Race is on for Blacksburg Inc.’s first-ever derby party
With less than two weeks of winter remaining, horse racing fans around the country are counting down the days to the first Saturday in May, which kicks off a Super Bowl of sorts for fans of the sport.
The Kentucky Derby is always held on the first Saturday in May, followed by the Preakness Stakes two weeks later. The Belmont Stakes, held in June, is the third and final race of the Triple Crown series.
The same countdown is happening for members of Downtown Blacksburg Inc. as the group hosts its first “Horseshoes & Hats” event on May 4 at 130 Jackson Street NW from 5-10 p.m.
Downtown Blacksburg Inc. Director Laureen Blakemore said the night’s activities include watching the Kentucky Derby on a large screen, refreshments, a cash bar, a fancy hat contest and casino games such as Roulette, Blackjack, Texas Hold ‘em, Craps and River City Horse Racing.
Blakemore said the event was the brainchild of Champ’s Sportsbar & Cafe owner Mike Soriano who suggested DBI host a casino night in downtown Blacksburg. “It works perfectly with the celebration of the much loved Kentucky Derby and gives our event that extra ingredient,” Blakemore said.
Burnt Creative owner Jessica Jones, who is on the casino night planning committee, said professionals from Massino’s Cassino’s have been hired to run the casino games.
Blakemore said she believes the event, which is open to adults 21-years and older, will become an annual staple on the event calendar and will serve as a fundraiser to help pay for DBI’s larger events in downtown Blacksburg.
Jones said it’s not widely known that most of the events that DBI hosts don’t make enough money to cover the costs of those events. She hopes this event will earn more than enough money to help fund future DBI events.
“Most of them are subsidized by the profit from Steppin’ Out,” Jones said. “If this event turns a profit that money will help further subsidize other DBI events.”
In the weeks leading up the event, Jones will host several hat-decorating workshops at Burnt Creative to help attendees decorate their hats for the fancy hat contest held that evening.
“Hats and the Kentucky Derby have a long history,” Jones said. “I knew that no Kentucky Derby party would be complete without having fun with headwear and everyone likes a good costume contest.”
Blakemore hopes “Horseshoes and Hats” attendees will make a big night of the event.
“The venue is quite lovely and perfectly located in the heart of downtown Blacksburg,” Blakemore said. “Parking is available at Kent Square Parking Garage or at metered space in the downtown area.”
Blakemore suggests making a true night of the event by staying at one of Blacksburg inn’s or even enjoying limo services from Hooptie Ride.
“What a great way to impress your friends,” Blakemore said.
Blakemore said the event is limited to 125 tickets and can be purchased for $35, or $60 per couple, online at www.downtownblacksburg.com/casino_night.aspx, or by calling 951-0454.
The Roanoke Times | 381-8627
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