Presented by Budweiser

Churchill Downs and The Fund for the Arts are again partnering to kick off the spectacle of Derby Week, 2021's most dramatic week of Thoroughbred racing, and celebrate Louisville's extraordinary arts community. Witness a variety of musicians, dancers, live performances, visual artists, and thrilling thoroughbred races make this night a one-of-a-kind experience.

Event Highlights

Artists: Andy Perez, BioGlitz, D.E.S.T.I.N.E.D. Dance Company, Finnegan & Koko, Grant Goodwine, Gyuli Kambarova, Hot Sauce Brass Band, Keen Dance Theatre, The Art of Kacy, Louisville Youth Choir, Brie Bowers and Vision of Life

View Opening Night Artist Guide

Pagoda Performances

  • LaVon Fisher-Wilson and Band: 7:03PM
  • Redline Performing Arts: 8:04PM
  • Rush Trowel and Faith Works Studio: 9:12PM

Stakes Race: William Walker Listed 

View the Opening Night Menu served in our Dining Rooms

Opening Night is a "Dress to Impress" occasion with guests encouraged to wear party and cocktail attire; a tie is optional. The signature accessory for Opening Night is an evening headpiece, whether it's a fascinator, feathers, a hat, a headband, or something else! Guests should have fun assembling an evening Derby look that incorporates the color orange in the spirit of creativity and encouragement.

Stakes Races: William Walker Listed

For groups of 24+, please contact group sales at 502-636-4450 or fill out our Group Request Form

CLICK HERE for Simulcast & Live Racing COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines

Due to social distancing, General Admission will be sold as a first floor box seat or bleacher seating

Churchill Downs will be open free-of-charge daily from 7-10 a.m. so guests can watch the nation's top 3-year-old Thoroughbreds train toward their engagements in this year's Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. Access to Paddock Grill to purchase breakfast.