Laurna Strehl, executive director of the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden, says, “We don’t celebrate the (Kentucky) Derby enough in Owensboro.”
So, she’s doing something about it this year.
The Garden will celebrate with a Kentucky Derby pre-party at 6 p.m. April 14 at the WeatherBerry Home, 2731 W. Second St.
“This is our first one ever,” Strehl said. “It’s something to raise funds and to honor Bill and Susie Tyler.”
The Garden opened in 1993 after the Tylers donated 10 acres of farmland to the city with the stipulation that eight acres would be used for a botanical garden and two acres would be left for native wildlife habitat.
The Garden is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Strehl said, “They’re so humble. It was hard to get them to agree. But Susie loves the Derby, and she finally agreed to it.”
That includes two drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres from Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn.
“We’ll have traditional Derby drinks — mint juleps and Old Fashioneds,” Strehl said.
There’s a horse racing game and a game of quarters — a bar game about bouncing quarters into a glass.
But this time, contestants will try to get the quarters to land in the horseshoe-shaped bottom of a Green River Bourbon bottle.
Strehl said, “There’s no silent auction as of now,” Strehl said. “But if we decide to, it will be for a $350 hat I bought in Bowling Green.
“We’ll have a red carpet with a photographer to take pictures.”
Strehl said there will be prizes for the best-dressed and for the best hat.
Tickets are available online at wkbg.org or by calling 270-993-1234.