(Edited press release)
With the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) just around the corner, Churchill Downs has announced that Nick Ferrara, also known as “RiNickulous,” will be the new chief party officer of the 2009 Kentucky Derby infield.
The reigning CPO, Tim “Stymie” Snyder will formally relinquish his party-ruling duties today, making Ferrara the official master of the “People’s Party” May 2.
Ferrara will serve as the official “spokesperson” for the infield and participate in numerous media interviews about infield party preparations, and he will also preside over a specially designated CPO infield encampment throughout Derby weekend. The CPO’s “boardroom on wheels” will be a deluxe recreational vehicle that will offer food and hospitality, games, and activities, and a photo booth to capture all of the craziness of the People’s Party.
“First of all, I’d just like to thank the Academy…no, but seriously, this is ridiculously cool,” said Ferrara. “Being named the new CPO is a total honor and I can’t wait to prove to the folks at Churchill Downs that they picked the right partier for the job. I have some pretty big shoes to fill, but I have the party know-how and more than a few tricks up my sleeve.
“Churchill Downs has also asked me to share some great news with their infield guests. Coolers will again be allowed in the infield at Churchill Downs for this year’s Kentucky Derby (May 2) and Kentucky Oaks (May 1)! I know that coolers were a big part of the infield vibe in years past, and with everybody’s partying funds being tight these days, I think it’s great that Churchill Downs management, with the support of law enforcement officials, decided it was time to bring back this great tradition.”
Ferrara, 30, hails from Southern California and grew up across the street from Santa Anita Race Course, which hosts the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), a well-known Derby prep race. Ferrara has long held an interest in horse racing, having owned racehorses before. He was selected from a group of more than 300 individuals who applied for 2009 CPO contest through www.ChiefPartyOfficer.com and through 2008 CPO Stymie Snyder’s visit to Super Bowl XLVIII in Tampa, Fla.
This year, coolers will be allowed in the infield only through gates 1 and 3. Cooler contents may include ice, non-alcoholic beverages (no glass containers permitted), and food items packaged in clear-plastic containers. All coolers are subject to search by on-site security personnel.
General admission tickets for this year’s Kentucky Derby may be purchased at http://www.kentuckyderby.com/2009/tickets/buy with a Visa debit or credit card. Derby tickets are $40, while Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) tickets are $25.