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Everything You Need to Know Before Traveling to Churchill Downs for The Derby

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For anyone who has ever been to Churchill Downs for the Derby, there is no need to explain how enjoyable the experience is. But for those that have never been there, we assure you that it’s an experience you can’t compare to any other. And you can get more insight on this on TwinSpires.

Now, while the experience can be exhilarating, you must take note of certain things before heading down to Churchill Downs. This is to make sure that the fun is not dampened in any manner. To make things easier, we have some key points to note in this article so you are adequately prepared for your trip.

Let’s get started!

Book Your Tickets from the Official Website

It is best to book your Derby tickets from the official website to avoid stories that touch. This is because there are many shady websites out there that pretend to be the real deal to scam unsuspecting Derby-goers. As such, if you plan to travel to Churchill Downs, it is best to get your tickets from the official website.

Do this so you won’t get caught outside the gates with fake tickets or tickets that never show face after order. And to be safe, if the offer feels too good to be true, then you can be sure that such a website is shady.

Understand That it Gets Crowded 

Every potential Derby goer needs to understand that Churchill Downs gets crowded around this time of year. And while the number of people around could make the experience more fun, things could likewise get quite chaotic. As such, it is necessary to anticipate and prepare yourself for the queue you are sure to meet at the place.

However, if you wish to avoid this queue, you can opt to book the VIP fast access pass. This ticket allows you to skip the general public line while also giving you access to private restrooms.

Make Your Hotel Reservations Beforehand

While keeping in mind that the Derby gets crowded, it becomes essential that you make your hotel reservations before making your way there. If you plan to get there before booking a hotel, then your chances of securing an accommodation are very low. This is because several other people also wish to explore downtown Louisville, so hotels are usually booked even before Derby Day.

Therefore, to be safer, it is best to make your reservations far ahead so you do not get stranded. Alternatively, booking a package deal that includes tickets, accommodations, food, and drinks goes a long way.

The Derby Day is More Than Just a Single Race

Many tend to forget that Derby Day goes beyond the Kentucky Derby, otherwise known as the ‘big race’. The Kentucky Derby is only a single race among a dozen other races. And the big race only lasts about 2 minutes, whereas Derby Day goes on from about 8:30 am to about 10:30 am, but it doesn’t end there.

It continues with the Kentucky Derby Day rolling over into the Derby weekend, which incorporates the Oaks Day. And this Oaks Day is when the female horses have their own day of racing. On this day, everyone (or almost everyone) wears pink outfits to come to enjoy another exhilarating experience at Churchill Downs. These pink outfits are encouraged as a way of solidarity against breast and ovarian cancer.

Pack Some Rain Gear in Your Belongings

Remember that Kentucky Derby Day falls in the springtime period at Churchill Downs. As a result, it is almost certain that it will rain during the multiple-day event. Therefore, make sure to pack some sort of rain gear when going.

In addition to this, avoid relying on your hat alone, especially those fancy ones gotten at the Derby. We say this because those seemingly pretty ones tend to melt away after heavy rain pours on them. And they melt because they are not made of durable material but rather water-soluble glue.

To avoid this, you can wrap your hat in a plastic bag. And you do not need to worry about standing out, as more than a few people do this at the Derby.

Wear Enough Sunscreen, You Will Need it

While there is a high possibility of rain pouring, there is also the scorching sun to worry about in Churchill Downs. And if you are not seated under any shades, you may be caught under the sun for the whole day. Thus, it becomes necessary that you wear sunscreen before heading to the big race.


If you wish to go down to Churchill Downs to have some fun, keep in mind the points that are mentioned above. They are sure to come in handy. Have a blast!

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1 Comment
  1. […] You can always invest in carbon offsets for when you travel, and they will offset your carbon footprint when you are traveling. […]

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