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Louisiana Derby & Infield Festival Frequently Asked Questions

  • The first-ever Louisiana Derby Infield Festival is March 30, 2013.

WHAT IS IT?

The Louisiana Derby is a $1 million race for top 3-year-old Thoroughbred horses, held annually on the final Saturday in March. It is a final stop for horses hoping to make their next start in the world’s most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on the first Saturday in May.

This year marks the milestone 100th running of the Louisiana Derby. In celebration of this historic event, Fair Grounds is staging the first-ever Louisiana Derby Infield Festival with a concert by Cowboy Mouth and a food truck festival within the wide-open expanse inside the racing oval (familiar to most locals as the site of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented by Shell).

WHEN IS IT?

The Louisiana Derby and Infield Festival are Saturday March 30, 2013. First post – the first horse race – is at 1 p.m. (all times Central Daylight Time). Flow Tribe will hit the Jägermeister Stage at about 2 p.m. The Louisiana Derby will be run during the five o’clock hour. The Infield Festival continues all afternoon, with the concert by Cowboy Mouth set for soon after the Louisiana Derby is run.

HOW DO I GET TICKETS?

There are several options for Louisiana Derby and Infield Festival admissions:

Infield Festival

Infield Festival General Admission is $25 per person and tickets can be purchased online in advance at www.fgno.com/tickets. General Admission includes access to the Infield, the Jägermeister Stage (where the Cowboy Mouth concert will be), and all food trucks and pop-up vendors.

Infield Festival VIP Admission is sold out! VIP Admission includes four Food & Beverage tickets (good for menu items at any food truck, pop-up vendor or bar in the Infield) and access to the private VIP Patron Tent, the separate VIP Patron Area in front of the Jägermeister Stage (where the Cowboy Mouth concert will be), the Executive Restroom Trailer, the Infield and all food trucks and pop-up vendors.

Infield Festival VIP Suites are sold out! VIP Suites include unlimited catered food and open bar for most of the day, access to the VIP Suite and observation deck at the finish line, the separate VIP Patron Area in front of the Jägermeister Stage (where the Cowboy Mouth concert will be), the Executive Restroom Trailer, the Infield and all food trucks and pop-up vendors.

***For additional details on the VIP experiences, please click here to read the VIP Welcome Letter.***

Infield Festival Upgrades for those with paid Grandstand or Clubhouse admission will be available in the Miller Time Beer Garden near the pedestrian crossing for Infield Festival access. Upgrades for those who have already paid Grandstand Admission will be $15 and upgrades for those who have already paid Clubhouse admission will be $10. Upgrades will be available throughout the day, as well as after the races during the concert.

Clubhouse and Grandstand

Grandstand General Admission is $10 per person and tickets can be purchased online in advance at www.fgno.com/tickets. Clubhouse General Admission will also be available at the door on Louisiana Derby Day. Grandstand General Admission includes access to the first three levels of the Fair Grounds Grandstand, as well as the open-air apron and paddock areas. Limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Clubhouse General Admission is $15 per person and tickets can be purchased online in advance at www.fgno.com/tickets. Clubhouse General Admission will also be available at the door on Louisiana Derby Day. Clubhouse General Admission includes access to the fourth-floor Clubhouse level and the first three levels of the Fair Grounds Grandstand, as well as the open-air apron and paddock areas. Limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

All Suites, Clubhouse Dining Tables, Clubhouse Boxes and Grandstand Boxes are sold out!

Black Gold Room

A limited number of reservations are available for the Black Gold Room in the private event space on the second floor of the Derby Building, across from the sixteenth-pole. Black Gold Room admission includes buffet, open bar (12:30-6 p.m.), non-alcoholic beverages, tax and gratuity and track program, as well as access to an open-air balcony facing the track. Louisiana Derby Day reservations in the Black Gold Room are $150 per person and can be made by calling the Group Sales department at (504) 948-1285.

WHAT IF I AM A TSC ELITE VIP?

If you are a VIP member of Churchill Downs Incorporated's TSC Elite rewards program your usual privileges will be available on Louisiana Derby Day. All VIPs receive free Clubhouse admission by presenting their card at any admission gate. For Infield Festival access, TSC Elite VIPs only have to pay the $10 upgrade price at the pedestrian crossing.

ARE CHILDREN ALLOWED?

Yes, children are welcome for live racing at Fair Grounds, as long as accompanied by a parent our guardian. In the Grandstand and Clubhouse, kids 12 and under are free. There is no children’s admission price for Infield Festival; all Infield guests require a regular-priced ticket regardless of age. Must be 18 to wager on horse races.

WHEN DO GATES OPEN?

Grandstand gates will open at 10:30 a.m.

Pedestrian crossing for access to the Infield Festival will open at 11 a.m.

WHAT AREAS CAN I ACCESS WITH INFIELD FESTIVAL ADMISSION?

Infield Festival admission also includes access to the Paddock, Grandstand and Miller Time Beer Garden. Infield Festival patrons will not have access to the Clubhouse (levels 4 and 5).

Re-entry is allowed for all Infield Festival patrons with proper credentials and/or wristbands.

WHAT FOOD TRUCKS AND POP-UP VENDORS WILL BE THERE?

Infield Festival will include several of the top food trucks and pop-up vendors in New Orleans. Below is the list of confirmed vendors:

BBQ n Some, Bratz Y’all, Chad’s Bistro, Crepes a la Carte, Empanada Infitada, Frencheeze, Fresh Junkie, The Fry Bar, Hansen's Sno-Bliz, La Cocinita, Ms. Linda the Yakamein Lady, NOLA Girl, P.J.’s Coffee, Rue Chow and Woody’s Fish Tacos.

Food trucks and pop-up vendors interested in applying to be part of Infield Festival should send an introductory e-mail describing their set-up and offerings to info@fgno.com

WHERE DO I PARK?

Free general parking at Fair Grounds will be available until the lot is full.

Premium Valet at the Clubhouse lobby entrance is $30. Standard Valet at the Clubhouse lobby entrance is $20.

Additional parking will be available at off-site lots in the vicinity of Fair Grounds. Shuttles will be available from 10:30 a.m. until after the concert to transport guests from off-site lots to Fair Grounds.

HOW ELSE CAN I GET THERE?

The City Park streetcar line ends at North Carrolton and Esplanade, in front of the New Orleans Museum of Art. From there it is a short walk to Fair Grounds. Proceed down Esplanade Avenue toward the river and turn left on Mystery Street to enter the back gate.

A temporary taxi stand will be available on Gentilly Avenue near the main entrance.

Several bicycle racks are available at Fair Grounds near every main entrance.

WHAT IF IT RAINS?

The Louisiana Derby and Infield Festival will go on rain or shine. In the event of wet weather, please make every effort to dress appropriately. There will be no rain checks or refunds.

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

No matter which part of the track you're experiencing Louisiana Derby Day from, all guests are encouraged to help us make this a special afternoon and "dress to impress!"

Clubhouse

No dress code is enforced in the Clubhouse, although gentlemen are requested to wear jackets and collared shirts and asked to please not wear shorts, windsuits or sandals. Ladies are encouraged to wear hats.

Grandstand

The Grandstand is casual and has no dress code except that shirts and shoes are a must!

Infield Festival

Infield Festival‐goers will walk across portable pedestrian ramps. Because there will be instances where you cross grass and/or dirt we encourage you to wear appropriate shoes for such conditions. Infield Festival attire is “resort casual” or general festival attire, as we anticipate warm weather.

WHAT CAN I BRING TO THE INFIELD FESTIVAL?

To ensure proper safety and preparation, please read the following rules and policies.

All persons and bags are subject to search.

  • Single, collapsible folding chairs (NO foot rests, side tables) and small folding blankets are permitted.
  • Wheelchairs permitted. Strollers for children permitted.
  • Video recording and photography allowed. NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY.
  • NO tents or shades of any fashion.
  • NO bicycles or other wheeled personal transport devices allowed on the grounds or infield.
  • NO flashing devices of any kind.
  • NO unauthorized vending.
  • NO weapons, illicit drugs, contraband or fireworks.
  • NO outside food, beverages or glass allowed.
  • NO flag/kite-flying of any kind.
  • NO Inflatables of any kind – this includes beach balls.
  • NO pets.

A printable list of permitted and forbidden items can be found here.

ADDITIONAL POLICIES TO KNOW

Re-entry is allowed for all Infield Festival patrons with proper credentials and/or wristbands. VIP Suite & Tent credentials must be worn at all times. 

Festival chairs and/or festival baggage are not allowed to be set-up anywhere in the Grandstand, Paddock or Apron areas. They are only permitted on the Infield.

There will be a medical station with first aid and medically trained physicians located directly behind the tote board.

All entrances and exits will be clearly marked for your safety. There will only be one entry way on and off of the Infield.

  • 2012 Louisiana Derby winner Hero of Order. Photo by Hodges Photography.