A Look Back on the Kentucky Derby® 2018 Weekend

Posted by Jazzy Morgan on Thu, May 10, 2018 @ 16:29 PM

The Kentucky Derby® 2018, also known as the wettest Derby in history, was surely one to remember. Every first Saturday in May, Louisville, Kentucky calls us home to witness “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” and rain or shine you can always bet on us to be there!

Kentucky Oaks® 2018

First let’s talk about the Kentucky Oaks®. We couldn’t have asked for better weather to kick-off the weekend. Thousands upon thousands of people flooded through the gates in their (mostly pink) outfits and extravagant hats, eager to greet the day. The Lilies were flowing and by 10:30 in the morning the Call to Post sounded as many people took their seats for the first race of the day!

LeAnn Rimes at Fillies & LiliesGuests trickled in and out of the hospitality venues throughout Churchill Downs® to replenish with drinks and food before heading back out to the stands to bask in the sun. We couldn’t blame them, really. 6:12 pm rolled around and crowds formed in the grandstands to witness the Fillies take their spot at the starting gate. Monomoy Girl took the title as the Kentucky Oaks® champion for 2018!

Fillies & Lilies 2018

Gates opened to the kick-off party of the Kentucky Derby® at 7:30pm. As guests entered the Kentucky Derby Museum they were greeted by friendly staff in bright pink shirts and ushered over to a photobooth to document their evening! A variety of food selections were laid out for guests to indulge in throughout the night, including an extravagant sushi bar, which was a real crowd pleaser.

The main event of the night was a special performance by LeAnn Rimes. The legendary artist took the stage at 9pm, accompanied by one guitarist. Rimes performed some of her old hits including Blue, which she first recorded when she was 11 years old. She engaged with the crowd during Can’t Stop the Moonlight, encouraging them to sing and clap along with her! After leaving the stage for the first time, the crowd rose to their feed yelling for an encore. Rimes obliged and returned to the stage to cover hits such as Get Lucky by Daft Punk, which started a dance party. It was the perfect ending to the day and Derby day hadn’t even begun yet!

Kentucky Derby® 2018

Whirlaway Lounge at Churchill DownsIt’s the day everyone was waiting for, the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby®! The weather called for rain, rain and more rain, but that didn’t stop guests from pulling out all the stops with their outfits, hats, shoes and smiles! The minute you walk through the gates you hear “GET YOUR MINT JULEPS HERE, GET YOUR MINT JULEPS!” and get their mint juleps they did!

Because of the rain, guests found themselves in hospitality most of the day and many were relieved to have the fallback to stay dry, whether it be inside the Kentucky Derby Museum in the Affirmed Lounge, or under a tent in Sunny’s Halo. With live TV coverage guests could see all the races from hospitality, while enjoying the premium open or cash bar from their dry venue. Affirmed and Aristides Lounge guests raved about the live entertainment in their hospitality and many dance parties were formed!

Before we knew it, it was 6:50pm and the Colts were heading to the starting gate and the 144th Kentucky Derby® was about to begin! Roughly 175,000 people gathered in the stands and the place was roaring with excitement. People were jumping up and down, while cheering on their favorite horse, the energy was contagious. 1 minute 58 seconds, 1 minute 59 seconds, 2 minutes and the favored horse, Justify takes first place!

Secure Your Spot for the Kentucky Derby® 2019!

If you weren’t able to join us for the 2018 Kentucky Derby®, join us next year! Derby Experiences offers a wide variety of Official Ticket Packages complete with exclusive hospitality, VIP parties, hotel accommodation options and so much more. Get everything you need in one place to make it a Derby you’ll never forget!

Want more information? Fill out a form or give us a call at 888.384.7088 and we will match you with an Expert Event Specialist who will be happy to answer all your questions. See you next year!

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Topics: Kentucky Derby

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About the Bloggers

Kristen Doolan

Kristen Doolan was born and raised a Florida State Seminole. Making her way from Florida to North Carolina, Kristen achieved her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is an avid traveler, college football addict, beach bum and loves spending time with her family and friends. 

Jazzy Morgan

Jazzy Morgan is originally from London, England and a die-hard Manchester United Fan. She grew up in Connecticut and made the move down south in 2011 where she attended Winthrop University and received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences and a minor in Marketing. Jazzy enjoys traveling, working out, reading her monthly Vogue & Cosmo and keeping up with fashion trends.

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