Free to watch; 5-8 p.m.
It’s not the most exciting two hours in sports. But then again, the Great Steamboat Race isn’t really about the action on the water. It’s all about what goes down on the riverbank during the match-up — fried chicken, cold beer and Frisbee, or some similar combination of picnic fare and outdoor activities.
This year, the Belle of Louisville will take on a new opponent, the Belle of Cincinnati, in a new format. The winner will be determined by which crew racks up the most points during a series of obstacles, rather than which boat crosses the finish line first. Kentucky Derby Festival officials say this will add a “new level of excitement” to the event. And I say, “Who cares? Bring on the chicken.” —Sarah Kelley