Coming May 3, 2017. Don your Kentucky Derby finest to watch the Great Steamboat Race! As part of the Kentucky Derby Festival, this race takes place on the Ohio River in the span that runs between Louisville, Kentucky and Jeffersonville, Indiana. It’s the the Belle of Louisville, the hometown vessel and the oldest river steamboat in operation versus the Belle of Cincinnati, a diesel-powered boat, in competition to see who can accumulate the most points from performing a series of 10 tasks including paddlewheel assembly, flag retrieval, a nautical word puzzle, knot tying, and most certainly, the first boat to cross the finish line. The Battle of the Belles is always a popular event whether you are onboard or watching from onshore.