Local chamber to host virtual Kentucky Derby event

AMHERST – It’s off to the races as the Greater Merrimack Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce presents its second annual “Jockeys & Juleps” Kentucky Derby party, a live stream event on May 1 at 5 p.m. live on YouTube.

Interim chamber president Liz Calabria said the event will offer prizes and is sponsored by Wendy’s Cleaning Service. WCS owner Janelle Ward will serve as the M.C. on the video portion of the program.

“People can go to the event calendar on our website, where they’ll find a link to register for the games,” Calabria said. “The big prize is our ‘Win, Place, Show’ game which is a funny virtual horse race game and instead of placing bets, people choose their horse for the raffle.”

The price for “racing” is $50 per chance. The “Win” prize is a full summer membership to Hampshire Hills Athletic Club for an individual or dual summer membership. Winners will be chosen, then announced in the live stream event on May 1.

Touchstone Farm will be the recipient of a portion of the proceeds. Calabria said folks at home are invited to wear their best Derby attire as they enjoy the virtual fun.

“The event is free – people don’t have to buy a ticket to watch the live stream,” she said. “But people have to sign up online on our event webpage. Once you click ‘register,’ it gives you all the information.”

Guests can enter the “Best Derby Hat” contest by entering their hat on the chamber’s Facebook page; they can also enter their “Best Derby Bow Tie” by doing the same.

Prizes will be provided by LaBelle Winery and the Flying Butcher, both of Amherst.

Calabria said there will also be a fun game, called “Derby Droppings: Poop-a-Square.”

“For Poop-a-Square, there will be a video in our live stream of the horse, ‘pooping,'” she said with a laugh. “They play the video tape it and speed it up – it’s hilarious. People purchase tickets or multiple tickets for more chances to win.”

Entrants will be assigned a random pre-marked square and the horses will be “released” into the arena and the first droppings decides the winner.

Other prizes include an inflatable paddle board donated by Turnstone Corporation and a local gift basket created by Family Dental Care of Milford.

“People can actually meet their horses for the ‘Win’ game,” Calabria said. “And so far, we’ve raised $5,000 but obviously expect to raise more.”

Once people register for free, they’ll receive the link to the live stream.

For complete registration information and for prize descriptions, visit www.gmsvcc.org.