LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There's one sure bet this Derby weekend: Louisville is THE place to see or be seen -- and not just because of the world's most famous horse race.
The most exciting two minutes in sports goes off Saturday, but the celebration gets going Friday night with three galas that put the Derby City on the map as one of the best places to party.
Three legendary parties attract some of the world's most famous athletes, musicians and actors: the Barnstable Brown Gala, The Trifecta, and Unbridled Eve.
Some of the celebrities attending this year's galas include: Goo Goo Dolls frontman John Rzeznick, REM's Mike Mills, NFL Hall of Famer Warren Moon
and actors Ray Liotta, Mira Sorvino and Dennis Quaid to name just a few.
The galas are more than just celebrations: they're parties with a purpose.
Proceeds from the Unbridled Eve Gala at the Galt House will benefit Blessings in a Backpack and the Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund -- and guests will literally be rubbing elbows with the stars.
"Our celebrities are right in the middle of things," said Tonya York Dees. "No one is segregated, there's no VIP section, everyone is in the same area."
Also on the guest list, former professional and local athletes in attendance: Luke Hancock, Robbie Valentine, and Bobby Petrino.
The Unbridled Eve Derby Gala also includes an online auction with items include like an Angel's Envy package, a 'Mockingjay' pin from Jennifer Lawrence's personal collection, passes to the final round of the 2019 Masters, and an autographed whip Victor Espinoza used with American Pharaoh.
Click here to bid on the auction items.
A few blocks away, at the new Omni, Louisville businessman Junior Bridgeman and his family will host The Trifecta again this year. It's named for Bridgeman's three children who were able to snag the man at the top of their wish list to entertain for his first Kentucky Derby: multi-Grammy winner Stevie Wonder.
"Stevie Wonder -- that in itself is -- we are so blessed he would come to Louisville to perform for us," said Eden Bridgeman. "All in attendance will have a 'wow' experience just hearing his music."
Blackish star Anthony Anderson will walk the red carpet at The Trifecta, along with actor Don Cheadle, and Star Jones. And the stars aren't the only things set to dazzle guests.
"I want people to be transported when they arrive to the event, not even realize they're at a hotel. So every aspect of this whole experience has been thought of from how you're greeted to the first cocktail to the food."
A late addition to The Trifecta guest list is Empire star Terrence Howard.
The fun doesn't end until early Saturday morning, with Diddy hosting the after party from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. at the Louisville Palace..
The Trifecta benefits the West End School and Kosair Charities autism programs.
BARNSTABLE BROWN PARTY
Now in its 30th year, it's apparent why Conde Nast named the Barnstable Brown party in the Highlands among the 10 best in the world!
Patricia Barnstable Brown will co-host the event with her twin sister, Priscilla Barnstable
Kid Rock, Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora, Bobby Brown, Salt n Pepa, are all on the guest list, along with actors Ty Burrell from Modern Family, Blair Underwood from Quantico, Stephen Amell from Arrow and athletes like Aaron Rogers and former Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo.
Proceeds from the party are earmarked for diabetes research.
All of this year's galas are sold out, but here's a tip for next year: if you can't shell out big bucks for the galas, there are less expensive options that allow you to attend like The Trifecta after party, and 'dance only' tickets for Unbridled Eve. However, those events are sold out this year, as well.
"Our historic 30th year will be extraordinary," Patricia said in a statement. "It will be one for the history books.”
The Barnstable Brown Gala has raised and donated approximately $14 million to the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center at the University of Kentucky over the past 11 years.
Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.