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Kentucky Derby Gala returns to Pagosa Springs in high style

By John Duvall
Special to The PREVIEW

PREVIEW photo/Terri House It was Pagosa’s best party of 2013 and you can bet it’ll be even better this year. Jan and Joe Donavan invite you to the second annual “Kentucky Derby Gala” at the fabulous Keyah Grande. The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is the sponsor of the event, and everyone is welcome to join in the fun. Tickets are limited and will not be sold at the door.

PREVIEW photo/Terri House
It was Pagosa’s best party of 2013 and you can bet it’ll be even better this year. Jan and Joe Donavan invite you to the second annual “Kentucky Derby Gala” at the fabulous Keyah Grande. The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is the sponsor of the event, and everyone is welcome to join in the fun. Tickets are limited and will not be sold at the door.

It was Pagosa’s best party of 2013 and you can bet it’ll be even better this year. It’s the second annual “Kentucky Derby Gala” at the fabulous Keyah Grande. The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is the sponsor of the event, and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.

It’s like being at Churchill Downs in Louisville on Derby Day: True Kentucky-style mint juleps, great food, a live band, everybody wearing their creative Derby-finest (including colorful and occasionally outrageous hats), wagering on the race with real odds and real chances to win big bucks, a big-screen TV on which to watch the race, standing and singing “My Old Kentucky Home” with 4 billion Derby watchers from around the world, and a festive time with 249 of your newest best friends.

Here’s the must-do part: Since there will be only 250 tickets sold … and since tickets only will be sold in advance (no tickets available at the door) … you will need to buy your tickets well in advance of the May 3 race/party.  Buy them at Exit Realty, Old West Press or from any Rotarian. Tickets are $35 each, with most of that $35 used by Rotary to fund its $20,000 in annual scholarships for local high school graduates.

To put you in the proper Derby Day frame of mind, please take the following multiple choice quiz.

Question #1 —  If you can’t be in Louisville to watch the Derby in person, where should you be?  (a) Somewhere in Afghanistan with three to four of those wacky Taliban guys;  (b) At Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca … because they’ll all stand and sing “My Old Kentucky Home” in French, but with an Arab accent; (c)  At fabulous Keyah Grande … ‘nuff said;  (d) In Lexington, Ky., because you thought that’s where the Derby was run.

Question #2  — Of the following, which one is not a native Kentuckian?   (a) George Clooney;  (b) Miley Cyrus’ daddy;   (c) Loretta Lynn;   (d) Vladimir Putin.

If you selected (c) and (d), you’re ready for the Kentucky Derby Gala.

Now, go get those tickets.

This story was posted on April 17, 2014.