Kentucky Derby

National, local celebs join Derby Eve festivities

LOUISVILLE — While the forecast is calling for possible flash floods for Saturday's Kentucky Derby, it was a flash flood of stars that turned out for Friday night's 23rd annual Barnstable-Brown Party.

"This is my first Derby," said CBS newsman Bob Schieffer, the first celebrity to arrive. "I hear this party is over the top." The idea of the party is to bring a little bit of Hollywood to Louisville's Highlands neighborhood.

The stars were out, including actor Jerry O'Connell declaring his love for all things Kentucky, such as bourbon and the Wildcats.

This year's gala highlighted local talent, too, with Cats Coach John Calipari and members of the University of Kentucky basketball team on the guest list and the UK Opera Theatre on stage.

Although Patrick Patterson is departing for the NBA, he promised he would be back for events like the Derby.

"I love Kentucky," he said. "I love the fans."

Coach Cal had a hand in the Poor Man's Derby Party in Lexington as well — proceeds from Maker's Mark bottles signed by the coach and sold at the party went to the Fraternal Order of Police's Bryan Durman Fund, in memory of the Lexington officer who died Thursday in the line of duty.

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