Black Lillies, Bluegrass Art Experience, 'Family Fun' Sunday Share Churchill Downs Holiday Weekend Spotlight with Louisville 'Cap

Jul 03, 2012 John Asher

Paddock Concert Series performance by The Black Lillies on Friday evening kicks off a festive four-day holiday weekend at Churchill Downs that includes a special Memorial Day racing program on Monday, infield fun Saturday-through-Monday with the first Bluegrass Art Experience, and another ‘Family Fun’ Sunday Presented by Kroger.

The long holiday weekend kicks off Friday with the Twilight Racing program that will be followed by the third and final installment of Churchill Downs’ popular Paddock Concert Series featuring The Black Lillies (  The Knoxville, Tenn.-based band brings its special blend of rock, country, bluegrass, jazz and blues that has made its members fast-rising stars in the genre of music known as Americana.

Admission gates will open for Friday’s Twilight Racing program at 1:30 p.m. and post time for the first race will be 2:45 p.m. Happy Hour drink specials in the paddock garden area include a $3 Stella Artois Draft Beer (16 oz.) from 4-7 p.m.  The concert begins immediately after Friday’s final race at approximately 8  p.m.

The Black Lillies have appeared at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, “Mountain Stage”, the Country Music Association’s (“CMA”) Festival & Fan Fair and are currently touring in support of a new album, “100 Miles of Wreckage,” that was released in April.

The first 850 people in attendance for The Black Lillies concert will be allowed free access to the paddock to watch the concert up close in a VIP viewing area.  Outside of the paddock there is ample space to enjoy the concert from the Paddock Garden and balcony areas.  Admission to the Paddock Concert Series performance by The Black Lillies is free with the $3 general admission to Churchill Downs before 7 p.m.  Admission to the concert is $10 after 7 p.m and gates 10 and 17 will be open for late admissions.

Saturday’s racing program, headed by the $100,000 Grade III Louisville Handicap, will be accompanied by the Bluegrass Art Experience, which will run Saturday-through-Monday in the infield.

The Bluegrass Art Experience is a family-friendly, multifaceted arts festival provides a unique environment to showcase the vast variety of artistic expression in Kentucky and the surrounding region. Designed to entertain as well as enlighten, this event will also be used as a platform to raise money and create public awareness of nonprofit charities that include Home of the Innocents and Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.

Nearly 50 artists and several galleries will display and sell works in tents located in the infield.  Works by local independent filmmakers will be available for viewing in a special “movie tent.”

The Bluegrass Art Experience will be open from 1-6 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and admission to the infield on all three days is free with paid general admission of $3. Saturday’s Churchill Downs racing program features 11 live races, with post time for the day’s first event at 12:45 p.m.  Admission gates open at 11 30 a.m.

Sunday’s Churchill Downs racing program will again be accompanied Family Fun Days activities Presented by Kroger.  Family Fun Days promise a very special day for the entire family, with attractions that include HorseRacing Bingo, Junior Jockey Club activities; story time; a walking tour of the Kentucky Derby Museum to visit with Winston, its resident miniature horse; visits with Churchill Charlie and more.  More information is available at

Family Fun Days activities are scheduled from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Paddock Pavilion on Sundays throughout the meet.

Monday’s special Memorial Day racing program, with 10 races and the final day of the Bluegrass Art Experience in the infield, also has a post time is 12:45 p.m., with admission gates opening at 11:30 a.m.

Seating and tickets for Churchill Downs racing and special events throughout the Spring Meet can be purchased through the track’s online box office at or by calling (502) 636-4400.  Tickets can also be purchased at Churchill Downs’ on-track box office, located at Gate 1 off Central Avenue. The on-track box office is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the exception of Friday hours of noon to 6 p.m.  The box office will be open on “Downs After Dark” night racing Saturdays on June 2, 16 and 30 from noon to 9 p.m. 


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