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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Churchill Downs has added pop-up tents to its list of items that cannot be brought into the track on Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks days.
The Oaks will run Friday, May 3, and the Derby on Saturday, May 4. Admission gates open at 8 a.m. each day, with post time for the first races at 10:30 a.m.
The track says pop-up tents have been more popular in recent years among fans in the infield. After the threat of high storms and winds during the afternoon of the Oaks last year, the Downs ordered the infield to be evacuated -- the first time ever.
Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs, said in a news release, "While Kentucky Oaks Day infield evacuation was smooth and the response by our patrons wonderful, it was immediately obvious to all members of our track team and our law enforcement and public safety partners that those tents, and especially the metal poles and stakes that secured them, posed a significant safety threat to patrons, horses and anyone on our grounds."
The concern was that with the possibility of heavy rain, lighting, and high winds, there was no time for people in the infield to dismantle their tents.
From Churchill Downs:
Along with pop up and patron tents, poles and stakes, the list of items not permitted for carry-in on Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Days includes.
Glass bottles or containers;
Luggage (includes briefcases);
Weapons (including knives).
Items permitted for carry-in by patrons on Oaks and Derby Days include:
Coolers allowed in INFIELD ONLY through Gates 1 & 3. Contents may include non-alcoholic beverages (no glass containers) and ice and food packaged in clear plastic containers. All coolers are subject to search;
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 boomboxes)
Cellular telephones, smartphones and tablets (patrons could be required to turn devices on);
Cameras and camcorders (patrons could be required to turn devices on);