Churchill Downs will get loud Saturday night as the Louisville, Ky. racetrack hosts the final Downs After Dark presented by Budweiser of the Spring Meet.
The theme for Saturday night’s Downs After Dark is “Rock the Downs.” Guests are encouraged to break out their best rocker wear with vintage band T’s, leather jackets, denim, plaid or even glam as they catch the grooves and dance to favorite rock covers between live races.
The first race on the 11-race nighttime card is 6 p.m. (all times Eastern).
The spacious 30,000-square-foot Plaza adjacent to the saddling paddock will be the heartbeat of the party. There will be live music on the Plaza Stage throughout the night, including Amos Hopkins & Friends from 5:30-8 p.m. and classic rock hits from Aerosmith to ZZ Top and every rock band in between by Rock United from 8:30-11:30 p.m.
Other features events include CirqueLouis Stilt Walkers, LED Jugglers, and three between-race music performances from the Pagoda as local actors perform rock ballads from the jukebox musical We Will Rock You. Additionally, there will be a laser light show on the facades of Churchill Downs’ clubhouse once the sun sets.
Two specialty cocktails will be sold at the Old Forester Paddock Bar and Spend a Buck Bar on the second floor of the Clubhouse in the Food Court. “All Started With the Blues” is a tribute to legendary American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Robert Johnson and features Old Forester, Sweet Tea, Lemonade, Triple Sec and a Lemon and Mint garnish. “The Wolfman” is an homage to the legendary rock disc jockey and includes Finlandia Vodka, Chambord, Lemonade and a Blackberries garnish.
Admission gates will open Saturday at 5 p.m. and the first race is 6 p.m. The final race will be 11:10 p.m. and the on-track party will continue in the Plaza area until 11:30 p.m. The last call for alcohol will be post time for the final race of night.
Saturday’s marquee entertainment event is paired with stellar horse racing, including the $150,000 Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes (Grade III) for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
According to the National Weather Service, Saturday’s forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with a high near 90.
General admission to Downs After Dark is $12 and it includes an official program. No one under the age of 18 will be admitted to the track unless they are accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. Limited premium dining packages are available starting at $69 per person. Outdoor-third floor box seats are on sale for $27 per person. Reserved seating can be purchased online at www.ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets.
Churchill Downs will be back to normal with no restrictions starting Friday as the Commonwealth of Kentucky is slated to allow Kentucky businesses, venues and events to return to full capacity.