Local businesses prepare to host Kentucky Derby parties

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— The Kentucky Derby is Saturday, and it airs” on 41NBC. Several local businesses are preparing for parties to help celebrate “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”.

Charlie Shimp is co-owner of Hazard’s on the Green in Perry. They’ll have special menu items for the Derby in addition to regular menu items. They’re encouraging everyone to dress up in Derby attire. Shimp says you can expect a great atmosphere.

“We are going to have the derby on, we’ll have drinks, we’ll have signature drinks for the derby and live music starting at seven. So come out, come dressed, and get ready for a good time,” says Shimp.

Ellen Palmer, President and CEO of the Perry Chamber, says Kentucky Derby parties show life is returning back to normal. It also helps bring local business to downtown Perry.

“They stop there, they eat there, they have some drinks so they might walk around and shop or go to other restaurants,” says Palmer. “It’s just great to see this thriving downtown in this thriving city that we are in.”

In Macon, Society Garden will also host a Derby party too. Owner Brad Evans says there will be a hat contest, along with mint juleps and live music. He says the Derby crept up on him this year, but they expect a big crowd. With COVID-19 numbers decreasing and people getting vaccinated, he says they’re able to relax capacity restrictions.

“I think people have been eager to get out about. I know we’ve seen bigger crowds in the last 3 or 4 weeks and I bet everyone else has too,” says Evans.

Evans says when they’ve hosted Kentucky Derby parties before, people dressed up. He’s hoping for the same kind of fun atmosphere this year. He explains what people can expect from the party.

“We’ll kind of shut everything down so we can watch the race and then the live music will kick back up after the race ends. So it’s going to be a fun day,” says Evans.

How to attend

  • Hazard’s on the Green’s party will start at 4 p.m. It’s free to get in.
  • Society Garden’s party will also start at 4 p.m. It will be free to get in up until the race ends. After that it’s $7 to get in.
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Ariel comes to Macon from Greenville, South Carolina where she worked for Fox Carolina as a photojournalist for 4 years. She was part of the team that won a Southeast Emmy for their coverage of Hurricane Dorian. During her time in Greenville she realized her true passion is on-air reporting. She's excited to join the Middle Georgia community to be able to tell the stories of the people who live there. She graduated from the University of South Florida in 2014 with a degree in Mass Communications. She’s originally from Boca Raton, Florida. She has 2 dogs (1 is back home) and a cat. When she's not at work she can be found training as an aerialist or exploring her new home. She also loves a good TV binge, her current favorite shows to watch are The Office, Gilmore Girls, and The West Wing. Feel free to reach out if you have a news tip or just want to say hello.