Fans find new ways to celebrate 2020 Derby weekend

Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 10:25 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -Fans watching the Kentucky Oaks at KSBar and Grille Friday traded mint juleps for beer and hats for masks.

“It’s a little bit like having Christmas in the middle of summer,” Georgie Sook, a native Kentuckian, said.

Some patrons travelled to Lexington for Derby weekend.

“We took off today from work to come up to KSBar to watch the races, do some betting on our phones,” said Danny Rossoll.

Not everyone goes down to Louisville for the big day.

Bill Morgan hosts one of the biggest parties of the year in Lexington: The Poor Man’s Harlan County Derby Eve Party. He raises thousands for people in need in his home state. This year’s proceeds went to Catholic Charities.

“Coal miners in Harlan County, for example, they get laid off, they pay their bills, whether it’s car payments or rent, electric bills or water bills,” he said.

His annual bash was cancelled, but said Kentuckians are doing what they can to keep the Derby spirit alive.

“Whatever our governor wants us to do, that’s we got to do, we got to live within the law...I’ve already sent my check,” Morgan said.

As the horses left the stalls, fans remained in their socially distanced seats.

“We’ll definitely appreciate it more in the future and be all the more excited when we can be together watching it,” Sook said.

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