Derby Diva: The Kick-Off

Naiyana Williams

It’s about that time; garden parties, brunches, derby hats, photo-ops, and expensive parking. The 2011 Kentucky Derby Festival is in full effect. This year’s theme is “Superfest”. When I first saw the commercials for Superfest, I thought it was extremely cheesy and geared toward young children…for the most part. The commercials guaranteed an even grander experience than prior Derby seasons, but I was not convinced. Needless to say, KDF ‘11 kicked off this past weekend and quickly erased my preconceived doubts. My Derby experience has been AMAZING thus far! Last Saturday, April 30th I volunteered at the Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon and the multitude of participating runners was astounding! Thousands of  people of all ages, backgrounds, and countries came out to run the 13.1 mile race (miniMarathon) or the 26.1 mile race (Marathon). There was music, vendors, families and friends, and… at the finish line; a surplus of bagels, power drinks, granola bars, and fruit for a job well done. Despite my 6 a.m. grogginess, I was able to have a great time enveloped in a positive atmosphere.

Later that night, around 9 p.m., I saw Louisville come to life at the opening night of the Downs After Dark night racing series. Girls danced  in dresses and cowboy boots while  guys fist-pumped in Polo shirts and Sperry’s…three hours of non-stop dancing, and the best selection of music from everybody’s favorite DJ; Clinton Sparks. That night was exhilirating! And I wasn’t too surprised to see my fellow Manual classmates in attendance. Churchill Downs was packed and so was the dance floor. People were dancing hip to hip the entire night with no reservations and I relished in every moment. Opening night ended at midnight and I knew that this year’s Kentucky Derby Festival would be super-fly, super-high, and inevitably unforgettable.

Stay on track for more updates on Derby 2011

Photo By Brigette Bailey

Gettin’ Lucky in Kentucky,

– Derby Diva