A Kentucky Derby-free guide to Louisville this weekend

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If you're looking for Derby-related activities, you'll probably be able to find a few resources online. Possibly. But with so much media attention focused on the Run for the Roses, finding info about other events---and many locals I've talked to plan on doing yard work this weekend---is a little tougher. Here's some help. First Friday Trolley Hop May 1, 5 p.m. Downtown Louisville Ok, maybe this event isn't Derby free as downtown is sure to be full of revelers. But as its name implies the First Friday Trolley Hop includes a trolley ride, so you'll be able to ditch your car at the far ends of the route (10th St. and Campbell between Main and Market Sts.) and rely on free transportation for the rest of the night. Hop highlights include free appetizers and works by five local artists at River Bend Winery, a special installation by Alessandra Exposito at 21C and the opening reception for Frank Martinze at the Tim Faulkner Gallery. Trolleys will run until 12 a.m. rather than the usual 11 p.m., so drink up. The Unconscious Collective May 1, 6 p.m. Derby City Espresso 331 E. Market St. Drumming, spoken word and a musical performance by Jane Rose highlight the opening of this art exhibit. Artist and organizer Andy Cook said, "Knowing so many different artists, known, unknown, old, young and with different mediums, desiring to bring them together in a special way, I envisioned them coming together as one single sculpture." You probably won't find many people here who'll be in the infield the next day. Mutant Bar Party May 1, 8 p.m. Cinema de Lux 20: Stonybook 2745 S Hurstbourne Pkwy. Derby City Movie Maniacs are having a Wolverine costume party Friday night. There'll be drinking, awards and free comic books. While it sounds like a delightful evening, the opening line of the event description, "whip our your spandex and leather," had me thinking expecting so much more kink. Outdoor Skills - Archery May 2, 9 a.m. Jefferson Memorial Forest 11311 Mitchell Hill Road, Jefferson Go against the traffic Saturday morning and head out of town to learn Olympic-style archery skills and safety. The event is for people ages 8 and higher, and children must be accompanied by an adult. The fee is $6, which includes equipment usage. Picnic on the Porch at Woodford Reserve May 1 and 2, 11 a.m. 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles These picnics happen Tuesdays through Saturdays until Oct. 31 at the Woodford Reserve distillery. But with all of the hullabaloo in Louisville, this weekend might make the perfect time for a trip to the Kentucky countryside. Buy a homemade sandwich in the visitor's center and take it outside on Woodford Reserve's scenic porch. A tour of the distillery costs $5, but it includes a shot glass, but it's made of plastic so you'll just throw it out anyway. Woodford Reserve is the official bourbon of the Derby, so don't expect to avoid the event altogether here either. (Photo: Flickr/sun dazed)
About Zach Everson
Travel news/travel buzz editor at MapQuest. Previously, I was a freelance writer, contributing to The Wall Street Journal, Air Canada's enRoute, Eater, USA Today, Condé Nast Traveller, BlackBook, Curbed, Gridskipper, Deadspin, and Fox News. I also was the founding editor of Eater Louisville and the director of content and editorial strategy for Louisville.com.
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