Young Kentucky Derby Fans Gather at Hawthorne Elementary for Fun and Festivities Ahead of the Big Day

Published 04/15/2023, 4:45 PM EDT

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The 2023 Kentucky Derby is rapidly approaching, with just a few weeks to go. With a history dating back 148 years, the Derby is without a doubt the most prestigious equestrian event in the world. The occasion is anticipated not only by older fans of the graceful sport but also by younger fans who find inspiration in seeing such lovely animals. As part of Friday’s pre-Derby festivities at Hawthorne Elementary School, these young students were treated like celebrities.

WAVE reported that a huge pre-Derby party was thrown for the kids of Hawthorne Elementary School, where they participated in a wide variety of activities meant to get them excited about the upcoming competition.

Introducing the young generation to the world of equestrian sports


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Blessings in a Backpack, a local charity, organized the event so that children may have their own Derby party. The event’s goal was to let kids enjoy interacting in anticipation of the upcoming Derby. Moreover, Derby-themed events began with a morning performance of “Call to the Post” by Steve Buttleman, the official bugler of Churchill Downs and Keeneland, over the school’s intercom system. Students were given a special surprise at lunch when members of the 2023 Kentucky Derby Festival Royal Court made an appearance. This included Hayley Benson, Mallory Hudson, Mahshad Taheri, and Valerie Tran.


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Local celebrities such as the 2021 Kentucky Derby Festival Queen Gia Combs, former UofL basketball player Valerie Combs, and former UofL basketball player Akoy Agau and his Derby City Distillers team met the kids at the event. Churchill Charlie from Churchill Downs, Tapper from the Louisville Water Company, and Wally the Walrus from LRS 102 were all on hand to meet and greet the youngsters.

Not only did the kids have a great time, but so did the faculty and staff who attended thanks to the Unbridled Eve Foundation’s giveaway of two tickets to the gala and a $200 VISA gift card. According to WAVE’s report, the event went off without a hitch and accomplished what its organizers set out to do.

Why is Kentucky Derby so popular?


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Horse racing fans anticipate each year’s Kentucky Derby as spring turns to summer. Every year, on the first Saturday of May, the event is held. Horse racing enthusiasts and guests will find it to be the perfect place to spend the day. Since its inception in 1875, the Triple Crown Race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds has been the United States longest-running annual sporting event. Even though it’s referred to as the greatest two minutes in sport, the Kentucky Derby is so much more than just a horse race.

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In the early nineteenth century, horse racing was a popular pastime among the South’s elite. To honor the best horses and jockeys in the area, the Kentucky Derby was created in 1875. Aristides won the first-ever Kentucky Derby, and the rest, as they say, is history. Through the years, the Derby has become one of the most widely watched and attended horse races in the world, and its prestige has risen accordingly.


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Putting on an event like this is essential because young people need to be exposed to the traditions that have been upheld in the sporting world for decades.


Written by:

Rahul Goutam Hoom


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Rahul Hoom is a seasoned sportswriter with a diverse range of interests at EssentiallySports. He takes pride in his multidimensional personality that encompasses gaming, photography, and writing. While he cannot resist the urge to cover the latest exploits of Connor McDavid, Rahul's writing prowess extends beyond the NHL.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra