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October 8, 2015
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Lexington to host variety of events during Breeders’ Cup week

Includes Breeders’ Cup Festival, Thriller Parade

Includes Breeders’ Cup Festival, Thriller Parade

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 8, 2015) — Plenty of festivities will be happening in Lexington the week of the Breeders’ Cup, leading up to the big races from Oct. 30-31.

breeders“We’ve got everything from a Thriller Parade to a thrilling stretch run down the track at Keeneland,” Mayor Jim Gray said. “Throughout the week—October 24-31—the days are packed with music, racing, art, food and fun.”

Bob Elliston, COO of the Breeders’ Cup, said the celebration Lexington has planned and the warm welcome it has given to the Breeders’ Cup are unprecedented.

“We’ve held the Breeders’ Cup World Championships all over the country, but Lexington, from record ticket sales to unparalleled local community support, might very well set the standard for future editions,” he said.

KentuckyOne Health Breeders’ Cup Festival

The KentuckyOne Health Breeders’ Cup Festival, with most activities on or near Short Street downtown, includes music every evening at the Courthouse Plaza and in Cheapside Park, art exhibits and races on a jumbo screen at the Fifth Third Pavilion in Cheapside.

“This is truly an A to Z event – Art to Zombies,” said Kip Cornett, a festival organizer. “There is a weeklong mix of music, food and more to complement an incredible week of racing.”

The event includes horse farm tours; Sunrise Trackside at Keeneland; dedication of a plaque to John Gaines, founder of the Breeders’ Cup, in Thoroughbred Park; dedication of a statue of Cigar, one of racing’s all time great horses, at the Kentucky Horse Park; recognition for Isaac Murphy, a jockey who won the Kentucky Derby three times; equestrian films at the Kentucky Theatre; and Breeders’ Cup Bash at the Red Mile, among other activities.

Thriller Parade

To ensure the week truly does have something for everyone—including the undead—the reenactment of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video parades down Main Street beginning at 8 p.m., Oct. 25.

“We are thrilled to kick off the Breeder’s Cup Festival with our annual Thriller and Halloween Parade,” said Amber Luallen, who organizes the Thriller Parade for the city’s Division of Parks and Recreation. “We have such a loyal fan base among locals for this event, we hope to share this wonderful experience and phenomenon with race visitors. It is the perfect party to get a great week festivities going, while showcasing the creativity and community spirit that Lexington has to offer.”

Our best foot forward 


Thousands of trees, flowers, bushes and grasses have been planted at key intersections, along major corridors and downtown on Short Street to welcome visitors to the Breeders’ Cup, said Jim Pendergest, Chair of the Keep Lexington Beautiful Commission.

With support from Keep Lexington Beautiful and America in Bloom volunteers, and donations from local businesses and the Corridors Commission, the City’s Division of Environmental Services and Parks and Recreation are putting the city’s best foot forward.

Volunteers are needed for a final downtown “tidy-up” is scheduled for October 26:

  • From 9 a.m.-noon, America in Bloom and Parks and Recreation will spruce up the flower beds on Short Street.
  • From 1-4 p.m., volunteers will clean up Thoroughbred Park to Triangle Park. Meet at Phoenix Park or the Kentucky Theatre.

Blue Grass Airport

As visitors step off the plane at Blue Grass Airport they will step into the Breeders’ Cup Celebration … Bluegrass bands, complimentary bourbon balls, and the “Call to the Post” they’ll hear as they claim their bags are among the special touches the airport has planned.

“It is with great excitement that we prepare to offer our guests excellent service and southern hospitality when they arrive in Lexington,” said Eric Frankl, executive director of Blue Grass Airport. “This event is extremely important to the Bluegrass region and the equine industry. It is our pleasure to support our community in making this Breeders’ Cup a success, and we are proud to be an Official Partner of both the Breeders’ Cup and Breeders’ Cup Festival Week.”

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