The 2021 Kentucky Derby is rapidly approaching, and the weekend may feel a bit different than in years past.
With that said, it's looking like 20,000-30,000 spectators will be allowed at this year's festivities. In 2020, no fans were allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Churchill Downs will still be taking COVID-19 precautions, and that 20,000-30,000 figure is about half of what we're accustomed to.
Here are some things that are good to know if you're going to this year's Kentucky Derby.
Masks are required for all attendees
This is in accordance with Kentucky local health guidelines. All spectators and employees must wear a mask, regardless of whether or not you've been vaccinated.
Are there other ways that COVID-19 will affect the experience?
Yes. Besides the reduced capacity and mask requirements, tickets will be all-inclusive this year.
That's in an effort to cut down on times waiting in line for concessions and limiting human contact as much as possible.
Therefore, you will have a server that will bring your food and beverages to your seat. There will be a menu of items to choose from, as if you are at a restaurant.
Can you drink alcohol at the Derby?
Yes. You can't bring your own alcohol into Churchill Downs, but alcohol is served at the park.
Fashion is a big deal!
The Kentucky Derby is known for its unique takes on fashion, inspired by a little Southern Charm. Women typically wear dresses and hats, while men typically wear a spring-inspired blazer and pants. Prepare to see some bright colors.
With that said, it's also important to prioritize comfort, as you may be at the Derby for a long time. A veteran move? It's advised to pack a pair of flip-flops or comfortable shoes.
What can I NOT bring into the Derby?
Purses are allowed, but they must be no larger than 12" X 6" X 12". Cameras with detachable lenses, camcorders, and laptop computers are also prohibited.