Tickets on sale for Kentucky Derby Party

Photo courtesy John Duvall
The first Saturday in May is a big day not only at Churchill Downs, but also in Pagosa Country, where the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club hosts its annual Kentucky Derby Party, complete with fancy hats and mint juleps. Tickets for the local event are available now.

By Lisa Scott
Special to The PREVIEW

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted thoroughbred racing and presented the famous Kentucky Derby horse race continuously since 1875. The Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May every year and draws a crowd of 155,000 people.

The Pagosa Rotary Club will host a Kentucky Derby Party on May 6 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the prestigious Keyah Grande Lodge west of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160. Kentucky Derby festivities and the race will be simulcast live from Louisville, Ky.

The party starts as it does in Kentucky with a buffet lunch and desserts, sipping on mint juleps and other spirits from the bar, listening to live music and betting on a favorite horse, then cheering them on across the finish line.

Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased from any Rotarian, or at Exit Realty or Old West Press. Profits from the Kentucky Derby Party are donated within the community in the form of postsecondary scholarships, food-filled backpacks for youth needing supplemental meals, dictionaries for third-grade students and sponsoring youth leaders to attend leadership camps.

Twenty horses compete in the Kentucky Derby, which is larger than most horse races, where the average is eight horses racing against one another. To qualify for the Kentucky Derby, horses participate in a series of 35 races taking place at tracks across the country and the world. Points are awarded to the top four horses that finish in each of those 35 races, and the 20 horses with the most points earn a spot in the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby competing for a winning purse of $2 million.

The elegant atmosphere at Keyah Grande is the perfect location for an afternoon of great food and fun with breathtaking views. Entertainment also includes raffle drawings, silent auction and prizes for women and men in the hat contest.

Support these community projects and have a fun-filled afternoon with your friends and neighbors at the Pagosa Rotary Kentucky Derby Party. Buy your tickets today, as there are only a limited number of tickets available.

Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. There are 34,282 clubs with 1.2 million members worldwide.