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We watch the Kentucky Derby® for the race itself, of course – the speed and grace of the horses, the skill of the jockeys, the thrill of a competition that can radically change at any moment. But we also love it for the atmosphere. Churchill Downs®. Mint juleps. And most importantly: hats. Some attendees push the fashion envelope with their entire outfits, sure, but mostly it’s all about the hats.

USA TODAY Sports Images

USA TODAY Sports Images

And while it’s fun watching the race and looking at all these hats from afar, it’s nothing like actually being there in the middle of it. Too bad you can’t, right? Well, actually, you can. Yes, you could be right in the middle of this Hatmosphere™, and it’s as easy as signing up for a Kentucky Derby package from USA TODAY Sports Events.

These official ticket packages offer much more than the race, too. Take the Grandstand Aqua package: you’ll get seats in the new Grandstand on Oaks and Derby days with a prime view of the action (and Churchill Downs’ new ultra high definition 4K video board, the largest in the world), but that’s just the beginning:

- On race days, you’ll have access to Sunny’s Halo Lounge, a new deluxe in-track rooftop hospitality party venue featuring a lunch buffet, complimentary beer, wine, and soft drinks, celebrity appearances by Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and movie stars, and a celebrity jockey meet-and-greet.

VIP Fast Access Pass for easy entry into Churchill Downs.

On-site trip directors to ensure a smooth day.

- If you’re planning on making a big trip out of it: 3 nights hotel accommodations and motor coach charter bus transportation.

USA TODAY Sports Images

USA TODAY Sports Images

And if all that somehow wasn’t enough for you, the Grandstand Blue Party package might just be the ultimate Kentucky Derby experience. You’ll get the same amazing access with an upgraded view from the Aqua package, and on top of that:

Ticket to the inaugural Fillies & Lilies party on Friday evening: Food. Drinks – a premium open bar and bourbon lounge. Music: a live performance by Wynonna Judd and the Big Noise. Appearances by Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders Mia Greenhouse, Jackie Bob, Mackenzie Weeks, and Lauren Williams, as well as Django Unchained’s Nichole Galicia. All that in one night at the Kentucky Derby Museum – that’s a full trip right there, and the big race won’t have even happened yet.

How can you get your hands on one of these official packages? It’s easy – choose which one works for you, go to the package page at USA TODAY Sports Events (here for the Blue and here for the Aqua) and either fill out the form to the right or call (855) 511-9991. From there, we’ll do everything we can to help you have the Kentucky Derby weekend of a lifetime – except choose a hat for you. That part’s on you. Make it count.

 

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