Saturday is the 100th running of the Louisiana Derby, the most important horse race on the Fair Grounds' calendar and a precursor to the Kentucky Derby in May. The Fair Grounds is pulling out all the stops to celebrate.
The Fair Grounds is staging the first-ever Louisiana Derby Infield Festival with a concert and a food truck festival within the wide-open expanse inside the racing oval, familiar to most locals as the site of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
James Mulvihill, Communications and Pari-Mutuel Marketing Manager for the Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots says they have 17 food trucks and pop-up vendors lined up, some of which are regularly at the Fair Grounds and some established New Orleans institutions that are making a foray into the food truck arena.
Cowboy Mouth will be performing. "They've been a favorite at Fair Grounds for years as part of Jazz Fest and we're excited that we've got a band that not only represents Louisiana so well but is familiar with the Fair Grounds infield from some legendary Jazz Fest performances," says Mulvihill.
This is the most important horse race in the south, as it's the final stop for horses hoping to make their next start in the world's most famous horse race, the Kentucky Derby. Mulvihill says, "This is a big day for serious horse racing fans. The Louisiana Derby is worth about a million dollars on the day overall, it's about $2.5 million worth of purses."
The Louisiana Derby will be run at 5:45 p.m. and broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
Click here for more on the Derby.