The ups and downs of the Derby Festival season

The ups and downs of the Derby Festival season

The ups and downs of the Derby Festival season

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by WHAS11

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 8, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Updated Sunday, May 8 at 10:41 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-  It is the event that puts Louisville on the map, the most exciting two minutes in sports.

This year, the Kentucky Derby was a success, setting a record for attendance of nearly 165,000 people.

However, the events leading up to the Derby were not so lucky.

For an entire month leading up to the Kentucky Derby, Louisville is aglow with the Derby Festival season.

This season had its share of ups and downs due to the weather conditions.

The heavy rain and flooding forced the Kentucky Derby Festival to make plenty of changes to several events.

This year made for a soggy and chilly Thunder over Louisville, which resulted in a low attendance.

Rain and high winds canceled the Great Balloon Tour and Glimmer.

The Balloon Glow at Bowman Field was a sight to see, but the ground was a muddy mess, creating traffic problems.

Festival officials changed the plans for the Great Balloon Race just hours before it started because of weather concerns, but that event went off without a hitch.

The Great Steamboat Race has not even happened yet.  The Belle of Cincinnati could not make it to Louisville because of flooding.

Additionally, the rain made for a light crowd at Derby Fest-a-Ville.  People dodged raindrops under the interstate, umbrellas or ponchos.

The marathon courses were changed because of flooding. Still, thousands of people crossed the finish line.

But as we all know by now, the Kentucky Oaks was beautiful, drawing a record crowd.

The Kentucky Derby was still the greatest two minutes in sports, and the day was nice despite a period of light showers.

There will be another taste of Derby in June, when the Great Steamboat Race happens on the 29th.
 

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