Horse racing fans don’t have to be in the stands at Churchill Downs in Louisville on Saturday to get a taste of the fun that accompanies the Kentucky Derby.
The Old Town development in north Columbus, 8100 Veterans Parkway, will be holding a free “May Day Celebration” from 3 to 6:30 p.m.
Amenities and festivities include viewing the 141st running of the famed derby — billed as the “Run for the Roses” and “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Horse Racing” — on a big screen, said Lucy Jones, president of Woodruff Property Management, a division of Columbus-based Woodruff Co.
The real-estate firm is developing the mixed-use Old Town development on a rolling piece of land near the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Williams Road. The project includes new homes, apartments, retail and office space.
Jones, who is marketing Old Town along with Woodruff Vice President Cathy Young, said there will be free horse and carriage rides for those in attendance. Activities include a derby hat contest, live music, a dance around a May pole, stick horse races, horse shoes, a cupcake walk, face painting, a photo booth, prizes, and light refreshments that include mint julep drinks and ice cream.
“It’s just a really fun free outing. We’ll have the swings down by the lake and the kids can climb across the boulder bridge,” said Jones, who noted the occasion also gives local residents a chance to check out some of the residential offerings at Old Town and related amenities that include a clubhouse and chapel.
Representatives from the Callaway Gardens Butterfly Center are scheduled to be there as well, speaking about the winged creatures, but also having butterfly releases at 3:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
“I am a huge Kentucky Derby fan,” Jones said. “I’ve been twice. I took my husband a few years ago for his birthday. We both love horses and we love to watch the derby. It is really thrilling.”
Post time for the Kentucky Derby — the first race of the sport’s famed Triple Crown series — is scheduled for 6:24 p.m.
Woodruff Co. is the same firm that owns The Landings shopping complex on Airport Thruway, with that center also known for its popular activities for local residents, particularly during the Christmas holidays.