LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Derby is the official rite of passage every spring, after the gray skies and colder temperatures have passed, when nature starts to bloom and Louisville puts on its best dress.
“Derby is a great benchmark in the spring to know that winter is behind us and warmer days are ahead, which allows for a focus on cleaning and planting everywhere,” said Rebecca Fleischaker, executive director of Louisville Downtown Partnership. “Downtown is the epicenter of the hotel guests who come into Louisville from all over the world, so it is especially important that we are looking our best.”
The Louisville Downtown Partnership has coordinated and invested $165,000 in beautifying the downtown streetscape by adding new color and showing care and pride in the built environment. Investments include:
- 360 new street pole banners; phase 2 will add an additional 145
- Planted/replanted 153 Earth Planters (sponsored by local businesses)
- Watering of Earth Planters by LDP staff
- Edging and mulching 1,000 tree wells
- New plant material planted in in-ground tree wells
- Watering new in-ground plant material
- Refresh juniper plantings, mulch and watering on 2nd Street from Main to Broadway (donated anonymously)
- Refresh plantings and watering of the Mark White Garden at 5th and Jefferson (donated by Podges Trees and Landscaping)
Fourth Street Live! also added more than $75,000 in plantings and beautification to its property, noting that they are committed to showing downtown at its full potential, and want to continue to invest in their properties as a way to attract downtown workers, tourists, and residents.
“Nearly a quarter of a million dollars is a significant investment, and we know that individual businesses are doing the same in front of their places of business. Downtown is an important commerce, social, and tourism hub, and demonstrating this kind of pride and care goes a long way in how people feel in this neighborhood,” Fleischaker said.
The 148th runnings of the $1.25 Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) will be held Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7, respectively, at Churchill Downs Racetrack.
Churchill Downs Racetrack has been the home of The Kentucky Derby, the longest continually held annual sporting event in the United States, since 1875. Churchill Downs features a series of themed race days during Derby Week, including the Kentucky Oaks, and conducts Thoroughbred horse racing during three race meets in the Spring, September and the Fall.
Churchill Downs Racetrack is located on 175 acres and has a one-mile dirt track, a 7/8-mile turf track, a stabling area, and provides seating for approximately 60,000 guests. The saddling paddock and the stable area has barns sufficient to accommodate 1,400 horses and a 114-room dormitory for backstretch personnel. It also has a year-round simulcast wagering facility.
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