It's Derby Time

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Here in Louisville, it’s time to celebrate! With the return of Spring, comes the biggest event in our city’s year. That’s right, it’s Derby time! Known as the fastest two minutes in sports, with this premier horse race comes a huge festival that keeps the whole area buzzing for two weeks.  From the biggest fireworks display in the USA, to events for foodies, art lovers, families, and everyone in between, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

The Kentucky Derby Festival kicks off two weeks before the Derby with Thunder Over Louisville. People come to camp out for the entire day to watch the air show, eat great food, and see the country’s biggest fireworks display. The next two weeks in Louisville are full of events every day. There really is something for everyone. Whether you are a seasoned Louisville resident, or this will be your first Spring in “The Ville”, this time of year is fun and festive for all.

Our agents weighed in on their favorite parts of Louisville’s best.

Shawna Smith:

1. Have you been to the Derby?

Yes, twice. I’ve been to the infield and the paddock. But we have been to Thurby three times and prefer it more.

2. How do you pick your favorite horses?

Number of wins and the jockey; sometimes the color later in the day!

3. What is your favorite non-horse race Derby event?

Barnstable Brown party star stalking!

4. In your opinion what makes the Kentucky Derby so special?

Time with my family and friends.

Malachi Hadley:

1. Have you been to the Derby?

I’ve been to the infield 5 times.

2. How do you pick your favorite horse?

It’s a very complex algorithm that involves many factors.  Then sometime I just go by the name that I like the most.

3. What is your favorite non-horse race Derby event?

The Pegasus Parade

4. In your opinion what makes the Kentucky Derby so special?

The tradition and the fact that it shines a positive light on the state of Kentucky and the city of Louisville, that and the economic boost that it provides.

Sallie Schneider:

1. Have you been to the Derby?

I've been to the Derby 15 or more times.  For three years I drove for a racing coalition out of Michigan. They had a horse in the Derby one year that came in last.  Never been to the infield- been lucky enough to mainly be in the Jockey suites, box seats and one-year Millionaires row.

2. How do you pick your favorite horses?

I always lean towards grey horses and certain jockeys I like.

3. What is your favorite non-horse race Derby event? Why?

I love Thunder over Louisville, have been several times. The atmosphere and excitement is second to none- well except for the Derby itself.

4. In your opinion what makes the Kentucky Derby so special?

The Kentucky Derby is an event that captures national and international attention. It's a month-long celebration that showcases our city and state and I think we shine like no other city could.

Katherine Dozier:

1. Have you been to the Derby? How many times? Grandstands or infield

Never been to Derby.  Been to Oaks (infield) 3 times.  Last year went to Thurby (Grandstand).  This year going to Opening Night (Millionaire's Row).  So far my favorite one was Thurby--we had nice seats, a buffet and FREE WINE!

2. How do you pick your favorite horses?

Either by the name or by their looks.  I know...real scientific!  I'm not a betting person. 

3. What is your favorite non-horse race Derby event? Why?

The fireworks at Thunder are one of my favorite things.  The last few years we've watched it on TV and had a blast!

4. In your opinion what makes the Kentucky Derby so special?

The entire atmosphere for the two weeks leading up to the Derby!  There is so much excitement in town and so many events going on.  I also love seeing the hats that the women wear to Oaks and Derby.  It's just a fun and exciting time in Louisville and really shows off what our community offers!

Olivia Calhoun:

1. Have you been to the Derby? How many times? Grandstands or infield?

Yup! 5 or 6 times? We also have been to Oaks & Thurby, as well as Downs after Dark. I’ve worked the infield, attended in the stands and Millionaire’s Row as well as jockey suites.

2. How do you pick your favorite horses? 

Names! I'm not a serious better.

3. What is your favorite non-horse race Derby event? Why?

Thunder! love the fireworks, greasy food, and air show.

4. In your opinion what makes the Kentucky Derby so special?

It's the heart and soul of Kentucky.

Neal Cox:

1. Have you been to the Derby? How many times? Grandstands or infield?

I’ve been to the Derby four times. Twice in the infield and twice in the stands. Two wildly different experiences.

2. How do you pick your favorite horses? 

Name and odds usually. But don’t listen to me for betting advice, I know how to pick a loser!

3. What is your favorite non-horse race Derby event? Why?

I love taking my family to the balloon glow. Great family friendly atmosphere!

4. In your opinion what makes the Kentucky Derby so special?

All eyes are on Kentucky and everyone here has a great time! It’s our time to shine!

If  you have never had a chance to check out Louisville on the first Saturday in May, you are in for a treat!

Check out these links for information on the Fastest Two Minutes in Sports and the Kentucky Derby Festival:

https://www.kentuckyderby.com/

https://kdf.org/


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