River Greenway, among other places.

Kentucky Derby Half and Full Marathon

Pegasus Parade 2022:

The procession serves as the kickoff event for the Kentucky Derby Festival and is a must-see. For the first time in its history, the Derby Week Parade will begin on Sunday afternoon, May 1, on Broadway in Downtown Louisville, rather than on the typical Thursday. The parade will kick off Derby week on Sunday afternoon, May 1, on Broadway in Downtown Louisville.

The inaugural parade was staged in 1956 as a means for the community to get together and celebrate before the Kentucky Derby horse competition. It has grown to become one of the most important events of the Festival. Taking place in downtown Louisville, the 2022 Pegasus Parade will begin at the junction of Broadway and Hancock streets. It will go west on Broadway for nearly two hours, covering a distance of 17 blocks.

Pegasus Parade
Photo: WHAS11

Parade Route

The 2022 Pegasus Parade will begin near the intersection of Broadway and Hancock in downtown Louisville.

It will travel west on Broadway for 17 blocks and last approximately two hours.

How to Watch:

You can watch anywhere along the route for free. There is also bleacher seating available for $10 from Hancock to Sixth streets.

There are also VIP seating options that are $25 and $35 per spot.


Kentucky Derby Festival 2022 organizes a lot of exciting events in the country for a whole week. This year, it won’t be different. If you are someone from their, you should enjoy the whole event vising the place.



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