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Kentucky Derby Gala dubbed ‘Pagosa’s best party’

By John Duvall
Special to The PREVIEW

PREVIEW photo/Terri House Lots of fun is guaranteed at the Saturday’s Kentucky Derby Gala: being serenaded by “live” music, betting on the thoroughbreds with a chance to win some real money, and whooping and hollering with everyone as you watch the race on the big screen TV.

PREVIEW photo/Terri House
Lots of fun is guaranteed at the Saturday’s Kentucky Derby Gala: being serenaded by “live” music, betting on the thoroughbreds with a chance to win some real money, and whooping and hollering with everyone as you watch the race on the big screen TV.

In a town with lots of great parties and events throughout the year, what many have dubbed “Pagosa’s best party” will be happening this Saturday, May 3, between 2 and 6 p.m. at Keyah Grande. It’s Rotary’s second annual Kentucky Derby Gala — and it’s really a hoot.

A hoot with style and class. And it’s open to everybody. But there’s a catch: only 250 tickets will be sold, and no tickets will be sold at the door.

This article had to be submitted to The SUN before anybody knew whether any tickets were still available. So, find out if there are any tickets you can buy at this late stage by stopping at Exit Realty or Old West Press. Another avenue is to check with any Rotarian to see if tickets are still available. If not, check with your friends and neighbors to find out if somebody has a ticket but just can’t go to the Derby Gala. It’ll be worth the effort.

Spending four hours eating great food and sipping on mint juleps at Keyah Grande is reason enough to snare a last-minute ticket. But there’s lots more that’ll be fun and interesting at the Derby Gala: being serenaded by “live” music, betting on the thoroughbreds with a chance to win some real money, gazing at all the colorful outfits worn by the ladies, and the gentlemen standing and singing “My Old Kentucky Home” with 250 Pagosans and millions worldwide, and then whooping and hollering with everyone else as you watch the race on the big screen TV.

To get you properly psyched for Derby Day in Pagosa, our team of Kentucky quizmasters has developed the following. Please answer all questions honestly, with no help from outsiders:

Quiz No. 1: Kentucky is called “The Bluegrass State” because … (a) Bluegrass music preceded Kentucky becoming a state in the early 1800s; (b) Thoroughbred horses prefer blue grass to green grass; (c) Colonel Sanders spray-painted his front yard blue; (d) Kentucky-Blue rivals Acapulco Gold in terms of its medicinal benefits; (e) None of the above.

Quiz No. 2: Any Kentuckian will tell you that mint juleps are made with … (a) Bourbon and branch water capped with fresh mint; (b) Granny Clampet’s rhumatiz corn-squeezins; (c) Tennessee whiskey and horse droppings (to kill the taste of the Tennessee whiskey); (d) A secret formula stored in a vault (beside all that gold) at Fort Knox.

If you’re into doing good deeds and care little for colorful and fun parties, then you still have good reason to get a ticket to the Kentucky Derby Gala. Most of the money raised from the $40/person tickets will go towards funding the $20,000 in scholarships Rotary gives each year to deserving high school graduates in Pagosa Springs.

If you’ve already got your tickets, start putting together that snazzy outfit (and don’t forget the hat). If you’re ticketless, then get creative and come up with one. We’d all like to see you at Keyah Grande.

This story was posted on May 1, 2014.