Celebrities flock to Louisville for a slew of Derby Eve parties

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville throws a party that's the envy of people across America on the first Saturday in May.

But red carpets will be rolling out all over town the night before the Run for the Roses, and celebrities will be taking it all in - including actress Sharon Stone, Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino and actor Beau Bridges.

They'll walk the red carpet at this year's Unbridled Eve at the Galt House to benefit Blessings in a Backpack and Fund for the Arts. 

"Each gala has its own feel," said Unbridled Eve organizer Tammy York Day. "We say classy but edgy -- nothing but fun and party with a purpose."

Across town in the Highlands, the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala boasts a guest list including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, actor Tracy Morgan, comedian Larry David and long-time TV journalist Katie Couric. And there's a long list of entertainers expected to take the stage, including Kid Rock and Harry Connick Jr. at a gala that donates money to diabetes research.

Planning for these parties starts months in advance.

"It's a process," Day said. "We have an entertainment committee that's been doing this for a long time with centers of influence in different areas, and when they see what kind of feel we're looking for for a gala, it's just a process of availability and tour dates."

Tickets are sold out for most events, but you can't buy your way into one party. There are no tickets to late-night bash Fillies & Stallions, just invitations.

"The key difference is we have a later start time ,and we did that on purpose because we don't want to compete with those other events," said Russ Renbarger with Fillies & Stallions. "They're great events, but the younger celebrities that come into town at 10 or 11 o'clock looking to cut a rug and looking for a Vegas-style experience ... that's what we provide."

Past guests include Erin Andrews, Shaquille O'Neal and Ashton Kutcher. If you'd like to get on the list for this party at the Mellwood Arts Center, start by sending an email and cross your fingers your social media makes the cut.

"We have a team that goes through and looks at people and looks at their social media and who they are and why they should come and what they would actually bring to the party," said Brian Rice, the organizer for Fillies & Stallions. "It's not just about oh I've got a picture and I'm pretty. It's about who are you and what kind of energy do you bring to this event."

Former NBA basketball player and Louisville businessman Junior Bridgeman knows how to throw a party, and he's hosting a brand new Derby Eve event to benefit the West End School. The Trifecta is invitation only. 

Celebrity guests include comedian Sinbad and Grammy-winning singers Miguel and Jill Scott.

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Unbridled Eve Gala releases 2016 celebrity guest list

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