Local Businesses Help Many Prepare for Derby

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By Lindsey Yates | 

The race track, big hats, and Mint Juleps it must be Derby time!

The 139Th Kentucky Derby is tomorrow at Churchill Downs.

From wagering on your favorite horse, to the glamorous Derby wardrobe, local businesses are helping you prepare.

Where will you be when the words... "And they're off," ring out tomorrow?

If you don't plan on making the trip to Louisville, Kentucky Downs is also preparing for a busy day.

"Kentucky Derby day is always a big day at Kentucky Downs. We'll open an hour early at 9 to accommodate those who want to come out and be here for the entire Churchill Downs race cart, which begins at 9:30 central time," says Bill Flesher, Vice President of Kentucky Downs.

Flesher says they will have plenty of seating for those who want to watch and wager.

"We expect a huge crowd tomorrow. Derby day causes people to get out of their homes. I think it could even be a bigger day for us given the forecast of inclement weather," says Flesher.

It's not just about the bets but for most women a fashion frenzy with a hat to top off the look.

"Everybody wants to stand out from everybody else it's kind of like having the cutest pair of shoes on you know it's the outfit," says Trisha Lackey, who ordered a customized hat.

"Pretty much like the symbol for the Derby. I know we wear hats for a lot of other things but right now the Derby is the place for wearing hats,"says June Bunton, Owner of the Derby Hat Shop on Broadway.

Bunton has been busy creating and customizing a variety of unique hats.

"People are looking for a variety of different hats. Fascinators are really big, floppy brims are really big, straw hats are also really really big, and a lot of people embellish with flowers," says Bunton.

She tries to offer extravagant hats without breaking the bank.

"I think the most expensive hat I had in the store was probably $469 but that's still under priced considering the other boutiques in Nashville and Louisville," says Bunton.

Both are proud to be part of a Kentucky tradition.

"The Derby is a great event for the state of Kentucky for the Commonwealth of Kentucky it's a Kentucky tradition and were happy to be part of that tradition as one of the racetracks a part of Kentucky's racing circuit. We're a destination for those who don't want to go to Louisville or can't go to Louisville. We're a destination for them to take in one of the great days in sports," says Flesher.

General admission is free at Kentucky Downs, and the Derby Hat Shop will also be open tomorrow for those shopping for last minute hats.

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