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Just a few days remain before Kentucky Derby Gala

By John Duval
Special to The PREVIEW

Preview photo/Terri House Jody McAlister and Linda Love are ready for Rotary’s The Kentucky Derby Gala on Saturday, May 3, at Keyah Grande. There will even be a hat contest.

Preview photo/Terri House
Jody McAlister and Linda Love are ready for Rotary’s The Kentucky Derby Gala on Saturday, May 3, at Keyah Grande. There will even be a hat contest.

There are just a few days remaining before the Kentucky Derby Gala and you still haven’t gotten your tickets?

Pity.

You’ll miss the “party of the year” in Pagosa.

Be aware that you do not have to be a Rotarian or ride a $5,000 bicycle to attend this great party. Everyone’s invited. Mark it down — Saturday, May 3, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Last year’s Derby Gala was more fun than sitting in the front row for Thingamajig Theatre’s production of “The Full Monty” (and on opening night it was definitely full). For instance: Your fellow Pagosans’ dress was colorful and creative — just like being in Kentucky on Derby Day; the mint juleps were legit; the wagering was just like you’d find at Churchill Downs … including savvy bettors cashing-in with real money; the ladies’ hats were occasionally breathtaking and always flashy; some of the “southern” gentlemen looked like Colonel Sanders’ first cousins; the band was great; we all sang “My Old Kentucky Home,” along with the 200,000 folks at the race and the millions around the world who were watching on TV; and everybody went a little nuts as we all watched the actual race on a big screen TV. And, through it all, we strolled around Keyah Grande liked we owned the place. What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Last year’s gala was a big hit and a hot ticket item. This year, you must buy your tickets in advance. Only 250 will be sold, and none will be sold at the door.

The benefits are untold, but I’m going to tell you anyway. (1) You’ll be at the best party of the year and (2) your $35 per ticket will go a long way toward helping the local Rotary Club fund the $20,000 in college scholarships it gives each year to deserving Pagosa students. Get your tickets from any Rotarian, at Exit Realty or at Old West Press. Right away. Today.

And while we’ve got your attention, please take the following Derby Gala quiz: I want to come to Rotary’s Kentucky Derby Gala because I get to … (a) Have my picture taken with a real horse with real roses around its neck; (b) Bet on the race just like I was at Churchill Downs; (c) Wear my most colorful outfit and funky hat without people thinking I should be committed; (d) Sip real mint juleps and talk like a Southern Belle or a Kentucky Gentleman; (e) Sing “My Old Kentucky Home” simultaneously with 4 billion other people all over the world; (f) All of the above.

The correct answer to the above quiz may (or may not) appear in Sunday’s New York Times.

This story was posted on April 24, 2014.