Patrons kicked off the evening with a reception in the Paddock, which was festively decorated with jockey silks above food stations by the paddock stalls. A Highclere Castle backdrop took center stage as a photo opportunity for guests. The Jon Bauer Jazz Trio strolled the area entertaining the party and ushered patrons to the Clubhouse and Suite level for the gala by a “Call to Post” bugle.
At the gala, florals by Susana Ascendia in mint julep cups adorned tables. Enlarged racing photos evoked discussions of WYES’ documentary, New Orleans Fair Grounds Memories. Life-sized cast character cutouts graced the area for additional photo ops. Lending to the atmosphere, guests arrived in “Downton Abbey” or derby attire.
Margaret and Ken Beer, CeCe and Trevor Colhoun and Allison and Ben Tiller served as Co-Chairs. Celebrate! Catered Events by Windsor Court provided delectable food, and Churchill Downs Incorporated and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots provided libations.
There was also a raffle with two extravagant prizes: The first was a bourbon basket with cocktail and wine pairing dinner for 12. The second was a three-night stay for two in an ocean view king room at The Cove, Eleuthera, Bahamas Resort & Spa.
EVENT AT A GLANCE
What: “Downton Goes To The Races,” benefiting WYES
When: Thursday, April 9
Where: New Orleans Fair Grounds