It's all Derby, all over Kentucky in the week leading up to the first Saturday in May. And there are lots of places to celebrate besides Churchill Downs.
■ Keeneland will have the Derby Bash in the Entertainment Center and Keene Barn from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., on May 2 with a Kentucky themed buffet lunch, souvenir program, live music and cash bar. Snacks from 3 to 7 p.m. Inside tables are $520 for eight ($70 a person); tables in the Keene Barn are $440 for a table of eight ($60 a person). You also can make reservations for dining rooms at Keeneland.com.
Or bring your own picnic in: general admission is $5 and parking is free. Gates open at 9 a.m. Pets are not allowed. Tents, canopies, grills and glass are not permitted in the paddock, walking ring or terrace. Patrons are not permitted to bring alcohol; coolers are allowed, but are subject to inspection.
■ Waveland State Historic Site, 225 Waveland Museum Lane, will host a special Derby Day breakfast at 10 a.m. Saturday, which will include an elegant breakfast served by period-dressed interpreters.
The event will include a presentation on Waveland and how it influenced horse racing in Lexington. Enjoy the mansion tour following the presentation. Reservations are required; $25. Call (859) 272-3611 for reservations and information.
■ In downtown Frankfort, Gov. Steve Beshear and first lady Jane Beshear will host the 79th annual Governor's Derby Celebration from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. It's free. There's a farmer's market, arts and crafts, specialty vendors, children's activities, live music on the Jim Beam Entertainment Stage, and the fourth annual Derby Dash. Sponsored by the Frankfort YMCA, the event has races for children ages 2 to 12.
■ In Florence, Turfway Park hosts its annual Kentucky Derby party Saturday.
There's the Party in the Paddock from noon to 8 p.m. featuring drink specials, the Derby day simulcast, Derby hat contests and, starting at 3:30 p.m., music by popular classic rock cover band Doghouse. Admission is free.
Reserved seating is still available. On the fifth floor, tables with individual TV monitors are $50 a seat, or tables in the Racing Club, with views of screens around the room, are $45 a seat. Both include Turfway's Derby day buffet, served from 1:30 to 5 p.m., with prime rib, Southern fried chicken, linguine pasta and assorted appetizers, salads, sides and desserts. For reservations, (859) 371-0200. The second and third floors will be open for first-come, first-served indoor seating at no charge. Doors open at 10 a.m.
Turfway also will join 25 other tracks and racing venues in a silent auction to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Framed, autographed, professional photos of some of racing's most beloved horses will be up for bids.
■ Kentucky Derby sponsor Grey Goose Vodka will have a new cocktail for the Derby: All the King's Horses, an ode to seven-time Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher. Made with Grey Goose Le Melon, the refreshing cocktail offers a unique pairing of fresh grapefruit juice and spicy jalapeno.
If you want to make the drink at home, here is the recipe:
All The King's Horses
1½ ounce Grey Goose Le Melon
1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce St. Germain
Muddle one slice jalapeño in a shaker. Add remaining ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice and top with soda and jalapeno garnish.
■ On Saturday night, Proof in the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville will host a Derby Night Celebration of dinner and dancing, beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets for dinner and the party are $195 ($125 for those who want to attend the party only) and may be purchased Proofonmain.com.