I regard the Kentucky Derby season as the best time of year. Not only does Louisville get to finally break free from the shackles of yet another dreary winter, but we get to do so while enjoying the most amazing array of events a single city could possibly pack into a two-week period.

A spectacular air and fireworks show … balloon races … a one-of-a-kind steamboat showdown … one of America’s most endearing parades … all these, and much more, make up the magic of the Kentucky Derby Festival. And this year, more than any other in recent memory, I say, “Thank goodness for the Kentucky Derby Festival.”

Because, you see, we needed this Derby Festival. We needed it to wash away the nasty taste of the youthful violence that caused such concern back in March…

…Needed it to reassure many frightened citizens that their downtown is still a welcoming, safe place for friends and families to gather in peace…

…And needed it to once again focus the rest of the world’s attention on all the great things Louisville has to offer instead of the nonsense of a few.

Louisvillians of every stripe celebrated yet another Derby season without rancor, and with more enthusiasm than ever before, for all the world to see.

Congratulations to Mike Berry and the entire Derby Festival team, and to Churchill Downs for another excellent Derby.

Call and tell us what the Derby Festival means to you.

I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.