As an increasing share of the American population becomes fully vaccinated (especially the AARP crowd!), an exciting next few months are on the horizon: We can finally start thinking about returning to live and in-person events, from plays and concerts to festivals and athletic tournaments. Of course, now is not the time to get careless or complacent, so organizers are committed to reopening safely, with measures in place such as mask mandates, capacity limits and socially distanced seating. From the Kentucky Derby to the Newport Folk Festival, these 10 events will be waiting for you once you're ready to get back out there.
Where: Louisville, Kentucky
When: May 1
The details: Dust off your best fascinator or seersucker suit: The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is back on track for the first Saturday in May. At this time organizers are working under the assumption that they will need to limit reserved seating to about 40 to 50 percent of capacity and thus are holding off on selling general-admission tickets until closer to the event date, though a number of premium box and dining room packages are available. Masks will be required, and Churchill Downs Racetrack employees have all been given the opportunity to get vaccinated starting in late March.
How to get tickets: A number of ticket and package options are available for purchase online at kentuckyderby.com/tickets
Where: Charleston, South Carolina
When: May 27–June 13
The details: Inspired by Italy's Festival dei Due Mondi, this Southern cultural festival will return for the 2021 season with a slate of live performances that includes theater (Susan Hill's ghost story The Woman in Black), dance (including tap and ballet) and music (with performances from the likes of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Sarah Jarosz). With events spread across town, the festival will promote social distancing by selling tickets in safe-seating pods—groups of two to four seats that must be purchased at the same time to ensure you'll sit only with others in your bubble.
How to get tickets: Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone or in person at spoletousa.org/current-season/buy-tickets/
Where: Indianapolis, Indiana
When: May 30
The details: To ensure safety for the 105th iteration, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has unveiled a series of safety measures such as limited venue capacity, temperature screening upon entry and mandated face covering (including free masks for those who arrive without one).
How to get tickets: Tickets available for purchase here: indianapolismotorspeedway.com/events/indy500/buy-tickets