Final preparations underway for Oaks; Full list of security chan - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Final preparations underway for Oaks; Full list of security changes

Darren Rogers Darren Rogers

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Kentucky Oaks is often referred to as Louisville's day at the races, but don't let that knock it's importance.

"Oaks is all about the people who are from Louisville who want to embrace the Derby experience because they live here 365 days a year," said Louisville resident Alisa Zanetti.

But all eyes are still on Churchill Downs.

"It's become the second or third largest-attended horse race in America," said Darren Rogers with Churchill Downs.

After a full week of racing at the track, a crew of nearly 11,000 work overnight to get ready for Friday's Oaks.

"The transformation includes decorating the Twin Spires and wrapping them in pink. You'll even see some last minute flowers being planted," Rogers said.

And you'll notice some changes this year.

Next to the paddock, an old building has been torn down, opening up an area now known as The Plaza. It's great for people with General Admission tickets to come and watch the race on the big screen.>

"It had been around since the 1920's, but it really created bottleneck traffic around the paddock area. That is now freed up," Rogers said.

Most tickets are spoken for, but some general admission tickets are still available.

But when you head out, leave your coolers, glass bottles, cans, tents, umbrellas, and purses larger than 12 inches at home.

"Check out what you can and cannot bring before you come to Churchill Downs; we don't want anybody inconvenienced," Rogers said.

General Admission tickets for Kentucky Oaks are $25 if you buy them online before midnight. Click here to buy online. After midnight and at the gate Friday, tickets will be $30.

The list of items that will not be permitted for carry-in on Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Day includes;

  • Coolers (Styrofoam coolers and ice available at infield purchase points at prices comparable to those at off-track retailers)
  • Cans, glass bottles or containers
  • Camcorders
  • Cameras with detachable lenses
  • Cameras with lenses more than six inches in length
  • Tripods
  • Purses larger than 12 inches in any dimension
  • Pop up and patron tents, no poles or stakes of any kind
  • Grills
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Thermoses
  • Backpacks
  • Luggage (includes briefcases)
  • Duffel bags
  • Wagons
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons (including knives)
  • Fireworks
  • Noisemakers and air horns, mace, pepper spray or other personal defense sprays

Items permitted for carry-in by patrons on Oaks and Derby Days include;

  • Purses, but none larger than 12 inches in any dimension (all subject to search)
  • Baby/diaper bags – only if accompanied by a child (all subject to search)
  • Small cameras, but none equipped with detachable lenses or lenses more than 6 inches
  • Food items in clear plastic bags (maximum size 18" X 18" - no trash bags – limit of two bags per person)
  • "Box" lunches in clear plastic bags or containers (maximum size 18" X 18" - no trash bags)
  • Sunscreen (non-glass containers only)
  • Small personal music systems, radios and televisions (no boom boxes)
  • Cellular telephones, smart phones and tablets (patrons could be required to turn devices on)
  • Binoculars
  • Seat cushions (without back)                                      
  • Strollers (only if carrying a child)
  • Chairs (Gate 3 ONLY)
  • Blankets & tarpaulins (Gates 1 & 3 only) 

Click here for more from Churchill Downs on security changes.

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