Last-minute Derby details


by Michelle Arnold

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 6:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Around town, Derby is just another word for madness.

"It's crazy. It's one of the best times ever for Louisville and for our hotel," Embassy Suites Louisville East Director of Sales Theresa Dunn said. 

Have some friends coming in for the races? Most places around town are booked solid, but we did find rooms at the Embassy Suites Louisville East. People who bought large blocks of rooms far in advance have a few extra rooms available.

"As we move closer to Derby, they will reach out to us and say we've only booked 30 of those rooms could you try to re-sell them for us," Dunn said.

Dunn suggests calling the hotel directly and to expect rates to be considerably higher.

"It's elevated if you come versus the week after Derby or before," Dunn said. 

Have you gotten your hat yet?

"This is last minute, either getting the supplies to make your own hat or have us still decorate your hat," Dee's owner Kathy Olliges said.

Right now, the forecast looks rather cool which can mean outfit edits.

"When the weather changes, you'll have people changing. They may go get an extra little jacket to put over their dress, so they want to add another color to their hat or change a color," Olliges said. 

Olliges said Tuesday by 5 p.m. is the deadline to have your Oaks hat ready. If you're going to a party, there's plenty of themed goods to go around. The Prickly Pear in Middletown has all things Derby. They've extended their hours to accommodate customers.

"People are coming in for these great Derby gifts. We have really neat hostess gifts and things for the house," Prickly Pear co-owner Amy Quinlan said.

Need a boxed lunch to take to the track or a party platter? Paul's Fruit Market is stocked and ready, but you better call soon.

"Try to get them in by Wednesday afternoon. That way we can make sure we get everything and see what we need," Paul’s store manager Stephan Geiger said.

Click here for WHAS11's coverage of the 140th Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.