When your headquarters is in Louisville, Derby Day is basically a holiday. Throughout the entire week leading up to the first Saturday in May, there’s no shortage of festivities and frivolity to be found in Derby City, and these come with their own unique safety concerns. So if you’re headed to the track this week, or even if you’re just hosting a Derby party in the comfort of your own home, there are many ways to ensure you have a safe and fun experience.
First, one for those who travel into town for Derby (and for the locals who leave!): keeping your home safe in your absence. Remember to let a trusted neighbor know that you’ll be away from your home, and ask that they keep an eye out for any suspicious activity (handy tip: be sure to pick up a bottle of bourbon during your trip as a more-than-welcome thank you gift for their diligence!). If you have an alarm or surveillance system, ensure that it’s activated and working properly. Replace bulbs in motion-activated security lights and don’t leave spare keys in easily-accessible places; the most devoted thieves definitely know a fake key-holder rock when they see it.
One of the best things about Louisville is that the bars stay open until a dizzying 6:00 am on Derby Day. Keep in mind that the bourbon begins moving long before the horses this week, and it can be easy to overindulge during a very long day of celebrating the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports. Always arrange for a designated driver or taxi, or use a service like Uber or Lyft to get safely where you need to go. Additionally, there are many bus and shuttle services available to help Derby-goers stay safe on the road.
When you arrive at the gleaming twin spires of Churchill Downs, you will be subject to a magnetic wand scan to detect the presence of firearms and other banned items, so be sure to leave the selfie sticks and fireworks at home. You may be surprised to find that items such as umbrellas and pop-up tents are not permitted inside the Downs. This is because in the event of extreme or windy weather, these items can become dangerous projectiles capable of injuring those around you. Whether you set up camp in the infield, or you’re living it up on Millionaire’s Row, be mindful of those around you, especially during the thrill of the race.
Of course, always remember your sunblock, and keep your purse or wallet close at hand at all times. Enjoy the fun, the mint juleps, and the excitement, but always be aware of where your valuables are, especially when making your way to the betting windows where pickpockets may be watching to see where you stash your cash or wallet after placing your bets.
By being aware of your surroundings and taking a few precautions, you can enjoy a safe, fun, and happy Derby Day. Happy betting, everyone!