When asked to cover the 2nd annual Unbridled Eve Gala, a wave of excitement erupted. While I am not much of a dress up girl, certain events call for a gal to suit up (so to speak). I had not previously been to a gala or anything remotely close; a few military balls hardly compare to a Gala. The Galt House is impressive but dolled up for the event, it shined. According to John Rousseau, who was filming the event for the York sisters, the gala had grown larger than it was last year and had to be moved to the Grand Ballroom area to accommodate the large crowd. The red carpet stretched from the chandeliered entrance to the ballroom and a candy land of liquor stations were serving the Southern Spirits; including Bullitt Bourbon, Moet, and Kettle One. Photo booths were available for pictures and luxurious lounges with personal bands were available for retreat from the bustle. The arrival of the expected celebrities drew attention from the press and patrons alike. My spot on the carpet was right next to one of the coolest ladies ever, Sarah Jordan from WDJX 99.7. I had a slight relapse into 1998 and had to giggle when Lance Bass strolled up. He politely spoke to each media stop on the carpet and smiled for the bombardment of photos. Other highlights of the carpet included Luke Bryan commenting on possibly choosing Revolutionary for the Derby to which I said, over zealously, “That’s my Pony!” William Fitchner, whom had never attended a horse race in his life and will have Derby 139 as his first, was such an engaging conversationalist I forgot he had to keep walking. Lastly, Jo Dee Messina chatted about her 2 children and her love of running as well as taking the boys on tour. Between the charismatic celebrities and great company of my WDJX neighbors the night was off to a wonderful start. I couldn’t find my seat for dinner and wondered around aimlessly as elegant silver platters of food passed me by. Luckily, my photographer found me just before I starved to death. A three-course culinary delight had been prepared by Chef Brian. The performances following dinner by Nicholas, Luke Bryan, and Jo Dee Messina were of true concert grade. “Drunk on You” is still being hummed as I write this. The Louisville Crashers turned on the dance party and rocked into the night. After hours of dancing I took a break from the crowded floor, and had an opportunity to peek at the silent auction. Items and packages were up for grabs that were unforgettable. A swim session with Ryan Lotche, a trip to the Grammy’s in celebrity seats, autographed jerseys, helmets, photos, and much more were among some of the items that could be purchased to benefit the deserving charities. The Unbridled Eve Gala was everything it promised it would be; the guests were charming and a collection of wonderful people, the southern hospitality of the Galt House surpassed itself, and the atmosphere encompassed the Derby excitement. I can honestly say I have never experienced such a night and fully recommend this event for all seasoned gala goers as well as those who are still virgins to its magic. I don’t regret this gala being my first and am happy to say I am one fully satisfied gala girl.
Photos Courtesy of John Elam and Laura Wood