Every year the population of Louisville, Kentucky swells when the two-week Kentucky Derby Festival takes place each spring, culminating in the "Run for the Roses" on the first Saturday in May.
If you can't get to Churchill Downs for the big event, you can watch it on television or download an app to watch it on your iPad or phone. Honestly, though, does that seem right? Not to me. Why not get dressed up, put on your fanciest hat (for women) and your seersucker suit (for men) and attend a Kentucky Derby event right here in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area?
The Kentucky Derby, Arizona Style
On Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Phoenician in Scottsdale and Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon will celebrate the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby with a special viewing party on the Orchid Lawn. Guests will enjoy Mint Julep sampling in a commemorative, keepsake copper cup; classic, Southern-style cuisine (including Eggs Derby, Shrimp and Grits, BBQ Bourbon Pork Flatbread, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie and Manhattan Popsicles); Best Ladies Hat Contest; Best Southern Gentlemen's Fashion contest , entertainment, flat-screen televisions for event and race viewing, prizes, raffle. Ten percent of the event proceeds will benefit After the Homestretch - Arizona, providing homes for former racehorses. Sean McLaughlin from CBS 5 wll be the Master of Ceremonies. Tickets are $40 per person, including tax and gratuity. Call for reservations 480-423-2530.
At Turf Paradise in North Phoenix you can join the Kentucky Derby Party. Admission to the grandstand is $5 per person. Food & drink available all day in the Clubhouse ($38) or the Turf Club ($65). Enter the annual Bonnet Contest. Live races start at 11:30 a.m. and they continue until about 5 p.m. The Kentucky Derby race is scheduled to run at 3:24 p.m. and you can wager on it.
Brian Malarkey, chef and owner of Searsucker in Scottsdale, is a horse racing fanatic and the name Searsucker is an intentional misspelling reflecting his love for seersucker suits traditionally worn at derbies across the nation. Searsucker is inviting all derby fans to come donned in their best seersucker suits and biggest derby hats from 1-6 p.m. on May 4th for southern food specials like Shrimp and Grits ($6), Fried Green Tomatoes ($6), Hush Puppies ($5), Chicken and Waffles ($7), Cheddar Puffers with Sausage Gravy ($4), and Searsucker's famous Farmbird Lollipops ($6). What's a good Kentucky Derby without some Southern cocktails? Searsucker's special Run for the Roses, a cucumber take on a traditional mint julep, will be just $6, in addition to the very special Berry 75 with house infused berry vodka and champage, and a Barrel Aged Sazerac, also both $6. Anyone wearing seersucker will receive a free appetizer.
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.