Get your hats ready: Rotary’s Kentucky Derby Gala is just around the corner

Photo courtesy John Duvall
The elegant atmosphere and breathtaking views at Keyah Grande is a perfect location for an afternoon celebrating the Kentucky Derby. The afternoon includes great food and spirits, live music, raffle drawings, a silent auction, prizes for women and men in the hat contest, and betting on the thoroughbred race. The party starts at 2 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. on Derby Day, Saturday, May 5. Everyone is welcome to attend.

By Lisa Scott

Special to The PREVIEW

The Run for the Roses is a thoroughbred horse race that takes you inside the winner’s circle and where legends are born. One of Pagosa Springs’ best parties, celebrating this spectacular event, will be held at the fabulous Keyah Grande Lodge on Saturday, May 5, from 2 to 6 p.m.

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is the sponsor of the Kentucky Derby Gala and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.

The sixth annual event is filled with numerous activities and Derby traditions from the moment of arrival. Local equestrian and Rotarian Sue Walen, with her horse draped in the traditional rose garland, will greet attendees at the entrance to Keyah Grande.

You’ll feel like you’ve walked into Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Derby Day: True Kentucky-style mint juleps, buffet lunch, live music by Bob Hemenger, wagering on the race with real odds and real chances to win, big-screen televisions to watch the live pre-race and racing events, trumpet entry by local trumpeter Larry Baison and standing and singing “My Old Kentucky Home” with Derby attendees just before the big race.

Everybody is dressed in their Derby-finest, including colorful and occasionally outrageous hats. Other party activities, where prizes will be awarded, include a trivia game and a men’s and women’s hat contest. The “Adventure Silent Auction” will feature many exciting trips and activities including a weekend stay in Ouray with lodging at a bed and breakfast and restaurant certificates, golf package at Rio Grande Country Club with an overnight in a historic hotel in Del Norte, a jeep trip, guided raft trip and other fun local experiences.

Only 250 tickets will be sold and are $45 each. Buy tickets at EXIT Realty, Choke Cherry Tree, Happy Trails or from any Rotarian.

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is a diverse group of engaged individuals participating through friendship and camaraderie in opportunities to serve our community and other communities around the world. Fundraising from this event supports many projects in the Pagosa community, including annual scholarships for local high school graduates and several other projects benefiting Pagosa youth.