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The Kentucky Oaks Caps Off Oaks Day

Many in Louisville view the Kentucky Oaks as “their” day at the track. The big race Friday before the Kentucky Derby is usually not as laden with celebrities and out-of-towners as the Derby itself is.

Still, one gets dressed up as much for Oaks as Derby. While Derby Day bursts with spring colors, Oaks Day brings out a lot of pink. The Kentucky Oaks is a fillies’ race, and so the event has come to promote breast cancer awareness as well.

So, what is Derby weekend like in Louisville?

Well, think about a 48-hour period that combines Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. During the day, many people are either “at the track” or at a Derby party. (In Louisville, no one says, “I’m going to Churchill Downs.” They say “I’m going to the Track.”)

Then in the event, the whole town lights up with parties, dinners, galas, cruising…and just general good times.

A particular thrill is driving past Louisville’s airport and seeing a sea of private jets of all sizes parked there while their owners watch the Derby. The airport reflects the concentration of wealth that descends on Louisville for the weekend from all over the world.

It’s really hard to concentrate on anything but Oaks and Derby on during this particular weekend.  All the media outlets are full of news about contenders, stables, trainers, jockeys – as well as loads of advice on what to wear, which celebrity has shown up at the track, and how the various hats are coordinating with the ladies’ ensembles. On Derby Day, the day’s races are broadcast by the local television stations until Derby time, when coverage switches to a national network.

Those who spend the day on unrelated pursuits often find Louisville to be a ghost town, with many businesses closed for the day (the malls are an exception.) And if you didn’t make reservations a long time ago – expect trouble getting into any high-end restaurant on either Oaks or Derby night.

So you might as well join in the fun and make plans to be a part of Oaks and Derby! To learn more about Louisville, Kentucky, visit Louisville Real Estate.

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