Bow ties, big hats welcome at Art Center’s Kentucky Derby-themed fundraiser

Published 9:00 pm Friday, April 28, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Mint juleps, sundresses, bow ties and outlandish hats are all staples of the Kentucky Derby.

Mint juleps will be served, while sundresses, bow ties and outlandish hats are encouraged at the Albert Lea Art Center May 6 when they prepare to host a party at 4:30 p.m.

“We are going to be celebrating the 149th Kentucky Derby here,” said Kari Brick, one of the organizers of the event.

Email newsletter signup

This will be the center’s spring fundraiser, but it will be the first time they’ve hosted a Kentucky Derby party, according to co-organizer Bonnie Broitzman.

“I think the reason we’re doing it is to celebrate the horses and to celebrate spring time,” Broitzman said.

She also saw this as an opportunity to bring people together while dressed up in spring colors and crazy hats.

Brick agreed the derby was also known for artful fashion, women in spring floral dresses and men wearing seersucker and linen suits.

To celebrate, there will be food including bourbon meatballs, watermelon cubes, an assortment of vegetables and cupcakes. The cash bar includes mint juleps and other alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.

There is a raffle with prizes from local establishments including Plaza Morena Campestre Grill and Homestead Boutique, among others, and a silent auction.

“We’re very grateful to the community for how many donations have been given for this spring event,” Boritzman said.

By doing this, they hope to draw in a variety of people.

Broitzman also noted that many people had a history of watching the derby. In her case, it was watching with her father growing up on a farm.

“I got my first pony when I was 9 years old,” she said.”… I rode that pony when I was 10 in the Albert Lea fairgrounds and raced them around.”

As a child, Brick visited Churchill Downs.

“It was very exciting to see everything,” she said. “I had seen it on television before, but just to experience the entire setting of where it happened, and I was very young, … it still stays with me.”

Preparation for the party started in December.

Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at the Albert Lea Art Center. The party will be capped at 200 people. Tickets will be sold at the door if still available. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

“Everybody will be welcome from the second they walk in the door,” she said.

There will also be a wall full of horse paintings available for sale that day.