Festival to start derby season



By Shiobhain Tinney

Spring has officially arrived and Derby excitement is starting to settle amongst many UK students. Like Keeneland, this Friday’s Little Derby Festival is expected to deliver fun, entertainment and vibrant color.

To celebrate the spring weather and bring the enthusiasm of the Derby to campus, Little Kentucky Derby Festival 2010 will hold a plethora of activities on Good Barn Field to encourage students to join in on the festive spirit.

Activities will include carnival-themed games, inflatables, a petting zoo, a giant slide, airbrush tattoos, pixie sticks and a variety of games for all ages. UK Catering will offer meals for only $5, and Louisville’s own SemiCircus will play a concert .

However, the main attraction of the night will be the 15 hot air balloons that will be positioned over Good Barn Field. Once nightfall hits, the engine fuel lights of the balloons will illuminate the festival and light up the night sky.

“The focus this year was all about the balloon,” said Bryce Moffett, head the Student Activities Board traditions committee. “People will get the chance to see the balloons, they will be pretty cool to look at night. They’re huge up close,”

Organizing the event required a strong combined effort.

“100 people put in work to get this off the ground,”  Moffett said.

Run by UK’s SAB, Little Kentucky Derby Festival was once hailed as the “Greatest College Weekend in the South.”

“The festival is a UK Tradition that stretches right back to the 1950s,” Moffett said.

The official kickoff will begin on Thursday at Patterson Office Tower, with the “Ping Pong Drop,” where more than 3,000 ping pong balls will be dropped from the rooftop of POT onto the plaza area below. Before the drop, there will also be games, food and prizes given away.

“There will be the chance for people to also win Drake tickets,” Moffett said.

Shuttle buses will transport students to and from the festival from the corner of Rose Street and Columbia Avenue.

All carnival game and activity tickets will be sold on-site in bundles of three for $1. UK students will be provided with free tickets with a valid UK ID.

“People should expect to have a great time,” Moffett said. “Also, lots of people will be out from the community.”