To celebrate the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, the Rocket City Trash Pandas hosted a Derby Day of their own at Toyota Field.
Dozens attended the event to watch “the fastest two minutes in sports” and take part in some of the other activities the team had planned. But in the midst of a pandemic, safety was still the top priority. Masks were required to enter Toyota Field and temperatures were taken at the gates.
Once inside, several people told me they were just glad they had a reason to leave the house.
“We’re having a good time just social distancing in the stands, it’s a good day to get out,” Cathy Brickey said.
For those like Brickey, Derby Day offered a reason to get out and get festive -- with hats, outfits and beverages in the traditional derby style.
“They are offering mint juleps and I am going there as soon as we’re done here,” Nicki Thompson added.
The event also offered some family friendly games and activities, like pony rides and hobby horse races -- all conducted with distance and masks.
With a smaller crowd and strong precautions in place from the moment you enter the stadium -- in this case masking, temperature checks and distancing -- people felt at ease.
“They’ve done a great job, we’ve got plenty of room to kinda roam and be socially distanced but still have a great time,” Thompson said.
“I’ve been to a few events that weren’t so great and this is perfectly fine,” Brickey told me.
Parents, like Jessica Moore, felt the same way.
“They’ve taken every precautions of the COVID-19 that you can possibly take to make sure that we’re all safe to be out here, to be around each other, to celebrate today,” she said.
“It feels great to be in a safe environment with your family, not having no worries at all. You just feel safe and at home.”