It was a cold afternoon in Louisville for the 143rd Kentucky Oaks, but it was a hot night in the city as celebrities and others hit Barnstable-Brown and several other annual Derby Eve parties.
The Barnstable-Brown Gala may have had the most star-studded guest list. Several actors – including Tracy Morgan, Larry David, Jeff Bridges and others – brushed shoulders with musician Kid Rock, journalist Katie Couric, chef Giada De Laurentiis, quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, and other celebrities.
Unbridled Eve Gala
Celebrities lit up the red carpet to support the sixth annual Unbridled Eve Gala at the Galt House in Louisville on Friday. Decked out with crystal chandeliers, elaborate ice sculptures and white rose centerpieces, the evening included a cocktail reception with 19 specialty drinks, a surf-and-turf dinner and silent auction.
Guests also enjoyed live musical performances by musicians like Taio Cruz, (Dynamite and Break Your Heart), Billy Gilman of The Voice, and Morris Day and the Time. Entertainment notables included Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino and her father, Goodfellas legend Paul Sorvino, actor Beau Bridges, HLN anchor Robin Meade, DJ Envy, Triple Crown winning jockey Victor Espinoza, country singer J.D. Shelburne and Karen Lawrence, mother of Louisville’s own Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence.
Not merely glitz and glamour, the party raises money for a wide range of national and local charities. “There are so many great people here, just getting to know people from around the country, and they’re all here for the Derby but also to support this important cause,” Mira Sorvino said.
Proceeds from the event will benefit over 17 different charities, including Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that provides food to elementary school students on the weekends, the Fund for the Arts, Down Syndrome of Louisville and the Animal Care Society.
Over $1.6 million has been raised since the inception of the Unbridled Charitable Foundation in 2012.
The Esquire Derby Eve Gala
The Esquire Derby Eve Gala, meanwhile featured chef Bobby Flay and actor Adrian Grenier, along with a handful of former University of Louisville and University of Kentucky basketball stars – former Cardinals Russ Smith, Wayne Blackshear and others were in the house, along with former Wildcats such as Skal Labissiere and Derek Willis.
The fun started after the race Friday evening and continued into Saturday morning. You can bet that many of those that had a late night will be back at it again Saturday at Churchill Downs for the 143rd Kentucky Derby.