Roll out the bourbon barrels and let the Derby parties begin

May 3, 2019

Over at Churchill Downs in Louisville, it is the 145th running of The Kentucky Derby, and horse racing fans are celebrating and partying in Derby fashion with fancy hats and Kentucky bourbon, even in the Tri-State.

First Friday Derby Hat Contest

Ashland’s First Friday event and cruise in - from 5 p.m. to midnight - Friday, May 3 gets the party started.

At 7 p.m. Friday, The Getfiddle Custom Shop stage is hosting a Derby Hat Contest. Create your own DIY Derby Hat and wear it for a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card. Categories are: Best of Show; Funniest; and Most Original. There is no fee to enter but the hat must be made by the contestant.

Over at Judd Plaza, the children’s activities area, kids can make their own Derby Hat for free. Supplies are limited to the first 50 children. First Friday also has inflatables, lots of live music and a car show.

Downtown derby parties

Although post-time isn’t until 6:50 p.m. Saturday, May 4, the Kentucky Derby party is getting started at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at The Jockey Club on 4th Avenue (across from The Keith-Albee) in Huntington. Enjoy house-made mint juleps and appetizers made for a Derby Party.

Over at 1429 6th Ave. in Huntington, the Catholic Charities of West Virginia Western Region will host its Kentucky Derby Party from 3:30 to 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus.

Enjoy live music by Oakwood Road, a derby hat contest, derby games, a bourbon tasting, food, a silent auction, raffle and more.

Derby With A Sidedish of Comedy

The Ro-Na Theater, 312 S. Third St., Ironton, is hosting a Derby party at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 4, that is topped off with a set from national act comic Donnie Baker.

Wear your Kentucky Derby best hat and attire and watch the world’s most famous horse race on the big screen.

After the Derby, comedian Ron Sexton (known nationally as the character Donnie Baker) will hit the stage with his flow of redneck jokes honed since 2005 from his character made famous by his call-ins to the Bob and Tom Show.

Tickets are $22 to $29. Go online at https://www.showclix.com/event/donnie-baker-swear-to-god to get tickets or get them at the door.

Boat Into This Derby Party

The Gallipolis Boat Club is hosting a Kentucky Derby Party in which you arrive by boat on Saturday. The party starts at 3 p.m. at the Swain Shelter on Thousandaire Row. Enjoy parking lot golf cart races billed as “the stupidest two minutes in sports,” a stick pony race, a Kentucky Derby-inspired menu, a hat contest, a bourbon tasting, the playing of music including “My Old Kentucky Home.” There will be free launch and overnight docking as well.

WV UK Alumni Chapter Party

At 4 p.m. Saturday, Fireside Grille, 4170 W.Va. 34 in Hurricane, will host the West Virginia UK Alumni Club’s annual Derby Party. Cost of attendance for alumni and non-alumni is $10 at the door. The group has rented the private banquet room at Fireside, and any and all are invited to come. All money raised will go to support scholarships for UK students from West Virginia.