23rd Annual Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala Recap [Kentucky Derby]

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A Party of Glamor, Fun and Supporting a Good Cause
Amanda Arnold

    After Plum Pretty nudged her way past St. John’s River to take home her winnings of $500,000 and the coveted Kentucky Oaks garland of lilies, many people also as pretty as a plum made their way to the 23rd Annual Barnstable-Brown Gala.  In addition to UK Wildcats’ Coach John Calipari and Wildcats’ football Coach Coach Joker Phillips and hundreds of Louisville’s who’s who, the hotlist of celebrity and sport superstars joined the gala last night that was held at the beloved Highlands home of the former Doublemint Twins, Patricia Barnstable Brown and Priscilla “Cybil” Barnstable. 
    The official red carpet of the Barnstable-Brown Gala kicked the party off as the celebs made their way up the hill and into the house and onto the dance floor.  Of course, Louisville knows how to welcome those of the limelight, and with each celeb who made their way through, a warm response erupted from the spectators. 
    “Niki! Niki,” the spectators cheered as Supermodel and American Red Cross advocate Niki Taylor made her way onto the red carpet for photos and interviews.
    What a way to make an entrance to a party! And Taylor was equally excited to visit with the press and happy to be in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby.
    “I get treated very well when I come to Louisville.  The people are so warm and the hospitality is really amazing,” Taylor said after a busy day of enjoying what the city has to offer, including the lemon souffle pancakes at Toast on Main.    
    American soul singer Freddie Jackson also had warm compliments about his grandfather’s hometown of Louisville and my hat fascinator purchased at New Albany’s The Dandy Lion. 
    “I love Louisville and the Derby.  It’s so exciting.  I get the chance to get out of the streets of Harlem, New York, the iron horse,” said Jackson as he continued on to enjoy the party with family and friends.  He added that he enjoys the food that Louisville has offer.
    Reality TV super mama and Kentucky Derby Festival co-host Kate Gosselin enjoyed the gala among her list of list of appearances in the river city.  In addition to celebrating at the facilities, she looks forward to race day when she plans to support her always favorite number eight, which this year is “Dialed In.”
    Marisa Miller is considering “Pants on Fire.”
    “I heard a woman is riding, so that’s the one I’m going with,” said Miller who came to the party dressed exquisitely.  She added that feels that Kentucky is beautiful, and the people are as well.
    DMC of Run DMC admitted that he won’t be betting on the horses during the derby.
    “I’m just here for the fun.  My favorite has been the food, and I might have put on ten pounds this week and then I’ve got to spend four months losing it, but it’s all worth it,” said DMC.
    Louisville native Larry Birkhead joined the festivities of the party he so often enjoys.     

 “Where ever I go, I tell people about this party. I’m very excited to be supporting this charity,” said Birkhead.  He admitted to being very thankful to be a part of it, after serving as a volunteer for the Derby Festival and journalist years ago.
    Of course the crowd remained pumped as the stars kept pouring in, even amidst the chilling weather chilled.  The weather of course didn’t seem very cold at all when heart throb Nicholas Lachey made his appearance along with fiance Vanessa Minnillo.  
     But the fun of the night was inside the party where Travis Tritt, LeeAnn Womack, Boys II Men, Salt-N-Pepa, DMC, Kix Brooks, Joey Fatone, Miranda Lambert and Mary Wilson of the Supremes treated the audience to performances not seen everyday.  As “Walk this Way,” Joey Fatone’s version of “Sweet Child of Mine” swept the audience, the energy was indeed contagious and leading to dancing, enjoying Grey Goose and socializing.   
    The big success of course was the money raised to support the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center at the University of Kentucky, because that’s what the crown jewel party of the South is all about.