No need to leave Lexington this weekend in search of Derby celebrations. Local festivities will offer simulcast racing from Churchill Downs, wagering, live music and more.
Keeneland brings back its annual Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby festivities on Friday and Saturday at the historic race course at 4201 Versailles Road. Watch live racing from Churchill Downs, wagering, enjoy food and drinks, and children’s activities including pony rides, crafts, and face painting.
Gates open at 9 a.m. Admission is free on Friday, $5 on Saturday, free for ages 12 and younger. Keeneland.com.
Admission is free to the Red Mile Derby Fest, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the 142-year-old standardbred race track at 1200 Red Mile Road. Televisions throughout the facility and a giant screen on the track will broadcast all the Derby Day action with wagering available. Bands will perform throughout the day including Encore and Dan Hill and Friends. Keep your look casual or dress in your Derby finery and participate in a hat contest at 4 p.m.
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Vendors will offer everything from hot Browns to hot dogs and mint juleps. While a buffet in the clubhouse will include your favorite Kentucky dishes such as burgoo, fried chicken, spoon bread, stack cake and beer cheese. Tickets for the buffet are $50, available in advance at Eventbrite or on Saturday pending availability. Red Mile will also open at 10 a.m. Friday for Oaks Day simulcast wagering. Redmileky.com.
The 45th annual Poor Man’s Harlan County Derby Eve Party is 6 p.m. Friday at B&B Morgan Tire, 851 North Broadway. The evening will include live music, food from Maria’s Kitchen and a silent auction. Tickets are $20. Proceeds will benefit the March of Dimes. 859-255-4294. Bit.ly/2p4IbkS.
The new Derby Eve party in town is The Legacy Ball, 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday at Commonwealth Stadium, Woodford Reserve Club, 1540 University Drive. The event will celebrate the historic contributions of black jockeys and trainers. The evening will include food, cocktails and live music and dancing. Tickets are $100. Proceeds will benefit local charities and scholarships for black students for equine education. Thelegacyball.com.
Waveland State Historic Site will host a Derby Day Breakfast starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at 225 Waveland Museum Lane. Breakfast will be in the mansion, served on fine china by period-dressed interpreters. Fare will include hot Brown tarts, cheese grits with jumbo shrimp and bourbon mint brownies. Admission is $75, which includes a tour of the mansion. Seating is limited and reservations are required by Thursday. Call 859-272-3611 or 859-619-8189. Parks.ky.gov.