Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Derby Events

How can a site named Reading Derby not mention the Kentucky Derby? For anyone who hasn't lived in Kentucky you may not know what a big deal the Derby is here. Now mind you it is ONE race...so approximately 7 minutes, but it has 2 weeks of events leading up to it...yes 2 weeks!

The Derby Festival has something for everyone! Here are just a few of the highlights -
  • Largest Fireworks show in the US
  • Hot Air Balloon Race and Balloon Glow
  • Mattress Races (yes mattresses - Companies in the area make movable beds and race them...Ford Motor Company won this year and has for the last several years - I keep waiting to see their innovation commercials that say they are 5 time champs of the Derby Festival Mattress race!)
  • Steamboat Race - sadly this may be the last year of the race. There is quite a debate about restoring the Delta Queen
  • Marathon (which is getting very large)

We went to the Balloon Glow, but was really disappointed in it. After 40 minutes of waiting to PARK we realized that the traffic pattern was a BIG issue. It seemed people parking and leaving were all trying to get around this same circle which meant we were all going in the same direction - no wonder it was taking so long. So we drove by some of the balloons and decided to leave! The winds were preventing people from getting on the field were the balloons were, so people were all clumped together. Plus we had a sleeping 1 year old in the back seat, so we drove out instead of parking! All in all we were disappointed. Mostly with the inefficiency of getting people in and out. This event happens every year - you would think they would have parking down by now!

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