​Spring Family Reunion at Keeneland, April 13, 2019

 

 

The UK Parent and Family Association is excited to host this year’s Spring Family Reunion at Keeneland on Saturday, April 13, 2019. In addition to an afternoon of races, UK’s Spring Family Reunion will feature lunch inside the Keeneland Sales Pavilion, behind-the-scenes tours, access to a reserved seating section in the grandstand, and more! Complimentary reserved parking is available while supplies last and will be assigned in the order tickets were purchased. Parking passes will be mailed in March. Be sure to download the UK Parent and Family Association mobile app at https://guidebook.com/g/ukparents/ for the most up-to-date information and event schedule.

If you are interested in attending Keeneland but do not wish to participate in the Spring Family Reunion, ticketing information for general admission and reserved grandstand seating can be found at https://tickets.keeneland.com/Online. Order your grandstand tickets as soon as possible; seats typically sell out during the spring meets.

Every Saturday during the race meet, guests can experience the sunrise, sights, and sounds of Sunrise Trackside at Keeneland, including Breakfast with the Works, children’s activities, tours, a paddock demonstration, a handicapping seminar, and jockey Q&A. For more information, visit www.keeneland.com/discover/sunrise-trackside.

 

Tickets:

Ticket sales have closed for the 2019 Spring Family Reunion. Spring Family Reunion tickets will not be available for sale at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion; however, tickets to Keeneland may be purchased on site at the Keeneland ticket office (pending availability). No refunds will be issued from the Parent and Family Association after February 13, 2019. If you find that you will not be able to use your tickets at the last minute, we recommend reaching out to parents and family members who may be looking for tickets on the UK Wildcat Families closed Facebook group.

Those who have purchased tickets to the Spring Family Reunion should have received a confirmation email with a link to download your tickets to your phone or to print. Bring a copy of your tickets (either printed or on your phone) to the Spring Family Reunion check-in on Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. to receive your Keeneland wristband. Wristbands will be required for entry to Keeneland and the Spring Family Reunion events.

We ask that all Spring Family Reunion participants check in before 1 p.m. inside the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. If you are running late on the day of the event, UK staff will be stationed at the UK Welcome Wagon next to the Keeneland Welcome Center near the South Plaza Gate until 2:30 p.m. with the remaining wristbands. If you are concerned about your possible arrival time, you may have your student check in ahead of time in 224 McVey Hall on Thursday, April 11, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., or Friday, April 12, 9 a.m. – noon.

 

Tickets include:

Entry to UK's reserved section of the covered grandstand (section I). Seats are not guaranteed and are on a first-come, first-served basis (please do not hold seats). Most Keeneland guests find they prefer to walk around the track and experience the racing atmosphere. If you have family members who need seating, we would suggest finding seating in the reserved grandstand area before the races begin. Guests who find it difficult to walk up and down stairs may want to take one of the guest elevators to the second floor and try to sit at the top of the reserved grandstand section. Additional general admission seating may be found in some of the café areas or below the grandstand area, though this seating is not guaranteed and is rarely in a covered area. Lawn chairs and umbrellas are permitted, except for inside the Clubhouse.

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Complimentary reserved parking for one vehicle per family. Complimentary reserved parking is available while supplies last and will be assigned in the order tickets were purchased. Reserved parking areas are close enough to the race course for most guests to walk. If you find that you need assistance, please call the Keeneland ticketing office at 859-288-4299. If your family will be arriving in more than one vehicle, please utilize the additional free parking available at Keeneland. Reserved parking passes were mailed on March 11, 2019, to the address given at the time tickets were purchased. If you purchased tickets to the Spring Family Reunion and have not received your parking pass by March 20, 2019, please contact parents@lsv.uky.edu. Parking passes are not needed for additional free parking areas at Keeneland. 

Keeneland provides shuttles from The Meadows and The Hill parking areas to and from the grandstand. Look for green and white striped tents near your parking area. Shuttles run until 30 minutes after the final race.

Lunch in the Limestone Café and Pavilion Bar. Guests will enjoy a delicious barbeque lunch inside the Keeneland Sales Pavilion while participating in a variety of family-friendly activities. See the full menu below. 

Behind-the-scenes tour of Keeneland. Walking tours of Keeneland will begin in the Keeneland Sales Arena. Tours last approximately 30 minutes and are on a first-come, first-served basis; all UK guests must check in at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion front desk before their tour begins.

Exclusive handicapping seminar in the Sales Arena. If you are new to horse racing or just need a refresher, join Keeneland experts as they share their knowledge about betting and tips for making race selections. Keeneland programs will be available for guests participating in the handicapping seminar (while supplies last).

Family photos. After you have completed your behind-the-scenes tour of Keeneland, stop by the UK photo booth across the hall from the Pavilion Bar to snap a few pics. Photos taken by Parent and Family Association staff will be available on the UK Parent and Family Association Facebook page a few weeks after the Spring Family Reunion.

Best Hat/Fascinator Competition. Though Kentucky Derby fans may claim that event to be the pinnacle of millinery exhibition, the tradition of hat fashion at the races has become one of the highlights of the Keeneland experience. So, whether you are a hat enthusiast or simply interested in joining the fun, wear your best hat or fascinator to the UK Spring Family Reunion for a chance to win.

To enter, register your hat or fascinator at the Best Hat/Fascinator Competition table in the Pavilion Bar between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. A picture of your hat will be taken and displayed at the table, and each contestant’s name will be placed in a drawing for a variety of prizes. Contestants must be present to enter but do not have to be present to win. All contestants must have a ticket to the Spring Family Reunion. A panel of judges will vote on the entries at 12:30 p.m., and a best hat will be selected and posted to the UK Parent and Family Association Facebook page the following week.  

If you are interested in learning a little more about the tradition of horse racing hat fashion, check out this article from Time Magazine - http://time.com/4317873/kentucky-derby-hat-history/

Make Your Own Fascinator. If wearing large hats is not really your thing, then maybe a fascinator is for you. Stop by our craft table and make your own fascinator to wear to the races (while supplies last).

 

Event Maps:

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Schedule:

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.                     Check-in at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion Front Desk

Check-in will begin at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion front desk at 9 a.m. After 1 p.m., you can check in at the UK Welcome Wagon next to the Keeneland Welcome Center near the South Plaza Gate. Our staff will be stationed at the UK Welcome Wagon until 2:30 p.m. Please bring your printed or electronic tickets on your mobile device to be scanned at check-in. All Spring Family Reunion guests will receive a wristband at check-in that will serve as their access to Keeneland, lunch, and tours as well as entry to the UK reserved seating section in section I.

UK's Big Blue Pantry will be taking donations at check-in to help students experiencing food insecurity. Bring a bag of non-perishable goods and personal hygiene products to the check-in desk and receive a Spring Family Reunion tote bag (while supplies last; first-come, first-served). 

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9 a.m. – 2 p.m.                    Welcome Wagon Information Booth

If you have questions or need directions, stop by the UK Welcome Wagon next to the Keeneland Welcome Center near the South Plaza Gate. Our staff and volunteers will be happy to assist you.

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9 a.m. – 11 a.m.                   Behind-the-scenes Tours of Keeneland

Walking tours will begin in the Keeneland Sales Arena. Tours will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and all UK guests must check in at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion front desk before their tour begins. The last tour of the day will begin at 10:45 a.m.

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10 a.m. – 1 p.m.                   Family Photos

After you have completed your behind-the-scenes tour of Keeneland, stop by the UK photo booth across the hall from the Pavilion Bar to snap a few pics. Photos taken by Parent and Family Association staff will be available on the UK Parent and Family Association Facebook page a few weeks after the Spring Family Reunion.

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11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.           Handicapping Seminar in the Sales Arena

If you are new to horse racing or just need a refresher, join Keeneland experts as they share their knowledge about betting and tips for making race selections.

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11 a.m. – 1 p.m.                   Lunch in the Limestone Café and Pavilion Bar

Guests will enjoy a delicious barbeque lunch inside the Keeneland Sales Pavilion while participating in a variety of family-friendly activities. See the lunch menu below.

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1:05 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.          Races

Races are run approximately every half hour.

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Be sure to download the UK Parent and Family Association mobile app for the most up-to-date event information.

 

Lunch Menu:

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (BBQ Sauce, Brioche Buns)

Low Country Green Beans (Sweet Onions, Tomatoes)

Sour Cream Potato Salad (Mustard Seed, Scallion, Cracked Pepper)

Southern Cole Slaw

Kettle Chips

Keeneland Bread Pudding (Maker’s Mark Bourbon Sauce)

Sweet/Unsweet Iced Tea and Water

*Vegetarian option available upon request at the point of ticket purchase

 

Keeneland Fashion:

While the reserved seating dining rooms have a dress code, most areas of Keeneland do not. Therefore, you’ll see a little bit of everything in the grandstand and paddock area. However, the tradition is to dress up a bit and make an occasion of your day at the races! Gentlemen are often in collared shirts and slacks, while the ladies can be found in dresses, nice skirts, or slacks. Denim and athletic attire are not permitted in most dining rooms and therefore are not generally worn by most during their visit to Keeneland.

The UK Spring Family Reunion will be held indoors; however, the tours and races will be outside. 

 

Directions and Parking:

Directions to Keeneland from various locations can be found at http://keeneland.com/visiting-keeneland#parking-directions.

Complimentary reserved parking is available while supplies last and will be assigned in the order tickets were purchased. Reserved parking passes will be mailed in March. If you do not receive yours by March 20, email parents@lsv.uky.edu.  

Hang the reserved parking pass on the rear-view mirror of your vehicle on the day of the event and Keeneland parking attendants will direct you to your reserved parking area.

If your family will be arriving in more than one vehicle, please utilize the additional free parking available at Keeneland. This additional free parking does not require a parking pass and is available on a first-come, first-served basis in rows 15-20 and rows 28-34 near the grandstand, in The Meadow, and on The Hill adjacent to the Entertainment Center. For more information about Keeneland parking and shuttles, visit http://keeneland.com/racing/plan-your-day-races.

Keeneland is accessible to patrons with disabilities. Please call the Keeneland ticketing office at 859-288-4299 for more information.

 

Hotel Information:

Many families make their first visit to Lexington for UK campus tours or orientations that aren’t scheduled at the height of demand for hotel rooms. The popularity of Keeneland brings thousands of folks in every spring so hotel rooms are naturally going to be more expensive and in demand. You are encouraged to make hotel reservations at your earliest convenience. If you find that the available accommodations aren’t in your budget, you might want to seek an alternative time to come to campus or consider staying outside of Lexington in a neighboring community. Hotels will be less expensive when Keeneland isn’t running (meets are held every October and April). Visit bbnhotels.com for information on area accommodations.

 

Top Five Tips for Keeneland Newcomers:

  1. Explore! Don’t just take a seat and watch the races all day; get out and explore all that Keeneland has to offer! Wander over to the paddock and inspect the horses and jockeys as they prepare for the next race. Visit the Keeneland Shop for a special souvenir. Catch a race from rail and cheer as the horses go thundering past you. Take it all in!
  2. Hungry for an afternoon snack? Try burgoo, which is a yummy stew, or Keeneland’s famous bread pudding. You’ll find lots of options throughout the grandstand area.  
  3. New to betting? Purchase a program and download the Keeneland race day app to get started. Look for BETologists roaming the crowds or stop by Wagering Central on the first floor Grandstand for tips and assistance.
  4. Photo ops! Strike a pose in front of a line of colorful jockey statues near the paddock. Get up close to a horse, one of Keeneland’s outriders (they escort horses and jockeys from the paddock area to the starting gate), between races near the tunnel. Snap a pic in the paddock by the tall Keeneland green Rolex clock or the iconic sycamore tree.
  5. Get to know your fellow racing fans, especially in the Spring Family Reunion reserved grandstand section. High five over your racing wins, swap betting tips, make some memories, and have fun!

Additional FAQs:

What can I expect from the Spring Family Reunion?

We have so much fun at Family Weekend every fall, and the Spring Family Reunion is a chance for us to get back together and enjoy a day at Keeneland! If you’re planning on joining in the fun, expect larger crowds and traffic. More than 38,000 racing fans spent the day at Keeneland the day of the 2018 Spring Family Reunion! We’ll provide you information on shuttle and walking options, along with reserved parking options, so that you can make plans.

Please note that the reunion requires an advanced ticket purchase. We do our very best to accommodate as many families as possible, but we are limited by venue capacities and safety regulations. Please purchase tickets as soon as possible after they go on sale to avoid disappointment.

The reunion and Keeneland races will go on rain or shine, so please check the weather and plan accordingly. Spring weather in Kentucky can be unpredictable – be prepared!

The Spring Family Reunion is different from Family Weekend. We plan the reunion party at Keeneland on Saturday and leave the rest of the weekend open for your family to determine how you want to spend your time. Do you want to explore campus? Do you want to check out downtown Lexington? Do you want to go hiking? Chat with your family and plan the weekend that most appeals to you!

 

What if my family can’t come to the Spring Family Reunion?

We know that no one weekend is going to work for all UK families! If you can’t come to UK’s Spring Family Reunion but want assistance making plans for a visit at another time, reach out to the Parent and Family Association. Our staff loves to talk about our favorite things in Lexington and around campus, so we’d be happy to offer you guidance as you make plans! Call us at 859-257-2752, email us at parents@lsv.uky.edu, or post on the UK Wildcat Families Facebook group to connect with other UK families and hear about their favorite things to do.

 

Can we bring grandparents and other family members?

Yes! We are all part of the Wildcat family! We strive to offer activities at the reunion that will entertain the youngest and oldest members of the family and everyone in between. If there are concerns about special needs in your party, reach out in advance to the Parent and Family Association staff at 859-257-2752 or parents@lsv.uky.edu. We are happy to help you make plans!

 

Will the Spring Family Reunion sell out?

We can’t guarantee ticket availability and the event did sell out last year. We require an advanced ticket purchase so that we can make plans to accommodate all guests. Please purchase tickets as soon as possible after they go on sale to avoid disappointment. We do our very best to accommodate as many families as possible, but we are limited by venue capacities and safety regulations.

 

Will I have an assigned seat in the reserved grandstand area?

No. Tickets to the Spring Family Reunion include access to a reserved area in the grandstand, but seats are not guaranteed and are on a first-come, first-served basis (please do not hold seats). Most Keeneland guests find they prefer to walk around the track and experience the racing atmosphere. If you have family members who need seating, we would suggest finding seating in the reserved grandstand area before the races begin. Guests who find it difficult to walk up and down stairs may want to take one of the guest elevators to the second floor and try to sit at the top of the reserved grandstand section. Additional general admission seating may be found in some of the café areas or below the grandstand area, though this seating is not guaranteed and is rarely in a covered area. Lawn chairs and umbrellas are permitted, except for inside the Clubhouse.

 

How do I get my tickets to the event?

Once you have purchased your tickets, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to download your tickets to your phone or to print. Bring a copy of your tickets (either printed or on your phone) to the Spring Family Reunion check-in on Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion to receive your Keeneland wristband. Wristbands will be required for entry to Keeneland and the Spring Family Reunion events.

We ask that all Spring Family Reunion participants check in before 1 p.m. in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. If you are running late on the day of the event, UK staff will be stationed at the UK Welcome Wagon next to the Keeneland Welcome Center near the South Plaza Gate between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. with the remaining wristbands. If you are concerned about your possible arrival time, you may have your student check in ahead of time in 224 McVey Hall on Thursday, April 11, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., or Friday, April 12, 9 a.m. – noon.

 

Why are tickets to the Spring Family Reunion so expensive?

We are sensitive to the needs of families paying college tuition and make a concerted effort to offer events that are as affordable as possible. For 2019, we reduced the Spring Family Reunion ticket prices as compared to 2018. Ticket prices include the cost of grandstand seating, a catered meal, access to Keeneland BETologists and tour guides, and reserved parking. The Parent and Family Association happily subsidizes a portion of the total expenses for the event in order to make it a bit more affordable for participants.

 

Will the Spring Family Reunion go on if it rains?

The reunion will go on rain or shine, so please check the weather and plan accordingly. Spring weather in Kentucky can be unpredictable – be prepared!

 

Where can I find the photo booth photos taken at the Spring Family Reunion?

Family photos will be uploaded to a 2019 Spring Family Reunion photo album on the UK Parents Facebook page a couple of weeks after the Spring Family Reunion.

 

Will alcohol be served at the Spring Family Reunion lunch?

Alcohol will not be served at the Spring Family Reunion lunch; however, several Keeneland concessions locations will be available on site once the races begin. You cannot bring your own alcohol into the lunch or inside the admission gate.

 

Tell me more about the Big Blue Pantry food drive.

The Big Blue Pantry serves University of Kentucky students who are experiencing food insecurity or hunger. Any UK student, with a valid UK ID, is eligible to receive non-perishable goods from the Big Blue Pantry by going to the basement of White Hall, next to the Post Office, during open hours. 

During the Spring Family Reunion, families can donate items to the Big Blue Pantry during check-in inside the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. Families who donate a bag of items may receive a Spring Family Reunion tote bag (while supplies last; first-come, first-served). For a list of suggested donation items, please visit www.ukcco.org/bigbluepantry. The Big Blue Pantry is NOT currently accepting ramen noodles, canned corn, or canned green beans.

If your family is unable to donate to the Big Blue Pantry during the Spring Family Reunion but would like to donate at a later date, please contact bigbluepantry@gmail.com.

 

Who may I contact if I have additional questions?

If you have any questions about the Spring Family Reunion, email us at parents@lsv.uky.edu or call 859-257-2752. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the most recent campus updates. UK staff will be on site at the check-in desk in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., and at the Welcome Wagon, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., on the day of the event and would be happy to help answer any questions you may have in person. Staff may not have access to email or social media on the day of the Spring Family Reunion.