One of the bigger Derby Eve parties in Louisville on Friday night will probably remain a mystery until it happens.
Not much is known about the Hermitage Derby Toast at Louisville’s 21c Museum Hotel except that it has a nice pedigree. It replaces the Hermitage Grand Gala, which was held last year at the farm owned by 21c owners Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown and featured A-lister Chris Rock on the guest list and country star Darius Rucker entertaining.
This year, the party has moved downtown, and it is now a Vanity Fair Party — you know, Vanity Fair, the people who bring you those who’s-who post-Oscar parties?
Taking place Friday at the hotel at 700 West Main Street, organizers aren’t saying much about who’s coming, save for Entourage star Adrian Grenier, and music will be by The Skins. But when you look at the presenter’s track records, you know this will be a party to watch.
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Tickets aren’t available this year, but the public will be able to view the celebs walking the red carpet at the hotel starting at 8 p.m., organizers said.
Lexington’s brand-new 21c Museum Hotel also will be a Derby Eve party central with Down the Rabbit Hole, a soiree starting at 8 p.m. presented by The Original Makers Club and Woodford Reserve. It’s $175 a person and reservations can be made online at Theoriginalmakersclub.com.
The burgeoning Distillery District also will host a Derby Eve bash with Derby Eve Lexington, hosted by well-known area sportscaster Jeff Piecoro at 8 p.m. in the first floor of the five-story James Pepper Distillery Warehouse, 1170 Manchester Street. Tickets are $100 each, and there are VIP options, too. Go to DerbyEveLex.com to learn more.
Maybe Lexington’s most currently enduring Derby Eve tradition is the 44th annual Poor Man’s Harlan County Derby Eve Party hosted by Bill Morgan and the Morgan family, and featuring the “world-famous maître D’James ‘Smitty’ Smith.” It will start at 6 p.m. at B&B Morgan Tire on North Broadway. Admission is $20 by invitation only.
But, if Derby celebs is what you crave, set your party compass to Louisville.
Other Derby Eve parties include:
The fifth annual Unbridled Eve Gala. Grand Ballroom of the Galt House in downtown Louisville. 7 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. Friday, with dance only admittance starting at 10 p.m.Celebrities expected to attend include actors Mira Sorvino, Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Diego Klattenhoff (The Blacklist), Ashley Greene (Twilight series) and Bob Guiney from The Bachelor; athletes Mark Sanchez (Denver Broncos), Warren Moon (retired NFL) and Von Miller (Denver Broncos); University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino; author Nora Roberts; R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills; rapper 50 Cent; and Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell. Robin Thicke, Wynonna Judd, Dennis DeYoung of Styx and John Elefante of Kansas will perform. Tickets and tables for this event can be bought at Unbridledeve.com.
Barnstable Brown Gala. Home of Patricia Barnstable Brown. 8 p.m. Friday. The annual gala has a long list of regular celebrity guests including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, vocal group Boyz II Men, musician Morris Day, hip-hop duo Salt-n-Pepa, model Kate Upton, rocker Kid Rock, and singer and actor Joey Fatone. Also on the guest list this year are Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, Grammy Award-winning band Alabama Shakes and Kentuckian and The Voice Season 9 winner Jordan Smith.
Fillies & Lilies Party.Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs Louisville. 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Tickets are available and can be bought at http://derbyexperiences.com/concierge-services/kentucky-derby-parties/fillies-lilies-party. Wynonna Judd will be performing at the party, and it will include an open bar, private bourbon lounge, dancing, and hors d’oeuvres. For ticket information, go to Bit.ly/1VWMLPc.
Kathryn Hurst: 859-231-1687, @kehurst_98