It’s wild – and occasionally wet –at the Kentucky Derby, America’s Great Party.
It’s it’s dry, it’s fun. If it’s wet, it’s wild and fun. Either way, there’s mud pits and female mud wrestling!
No matter that the weather, the crazy and colorful infield scene thrives the first Saturday in May. In 2023, the event is on Saturday, May 6. The price for infield tickets is $87.
The actual horse racing aspect for the infield party people is an afterthought, simply the excuse, making this similar to Jimmy Buffett concerts.
The craziness happens all over the infield but the primary partying action is the Third Turn Party. Elsewhere, people stake out spots for personal partying, wearing those big Kentucky Derby hats and having plenty of mint juleps by their side.
The Derby, though, it more than a one-afternoon affair. Leading up the first Saturday of May are two days of pre-party events called the Crown Royal Festival in the Field.
Entry to the infield concert, which takes place on the Infield Club. Music starts at 11 a.m. The GA ticket for the Derby is $80 ($70 in advance); a two-day ticket is $105.
On Friday there is even entertainment surrounding the Kentucky Oaks. Gates open at 8 a.m., with bands taking the stage at 11.
The Kentucky Derby Experience: A First-Person Account
By Peter Bales
The Kentucky Derby brings out the stars from all over the world. “Millionaires Row” in the magnificent grandstands at Churchill Downs is a “Who’s Who” in the world of movies, sports and politics
Sure, there are some great, classy parties that happen around the stables and in the grandstands. But the real party is in the infield.
Seventy five to 100,000 thirty-somethings pack the middle of the track for a the first Saturday in May. It’s a day not to be forgotten any time soon.
‘Absolute chaos’ is the way some would describe it. I have to call it the biggest drunken orgy I’ve ever been to in my life. Bar none, it’s the best party I’ve ever attended. Almost anything goes.
If you are not hurting yourself or anyone else, you will not be bothered by the authorities. You are not allowed to bring alcohol in to the infield but nearly everyone finds a way to smuggle in their favorite beverage. If not, beer can be purchased. The $55 admission price is worth every penny. The scenery is breathtaking. People bare it all.
The horse race? Oh yeah. The biggest horse race in the world happens right before your eyes. Watching the race from the infield is no easy task. There are big screen TV’s located at each turn but it is not the easiest thing to see after 4 to 8 hours of drinking.
None-the-less, I will never miss a day at the Derby.