Kentucky Derby Museum announces new 'Derbyville' exhibit

Kentucky Derby Museum announces new 'Derbyville' exhibit
Photo: Kentucky Derby Museum

The Kentucky Derby is a bucket-list event for thousands of people around the world each year.

Some come for the fashion, others for the party, the people-watching, or the horses. From spectators climbing the Infield’s flagpole, to a skydiver surprising 100,000 fans with a parachute landing into the infield crowd, visitors can explore the wild stories and unique culture of the Kentucky Derby at a new exhibit, Welcome to Derbyville, now open at the Kentucky Derby Museum. 

A ribbon cutting held Friday celebrated the opening of the exhibit, located in the Museum's Matt Winn Gallery, a space on the second floor used for rotating exhibits. The concept was born from the idea that on most Derby Days, Churchill Downs transforms into the state's third-largest city, drawing its temporary residents into a remarkable cultural experience that is unique to other sporting events. 

The Museum's new exhibit explores this 147-acre city – Derbyville – and who comes to stay and why. Fans and critics, journalists and fashion plates, horsemen and horsewomen: there's something for everyone in Derbyville.

The unique culture of the Kentucky Derby comes to life through pictures, videos, artwork and artifacts, plus interactive components where visitors can write down and share their own Derbyville stories.

Additionally, the exhibit takes a deep dive into journalist Hunter S. Thompson and artist Ralph Steadman's raucous commentary, "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved," featuring some familiar (and new) artifacts from their trip to the 1970 Kentucky Derby. With one of Jeff Ruby's bedazzled Derby Day ensembles, the Museum is bringing to objects from the vault that have never been displayed to its guests.

The exhibit runs through the fall of 2022.

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