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Derby Days

Symphony Board Members, staff and volunteers for the Billings Symphony Orchestra's "Derby Days," gather at High Plains Stables Friday, April 15, 2011. They are, from left, John VanAtta, Paul McKean, Ann McKean, Larry VanAtta, Shelley VanAtta, Marissa VanAtta riding Da Vinci, Sandra Culhane, Anne Harrigan, Tempe Connell, and Bill Culhane.

The Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale presents the Fifth Annual Symphony Derby Day Party, sponsored by The Oakland Companies, at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at Yellowstone Country Club, 5707 Bobby Jones Boulevard.

The Kentucky Derby, with its rich 137-year history, is full of hope, optimism and risk. This atmosphere is captured at this symphony fundraiser that mirrors both the Derby’s “Infield Party” party atmosphere and “Millionaire Row” style of hats and ties some 1,500 miles from the race.

Symphony Derby Day Party festivities include ESPN pre-race coverage and a live NBC simulcast of horse racing’s “Run For The Roses,” delicious Derby fare (full dinner buffet), cocktails (the best mint juleps in Billings), a thoroughbred auction and more. This year features horse jumping.

The event costs $50 per person in advance or $65 at the door. A reserved table for eight is $400. A portion of the fee is tax deductible. Attendees must be at least 18 years of age.

In keeping with Southern tradition, Derby attire is requested. Ladies are asked to wear Derby hats and men to wear ties. A contest for best hat and tie add to the fun. Guests 21 and older receive a complimentary Kentucky Derby Mint Julep in an official commemorative glass. All guests receive an official Symphony Derby Day Party photo taken with a live horse and its jockey in the “Winners’ Circle.”

A silent auction with items listed on the symphony website, including official Kentucky Derby swag and vacation getaways, rounds out the afternoon’s activities.

Proceeds benefit the Billings Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.

For more information or to order tickets, call the Billings Symphony at 252-3610, or visit