Derby Day Celebration

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A Fundraiser for Pequot Library | Experience the excitement of the Kentucky Derby at Pequot Library! Take a stroll around the Great Lawn to view the festive hats, attire, and decorated tailgates. Bid on Silent Auction items and get your Derby Dollars so that you can enter to win raffle items, take home a bottle of bourbon from the Bourbon Wall, choose your winning horse and take home the top prize in the 50/50 raffle, and new this year: be the first in New England to experience the mobile driving range Dryvebox. Prizes will be awarded for closest to the pin, and the Best Hat, Best Dressed, and Best Tailgates will take home trophies as well. Watch the “Run for the Roses” on the big screen in the auditorium, and celebrate with Kentucky fare and an open bar in the Main Tent. Keep the party going with DJ Rob and delicious snacks during the after-party. Scroll down for the schedule and more information. Also, click here to volunteer!

Online ticket sales for Pequot Library’s Derby Day celebration are closed. Tickets and Derby Dollars will be available to purchase in person at the check-in table on the Great Lawn beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. Thank you for your support!

Wristbands will be mailed to early registrants who bought tickets prior to April 22. You can pick up tickets purchased after this date at the library’s front desk starting on Tuesday, April 30, or at will-call on May 4.

For every ticket sold, $1 will be donated to the Retired Racehorse Project. All ticket sales are final. No refunds. Event takes place rain or shine. This event is exclusively for guests 21 and over. For tailgates, please be aware that the ground is uneven and there are low-hanging branches. Contact Grace Calderon, Development Manager, in order to select your space at (203) 259-0346 ext. 125. Scroll down to see the map of the lawn and available spots.

Schedule of Events

3:00 – Pre-Party: Tailgate Ticket Holders Only
4:00 – Derby Day Party on the Great Lawn
6:50 – Watch the Run for the Roses!
7:00 – After Party

Derby Dollars (DD)

Derby Dollars are for use in the raffle (1 DD per entry), Bourbon Wall purchases (8 DD per bottle), to participate in the Closest to the Pin competition in the Dryvebox (2 DD per entry) and Horse Voting (1 DD per entry). Derby Dollars (DD) are $5 each and can be purchased in advance or on the day of the event. *DD are for ticketholders’ use only and CANNOT be applied towards tickets.

Silent Auction

Bid on an amazing array of items and experiences.


Best Tailgate (Win, Place, and Show)
Best Hat
Best Dressed Lady
Best Dressed Gentleman


Many thanks to our sponsors!


Tailgate map


Photo: Jarrett Liotta


May 4
3:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category: