- Road to the Kentucky Derby
- Racing & Wagering
Parties with Purpose
Let Us Entertain You!
The robust Kentucky Derby celebrity scene would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of several organizations and individuals that devote months of time and effort in planning the numerous black-tie galas, VIP receptions and after-hours parties that attract celebrities to Kentucky Derby weekend in Louisville. Many of these events are important annual fundraisers for worthy causes such as diabetes and cancer research, youth charities and a myriad of initiatives supported by local foundations and nonprofit organizations.
Churchill Downs extends its sincere admiration and thanks to the stellar individuals behind these star-studded events who are tremendous ambassadors for our city and its signature event -- and who truly add the “sparkle” to the Kentucky Derby experience!
Taste of Derby
Date: Thursday, May 2, 2013
Location: North Wing Lobby at the Kentucky Exposition Center
Taste of Derby, an exciting addition to Kentucky Derby week, made its inaugural debut in the eve of the Kentucky Oaks 136, and attracted 1,000 guests.
The evening celebrates and showcases cuisine of popular horse racing destinations across the country, where masterful chefs from these cities serve samples of their signature dishes, while guests also enjoy unique wines paired with the chefs’ regional offerings, and mix and mingle with Thoroughbred horse racing celebrities.
The event features a roster of award-winning chefs and horse racing celebrities from cities including Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, and of course Louisville.
Taste of Derby also raises funds and awareness for hunger relief organizations. To date, a total of over $163,000 has been contributed to hunger relief locally and around the country in regions where participating chefs are located.
Churchill Downsis proud to bring you Taste of Derby and expose Louisvillians and the thousands of out-of-town guests who visit us for the Kentucky Derby each year to these great racing communities across the country and the regional flavors that make them as unique as our hometown.
- Red Carpet Entry at 7 p.m.
- Food & Wine Tastings until 10 p.m.
- Premium Open Bar until 11 p.m.
- Cocktail Party Attire
- Complimentary Valet Service
Barnstable Brown Party
Date: Friday, May 3, 2013
Location: Barnstable Brown mansion
For more than two decades, some of the brightest stars from the worlds of film, television, music, fashion and sports have celebrated the night before the “Run for the Roses” at Louisville’s quintessential Derby Eve party – the Barnstable Brown Party.
Truly a family affair, the Barnstable Brown gala is co-hosted by twin sisters – and famed Doublemint twins – Patricia (“Tricia”) Barnstable Brown and Priscilla (“Cyb”) Barnstable, their mother, Wilma (“Willie”) Barnstable, and Tricia’s son, Chris Brown. The black-tie gala raises money for programs supporting diabetes research, treatment and education at the sisters’ alma mater, the University of Kentucky. Diabetes claimed the life of Tricia’s husband, Dr. David Brown, and the glamorous Derby Eve event is still held at the posh home Tricia and her late husband shared in Louisville’s beloved Highlands neighborhood.
The Barnstable family has hosted hundreds of Hollywood luminaries over the decades, including many guests who help entertain the crowd through live (and sometimes spontaneous) musical performances. Here’s a look at some of the VIP guests who are scheduled to attend:
- Aaron Rodgers
- Andre Agassi
- Ashton Kutcher
- Boyz II Men
- Cyndi Lauper
- Anthony Davis
- Kid Rock
- Nick Lachey
- Darryl “DMC” McDaniels
- Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery
- Kate Upton
- Miranda Lambert
The Derby Eve Barnstable Brown Party will celebrate its 24rd renewal on Friday, May 3, 2013. For information on tickets and sponsorship opportunities, contact Willie Barnstable at (502) 491-6778.
Date: Friday, May 3, 2013
Come experience a night of Southern glamour, charm and hospitality at its finest during the second annual Unbridled Eve Gala. Held on Derby Eve, May 3rd 2013, this black tie-optional event begins with an amazing cocktail reception featuring fantastic specialty bars serving fine wines, champagnes, bourbons, vodkas, and custom cocktails provided by Champion sponsor Southern Wine & Spirits brand partners. Mingle with celebs and VIPs from the sports, music, TV, movie, poker, literary, and horse racing world after their red carpet entrance.
Over 100 impressive silent auction items will be up for grabs, as well as some incredible live auction items. Proceeds benefit several charities, including Blessings in a Backpack, which provides food on the weekends to low-income elementary school children.
You will enjoy a sit down gourmet dinner in the stunningly decorated Galt House Hotel Grand Ballroom, enjoy a variety of live entertainment headlined by Country music superstar Luke Bryan, NBC’s The Voice finalist Nicholas David, and Jo Dee Messina and dancing to the Crashers and a special guest DJ.
Celebrity guests past and present include:
- Randy Owen/Alabama
- Phil Hellmuth
- Ice-T and Coco
- Lance Bass
- Warren Moon
- Nora Roberts
- Michael Bush
- Luke Bryan
- Quinton Aaron
- Aubrey O’Day
Tickets are available online at http://www.unbridledeve.com/tickets.
Date: Friday, May 3, 2013
Location: The KFC Yum! Center
As one of the longest running Derby weekend fundraisers, The Julep Ball set the standard for Derby entertaining, and in 2013 we’re taking it to the next level. On the first Friday in May you and your guests will be treated to an intimate, yet rousing concert by special musical guests Angie Johnson and the iconic party band The B-52s in an experience like no other from the main floor of the KFC Yum! Center. The evening will include a multi-course seated dinner, a knock-your-socks-off auction, multiple open specialty bars, complimentary valet parking, and dancing until the wee hours of Derby morning in a decidedly more relaxed and FUN atmosphere (cocktail/track attire). A portion of the event’s proceeds will go specifically to the Harriett B. Porter Endowment to support the health disparities in underserved communities of greater Louisville. Your support of this event will assure better access to screening and education opportunities in fighting cancer. No matter who the patient is or what type of cancer they have, they are offered a world-class level of care that starts with diagnosis and continues through every phase of disease management and recovery.
The 2013 Julep Ball, benefiting the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville, is scheduled for Derby Eve, May 3, 2013 at the KFC Yum! Center 6:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
For 2013 Julep Ball ticket information and to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit thejulep.org or Call 502.852.6589.
Race For Grace
Date: Monday, April 29, 2013
Location: Churchill Downs, Millionaires Row – 6th Floor
This annual fundraiser benefits the Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy. The event will take place on Monday, April 30 at 6 p.m.at Churchill Downs on Millionaires Row and will feature musical entertainment and a live and silent auction. The featured speaker will be Terry Bradshaw, a Hall of Fame NFL quarterback and current FOX TV analyst. Annual attendees include Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, and other notable horse racing personalities.
Silks in the Bluegrass
Date: Saturday, May 4, 2013
Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel (830 Phillips Lane)
Silks in the Bluegrass to Welcome Miss America 2013, Mallory Hagan, and pioneer of the Motown sound recording artist Valerie Simpson.
Don't let the fun end with the final race on Derby Day. Just a few blocks away from Churchill Downs is an evening to remember at Silks in the Bluegrass. Held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (830 Phillips Lane), Silks in the Bluegrass offers an evening of fun and friends, with top notch entertainment. This year, Valerie Simpson, part of the legendary music duo Ashford and Simpson will entertain the crowd with Motown hits like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" and "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing." In addition, Miss America 2013, Mallory Hagan, will be featured in cooperation with Boys and Girls Haven, which provides a home and a future for abandoned, abused and neglected children.
The doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the fun begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $250 and include cocktails, dinner and the performance. Proceeds benefit Operation Open Arms, a Louisville-based organization dedicated to helping children whose mothers are in prison.