- Said to be the two most exciting minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby is held on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs. Unless you have some strong Louisville connections, don't count on getting tickets for anything but general admission (in recent years, there have been special Derby and Oaks packages. 2011 reserved seating tickets are $480 each). General admission tickets are $40 and get you into the paddock area and the infield, where you can't actually see the race, but there are plenty of TVs broadcasting what's going on around you (you can see the horses in the paddock area before the race). The Derby is only one race of several run that day, and it takes place later in the day, around 6:00 PM. Keep this in mind if you plan on going to the infield, as it means your fellow infielders have all day to get sloppy (and they do).
Plan your trip well – Churchill Downs parking is sold in advance. Residents around the racetrack sell parking (starts around $20), and there are shuttles from various locations around town. Check the forecast and bring appropriate gear (sunblock or galoshes). If you want to place a bet, do a little research on the horses (or just pick the one whose name you like the best).
Not into horse racing? There's plenty of other entertainment – celebrity sighting, checking out Derby fashion and hats, drinking mint juleps, and venturing into the infield to catch a glimpse of fools racing across the lines of port-o-potties.
- © NileGuide2013