It’s A “Sleeper Hit”: Kentucky Derby Festival’s Annual Great Bed Races Happens Tonight

The Kentucky Derby Festival (KDF) is hosting its annual Great Bed Races event tonight inside Kentucky Exposition Center’s Broadbent Arena. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a pre-race parade; the first race begins at 7 p.m. For people ready to get started early, there is a parking lot tailgate beginning at 4 p.m. Of course, admission is free with a 2023 Pegasus Pin; however, there is a $12 fee for parking on the grounds.

This team-building event brings together nearly 40 teams from local businesses and organizations pushing their collaborative creations — aka “beds on wheels” — around a track while decked out in outlandish costumes. The beds are constructed according to specs provided by KDF and decorated to match a chosen theme.

For 2023, the theme is “Through the Decades”: Look for retro creations inspired by movies, music, fashion, television and sports.

The race showcases a “Fun Division” and a “Champions Division.” Teams also compete for prizes and accolades for the (three) fastest times and most outrageous costumes and decorations, along with a few fun titles such as “Cone Eater,” “Best Decorated Bed,” and “Most Entertaining.”