LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - We all know that next week is a big week at the track. Oaks and Derby at Churchill Downs are legendary around the country and the world. So the track has added Thurby to the lineup.
The Kentucky Oaks has the nickname Louisville's Day at the Downs, but over the last few years it looks like Louisville has invited a few too many guests to fit all of the native horse racing fans. Thurby is putting the excitement of Derby week back within your reach.
"We decided, let's brand this," said Senior Director of Marketing at Churchill Downs Darren Rogers. "It's Thurby, the Thursday of Derby week."
Let's be real here - people have been going to the track on that Thursday for a long time. The rebranded Thurby is your next best option if the Kentucky Oaks is out of your reach since the crowd on Louisville's Day at the Downs has become so much more crowded in recent years. Helped by events like the Pink Out, since 2005, the crowd has swelled to more than 100,000 people each year. In 1980 it was less than half that. That's great for Churchill Downs, but what about racing fans who can't be among that number? Darren Rogers said Thurby is your answer.
"We're going to celebrate all things Kentucky on Thurby," he said. "We'll have some Bluegrass music on the concert stage in the plaza area. We'll have some bourbon tastings that will be great with Old Forrester and then there's going to be a contest. You might be able to win some Derby and Oaks box seats for those people that come in through the gates."
It's part of a trend that Churchill has seen in recent years, one that, understandably, it likes.
"Everybody wants to be a part of the Derby-week scene and you can slowly but surely see it ramp up from Tuesday, Wednesday and then on Thursday," Rogers said.
This year that day is going to have a whole new feel.
General admission tickets are just $10, a third of what it will cost you on Oaks day. You can get reserved seats for around $30.
If you're going, plan on wearing bright, spring like colors and Derby hats are encouraged.
For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
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