Special Meeting Activities
Louisville and the surrounding countryside is a great place to spend some extra time. The Louisville Slugger Museum and Muhammad Ali Museum are two special places to go. Hadley Pottery and Louisville Pottery are two local pottery companies with international reputations for collectors. The Falls of the Ohio (when the river is sufficiently low) is a great place for a hike and to see remnants of the historic past preserved in the limestone reefs of ancient seas. Rent a car and waders for a trip through horse country and the rolling hills of the Bluegrass, where the vistas are great and the streams are awesome. The nightlife in Louisville is hopping in the region around the meeting venue. Bars, brewpubs, restaurants, and an organized urban bourbon trail. For more information, visit http://www.gotolouisville.com
Mixer on Riverboats
Back by popular demand will be a riverboat tour up and down the Ohio River. We’ve organized the tour for a mixer on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the capacity of both boats is 750 people, so we will have to provide other options for people registering after the first tickets are gone – which includes a chance to take the boats on Thursday night. So plan to stay Thursday night for a boat ride or bar crawl and catch the Day at Churchill Downs on Friday. http://www.belleoflouisville.org/
We will hold the banquet at the Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats. We’ll organize our own SFS mushball tournament in the infield and cornhole tournament in the outfield. You can also try your hand at the batting cage. The banquet will be served from the concession stands in the stadium, where we have either picnic tables or front row seats to the tournaments. Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse, located within the Slugger Field complex, will be our extremely local source of beer (http://www.atgbrewery.com). As dusk falls Little T&A, a local blues group, will play for the dancing crowd and a little foot-tapping throughout the park.
Day at Churchill Downs
Consider catching a late flight on Friday or leave on Saturday so you can enjoy a special day at Churchill Downs. We’ve made arrangements for breakfast on the backside of the track with owners, trainers, jockeys, stables, and a great view of the horses training on the track. Then we go the very special Kentucky Derby Museum, where we’ll see the amazing history of the Derby and learn a bit about betting too. Then we have the afternoon at the track, where we’ll have reserved box seats and an opportunity to win our fortunes.
We plan to be on buses and heading for Churchill Downs around 8:00, or a bit before. We will refine this schedule. For those leaving for the airport later in the afternoon and want to go straight to the airport via cab, we will be able to bring your luggage with us. Louisville’s airport is close to Churchill Downs. Buses will also be returning to the hotel on a regular basis throughout the day. Cabs are always available for hire.
We will start with the Backstretch Breakfast Tour. Buses will drop us off on the backside of the track, near the stables. There we will have a hearty southern style breakfast with amazing tours of the track in the same kitchen where the trainers, owners, and jockeys often eat. You’ll have the opportunity to see training world-class Thoroughbreds during their early morning workouts while dining in Churchill Downs' trackside kitchen. We’ve been told there are often 50-75 horses on the track at a time. Museum tour guides will take us on a short walk through the stable area where up to 1,400 horses are stabled.
Next we’ll go to the Kentucky Derby Museum for a couple hours. This is a great place to learn more about horse racing and the Kentucky Derby. The exhibits are really world class and run from the interesting, to heartwarming, challenging, and thrilling. Have your picture taken in the winner,s circle, learn about the early life and training of a thoroughbred, race a friend in the jockey’s stance for 2 minutes in a simulated 1.25 mile Derby Race, call a race, and experience a 360-degree high definition presentation (the first in the world). Learn more at http://www.derbymuseum.org/
We will have lunch on our own as we go to track, where we will have reserved box seats and under cover in case we have bad weather. Races start on Friday until 2:45, so we will be able to have a leisurely tour of the Kentucky Derby Museum, drift over to the track, grab a bit to eat, consider a wager or two, and then relax for an afternoon and early evening of racing. It’s a great way to spend a spring afternoon in Kentucky! Learn more at http://www.churchilldowns.com/
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