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    Derby has always been as big as Christmas around my family,” says Mike Berry, the 46-year-old president and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival. That may help explain why a guy who passed up law school to join the gubernatorial campaign of Martha Layne Collins and then went on to serve as one of the governor’s most trusted aides would forgo a future in politics to coordinate events for a welcome-everyone wingding.


    Berry with Stanford-bound 6-foot-11 twins Brook and Robin Lopez at the 2006 Adidas Derby Festival Basketball Classic.
    But then the roughly three-week-long Derby Festival is a little more than a wingding. When Berrycame on board in 1986 (he’d been the Collins administration’s Festival board representative throughout her term), the organization’s operating budget had risen from $640 in 1956 to $1.9 million. By the time he took over the CEO reins after Dan Mangeot’s sudden death in 1997, the budget had grown to $4 million. This year it will crack $6 million.

    That’s a major fete — one that annually draws more than 1.5 million people enjoying some 70 events, ranging from grass, sand and indoor volleyball contests to food and wine tastings to the Balloon Glow to such monster productions as Thunder Over Louisville and the Pegasus Parade. And how many of those affairs does Berrypersonally attend? “When it’s all said and done,” he says, “I’m probably at two-thirds of them.”

    His favorite second-tier Festival happening, by the way, is the Great Bed Races, staged at Broadbent Arena. “It is the funniest event, I think, that we produce,” he says.

    Berry pulled off a bit of a coup this year by landing none other than “America’s Rodent,” Mickey Mouse, as the parade’s grand marshal — quite a catch, Berry says, because “Mickey Mouse cannot appear at two places at once.” MM will be dressed as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (from the 1938 Disney movie Fantasia) in keeping with the Pegasus theme, “Wonders, Wands and Wizards.” Also on hand, as Grand Magician, will be Louisville native and Harrah’s Las Vegasheadliner Mac King.

    Premiering this year is a widening of the Festival’s Chow Wagon into the Kroger-sponsored “Fest-a-ville on the Waterfront,” of which the Chow Wagon is just a part. It will include a Great Lawn Grand Stage with big-name acts, a new food area called “Feast-a-Ville,” a merchandise-selling section dubbed the “Ville-age Market” and the “Pa-Ville-ion” tent for events such as a Texas Hold’Em tournament and bingo games.

    -Jack Welch

    DERBYFESTIVAL STUDENT ART CONTEST DISPLAY
    April 1-30.
    SpeedArt Museum. During regular museum hours. May 1: Republic Bank Parade Preview with art contest winners. Sponsored by Passport Health Plan. Contributing sponsor: 103.1 WRKA.

    DERBY FESTIVAL SPRING FASHION SHOW
    April 5. Cocktails, 5:30 p.m.; dinner, 7 p.m.; show, 8 p.m. Grand Ballroom, Galt House East. Preferred seating: $61 each or $610 for a table of 10 (First come, first serve basis). General seating: $51 or $510 for a table of 10. Sponsored by AT&T. Contributing sponsors: Dillard’s, Event Design & Installation, Tab Energy and 102.3 The Max.

    ADIDAS DERBYFESTIVAL NIGHT OF THE FUTURE STARS,
    April 13. 7 p.m.
    BellarmineUniversity, Knights Hall. Admission free with ticket to the Adidas Basketball Classic. One-hour autograph signing session immediately following the event. Limited seating available. Sponsored by Adidas. Contributing sponsors: AT&T, Delta Air Lines and B96.5 FM. Live broadcast on B96.5 FM.

    ADIDAS DERBYFESTIVAL BASKETBALL CLASSIC
    April 14. 7 p.m. Freedom Hall. Tickets $10 and $15 reserved. Tickets at TicketMaster locations and the Fairgrounds Ticket Office. Sponsored by Adidas. Contributing sponsors: AT&T, Delta Air Lines and New Rock 104.3 & 105.1 WLRS. Live broadcast on New Rock 104.3 & 105.1 WLRS.

    DERBYFESTIVAL “TASTE OF DERBY FESTIVAL”
    April 17. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Louisville Slugger Field. Features exquisite fare from over 40 of
    Louisville’s finest restaurants and beverage companies. Bourbon tasting, Finlandia Bloody Mary Contest, wine tasting and a silent auction. Tickets $75. Sponsored by Brown-Forman Corp. Coordinated by Dare to Care Food Bank. All proceeds to benefit Dare to Care. 966-3821.

    FIFTH THIRD BANK DERBYFESTIVAL $1 MILLION DOLLAR HOLE-IN-ONE GOLF CONTEST
    April 19-28, 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; April 29, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Semi-finals 6 p.m. Closed April 21. Water Tower at
    River Roadand Zorn Avenue. Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. Contributing sponsors: Kentuckiana Golf Course Superintendents, Louisville Water Company, WLKY NewsChannel 32 and 84WHAS.

    DERBY FESTIVAL THEY’RE OFF! LUNCHEON
    April 20. 11:30 a.m. Grand Ballroom, Galt House East. Tickets $66; table of 10, $660 (limited availability). Sponsored by Norton Healthcare. Contributing sponsors:
    BluegrassFamily Health, Business First and Verizon Wireless.

    THE FILLIES’ DERBYBALL
    April 21. Cocktails, 6 p.m.; Queen’s Coronation, 7:30 p.m.; dinner, 8 p.m. Grand Ballroom, Galt House East. Tickets $150 each or $300 per couple. Galt House parking fee. Produced by The Fillies, Inc. Sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Contributing sponsor: 102.3 The Max. 292-3180.

    DERBYFESTIVAL OPENING CEREMONIES: THUNDER OVER LOUISVILLE,
    April 21. FoodFest, 11 a.m; Airshow, 3 p.m.; Fireworks, 9:30 p.m. Downtown Louisville Riverfront,
    WaterfrontPark, River Roadand Southern Indianashoreline. Sponsored by Caesars Indiana, E.ON U.S., Meijer, UPS and community McDonald’s Thunder Funders. Live coverage on WDRB TV Fox 41 and 84WHAS Radio. 2007 Pegasus Pin admission to Thunder Chow Wagon at WaterfrontPark.

    LOUISVILLESCIENCE CENTER THUNDERBLAST
    April 21, 1-11 p.m.
    LouisvilleScienceCenter. Proceeds benefit the ScienceCenter’s educational programs. 561-6111.

    AT&T DERBYFESTIVAL VOLLEYBALL CLASSIC
    April 21-22, 28-29. Sand divisions at Baxter Jack’s: April 21-22, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. and April 28-29 9 a.m.– 9 p.m. Grass divisions at
    Waterfront Park: April 28-29, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Indoor divisions at OhioValley Volleyball Center: April 21, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission 2007 Pegasus Pin. Sponsored by AT&T. Contributing sponsors: ASICS, Mikasa and New Rock 104.3 & 105.1 WLRS. (502) 582-3530.

    King Southern Bank DERBYFESTIVAL FOUNDATION PRO-AM GOLF TOURNAMENT
    April 23. Morning session, 8 a.m.; afternoon session, 1:30 p.m. Audubon Country Club. Team entries $1,000 morning session, $1,500 afternoon session. Entries open to the public and include golf with local pro, cocktail reception after final round and gift. Sponsor: King Southern Bank. Contributing sponsors: Delta Air Lines and Classic Hit Country WAVG 1450. 584-FEST.

    KROGER’S KENTUCKY DERBY FEST-A-VILLE on the waterfront
    April 26-May 4.
    Waterfront Park. Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 1–11 p.m. NEW ULTIMATE ENTERTAINMENT VENUE featuring concerts, family fun, interactive kids’ areas and more. Admission 2007 Pegasus Pin. Sponsored by Kroger. Contributing Sponsor: Bud Light.

    DERBY FESTIVAL CHOW WAGON
    April 26-May 4.
    Waterfront Park. Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 1–11 p.m. Food booths and live music venue. Admission 2007 Pegasus Pin.

    DERBY FESTIVAL FOUNDATION ACADEMIC CHALLENGE
    April 26-27. Clarion Hotel and
    ConferenceCenter. Middle School Competition, 1 p.m.; junior varsity/high school quick-recall competition, 6 p.m. Sponsored by SixFlagsKentuckyKingdom. Contributing sponsors: The University of Louisville and Lite 106.9 WVEZ. Coordinated by Jefferson County Public Schools.

    BLUEGRASS FAMILY HEALTH DERBY FESTIVAL RUNNING WILD EXPO
    April 26-27. Kentucky International Convention Center Hall 2C. Thursday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; dinner, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Free admission to
    Exposition Center. Meijer Marathon/miniMarathon late registration and packet pickup ($90 and $60). Pasta dinner tickets: adults, $9; children under 12, $6. Sponsored by Bluegrass Family Health. Contributing sponsor: 99.7 WDJX. 584-FEST.

    U.S.BANK DERBY FESTIVAL GREAT BALLOON LIFT-OFF AND GLIMMER
    April 26. Lift-off, 6 p.m., Green Tree Mall,
    Clarksville. Glimmer, 8:30 p.m., Waterfront Park. Contributing sponsor: New Country 103.9. Admission 2007 Pegasus Pin. Sponsored by U.S. Bank.

    U.S.BANK DERBY FESTIVAL GREAT BALLOON RUSH-HOUR RACE, GLOW, AND RACE, Rush-Hour Race
    April 27, 7 a.m.
    Kentucky Exposition Center. $5 KEC parking fee. Contributing sponsor: 102.3 The Max. Glow, April 27, 9 p.m. Kentucky Exposition Center. $5 KEC parking fee. Contributing sponsor: 103.1 WRKA. Live broadcast on WAVE3 TV. Race, April 28, 7 a.m. Kentucky Exposition Center. $5 KEC parking fee. Contributing sponsor: 102.3 The Max. Sponsored by U.S. Bank.

    DERBY FESTIVAL AMERICAN INDIAN POW WOW
    April 27-29. Harbor Point at
    Waterfront Park. An American Indiana Pow Wow competition with dancers, exhibitors and food vendors. Adults, $5; senior citizens/students, $3; children 6 and under free. Proceeds to benefit Kentucky American Indian Resource & Community Center. 935-7920.

    MEIJER DERBY FESTIVAL Marathon/miniMarathon
    April 28. 7:30 a.m.. Southern Parkway at
    IroquoisMiddle Schoolstart for 13.1-mile route or 26.2-mile route to Market and Sixth Streetfinish. Free for spectators. Sponsored by Meijer. Contributing sponsors: Bluegrass Family Health, Churchill Downs, The Courier-Journal, Michelob Ultra and Powerade. Live coverage on WAVE 3 TV, WHAS 11 and WLKY Newschannel 32. www.derbyfestivalmarathon.com.

    DERBY FESTIVAL FOUNDATION ACADEMIC CHALLENGE FINALS AND AWARDS CEREMONY
    April 28. Clarion Hotel and
    ConferenceCenter. Competition begins 9 a.m.; middle school finals, 1:30 p.m.; junior varsity/high school finals, 2:30 p.m.; awards 3:15 p.m. Free. Sponsored by Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. Contributing sponsors: The University of Louisville and Lite 106.9 WVEZ. Coordinated by Jefferson County Public Schools.

    DERBY FESTIVAL THE SLICE OF ST. AUGUSTINE
    April 28. St. Augustine, 1310 W. Broadway, 6 -9 p.m.. Live entertainment and food tasting to benefit church charities and assistance programs. $25. www.thesliceoflouisville.com.  584-4602.

    DERBY FESTIVAL TEXAS HOLD’EM TOURNAMENT
    April 29. 4 p.m. The Overlook at
    Waterfront Park. $125 buy-in. $5,000 first-place prize. Contributing sponsor: 95.7 WQMF. 584-FEST.

    DERBY FESTIVAL DON FIGHTMASTER GOLF OUTING FOR EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
    April 30. 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
    Shawnee Golf Course. Children’s golf event. Free for spectators. Sponsored by Kentucky PGA Foundation. 499-7255.

    STOCK YARDS BANK DERBY FESTIVAL GREAT BED RACE
    April 30. 6 p.m. Broadbent Arena. Admission 2007 Pegasus Pin. $5 KEC parking fee. Team of five entry fee $130. Sponsored by Stock Yards Bank & Trust Company. Contributing Sponsors: AAA Kentucky, Mattress & More and 107.7 SFR. Live broadcast on WAVE 3 TV.

    DERBY FESTIVAL KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS CHARITY DINNER
    April 30. Cocktails, 6 p.m.; dinner 7 p.m. Archibald Cochran Ballroom, Galt House. Dinner tickets $30; post-dinner reception tickets $10. Coordinated by the Bishop Spalding Council of the Knights of
    Columbus. 893-2220.

    AT&T DERBY FESTIVAL MORNING LINE
    April 30-May 1. 6–11 a.m. Radio stations will broadcast their morning shows live from the Kentucky Derby Museum. Sponsored by AT&T. Contributing sponsors: Kentucky Unbridled Spirit and Panera Bread.

    ARISON DERBY FESTIVAL RUN FOR THE ROSE?
    May 1. 11:30 a.m. Waterfront Park. Admission 2007 Pegasus Pin. Sponsored by Arison Insurance Services, Inc. Contributing sponsors: Beringer Vineyards, Delta Air Lines, Kentucky Restaurant Association-Louisville Chapter and New Rock 104.3 & 105.1 WLRS.

    REPUBLIC BANK DERBY FESTIVAL PARADE PREVIEW
    May 1. Kentucky Exposition Center, South Wing C. Private group tours, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; open to public, 5–9 p.m. Admission 2007 Pegasus Pin. $5 KEC parking fee. Floats, inflatables, equestrians and bands for the Pegasus Parade on display. Sponsored by Republic Bank & Trust Company. Contributing sponsors: AT&T and Kentuckiana Family Magazine. 584-3378, ext. 853.

    AT&T DERBY FESTIVAL PRO BEACH VOLLEYBALL EXHIBITION
    May 1. 6-11 p.m. Baxter Jack’s. Admission 2007 Pegasus Pin. Sponsored by AT&T. Contributing sponsors: ASICS, Mikasa and New Rock 104.3 & 105.1 WLRS. Coordinated by The Volleyball Connection/Tandem Sports. 582-3530.

    DERBY FESTIVAL RAMBLE FOR THE ROSES
    May 1. 6 p.m. Five-mile walk starting at Iroquois Park Amphitheater. Entry fee: adults, $15; children 8 and under, $6. After April 21: adults, $20; children, $10. Additional $3 for XXXL shirt. Contributing sponsor: 99.7 WDJX. Proceeds to benefit the scholarship programs of the Holy Rosary Foundation, DeSales High School and Holy Cross High School. 329-0769.

    FIFTH THIRD BANK DERBY FESTIVAL $1 MILLION DOLLAR HOLE-IN-ONE GOLF CONTEST FINALS
    May 1. 6 p.m. Seneca Golf Course, hole #8. Free for spectators. Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. Contributing sponsors: Kentuckiana Golf Course Superintendents, Louisville Water Company, WLKY NewsChannel 32 and 84WHAS.

    DERBY FESTIVAL KTOB DERBY TRAINERS DINNER
    May 1. Hyatt Regency Hotel. Cocktails, 6 p.m.; dinner, 7 p.m. Tickets $150 each. Tables of 10 available. Coordinated by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders, Inc. 259-1643.

    BROWN CANCER CENTER PRESENTS DERBY FESTIVAL Wine Fest,
    May 1-2. Wine-tasting sessions: 5 p.m.–9 p.m. The Overlook at Waterfront Park. Tickets $31 and include etched souvenir wine glass and WineFest pin. Sponsored by Brown Cancer Center. Contributing sponsors: Today’s Woman and 102.3 The Max.

    DERBY FESTIVAL BATTLE OF THE BOUNCE
    May 2. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Waterfront Park. Admission 2007 Pegasus Pin. Corporate obstacle-course competition that benefits Christian Care Communities. Media Partners: FOX 41 WDRB-TV and 99.7 WDJX. www.christiancarecommunities.com,
      254-4200.

    DERBY FESTIVAL GREAT STEAMBOAT RACE
    May 2. Boarding, 3:45-4:40 p.m.; departure, 4:45 p.m.; race, 5 p.m. Awards presentation immediately following on the Wharf. Belle of Louisville tickets $126, limited availability. Free spectator viewing along the banks of the Ohio River. Contributing sponsor: Lite 106.9 WVEZ. 584-FEST.

    DERBY FESTIVAL KENTUCKY ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTION BANQUET
    May 2. Archibald Cochran Ballroom, Galt House. Cocktails, 6 p.m.; dinner, 7:30 p.m.; silent auction 6-8 p.m.; program begins, 8 p.m. Tickets $75 each; $600 table of eight. 637-7696, ext. 104.

    DERBY FESTIVAL CHILDREN’S YOUTH FORUM
    May 3. 10 a.m. The Gardens of Louisville. Produced in cooperation with 100 Black Men of Louisville. 291-0485.

    DERBY FESTIVAL CELEBRITY LUNCHEON
    May 3. 11:30 a.m. Churchill Downs, Sixth Floor. Tickets $81, limited availability. Sponsored by Midwestern Insurance Alliance, Inc./Preferred Health Plan, Inc.

    DERBY FESTIVAL SMA SPRING DAY AT THE RACES
    May 3. 11:30 a.m. Churchill Downs, Fourth Floor. 459-1538.

    REPUBLIC BANK DERBY FESTIVAL PEGASUS PARADE
    May 3. 5 p.m. Colorful floats, marching bands, giant inflatables and equestrians move west on Broadway from Campbell Street to Ninth Street. Bleacher tickets, $9; chair seating, $11; review stand seating $26. Live broadcast on WAVE 3 TV. Sponsored by Republic Bank & Trust Company.

    DERBY FESTIVAL 100 BLACK MEN OF LOUISVILLE DERBY GALA
    May 3. 9 p.m.–2 a.m. Grand Ballroom, Galt House East. Tickets $150. Produced by 100 Black Men of Louisville. 291-0485.

    133rd Running of the Kentucky Derby
    May 5. For Derby information contact Churchill Downs (502) 636-4400.

    DERBY FESTIVAL LOUISVILLE URBAN LEAGUE GUILD MOONLIGHT CRUISE
    May 5. Belle of Louisville. Boarding, 9 p.m.; cruise, 9:30 p.m. Tickets $30. Contributing sponsor: MAGIC 101.3. Coordinated by the Louisville Urban League Guild. 561-6830, ext. 111.

    DERBY FESTIVAL PEGASUS PIN SPONSORSHIP GRAND PRIZE DRAWINGS
    May 10-18. Grand prizes will be drawn on successive 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. WAVE 3 TV newscast (excluding May 12 and May 13). 
     

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