Thursday, April 10:

PHOTO/VIDEO OPPORTUNITY – Galt House East Grand Ballroom. Volunteers will be setting up for Friday’s kick-off luncheon from 5 to 7 p.m.


Friday, April 11:

8:30 AM – 10 AM Final set-up for the They’re Off! Luncheon in the Galt House East Grand Ballroom. Volunteers will be putting on the finishing touches for the luncheon.


10:15 AM – 10:45 AM Kirk Herbstreit will be available for an interview/photography session in the Breathitt Room of the Galt House East Hotel. A KDF media credential will permit access. Please note: this is the only available interview time. Mr. Herbstreit will arrive in Louisville directly before the event and depart after the luncheon.

COVERAGE NOTE: Please do not park in the Galt House turnaround area on Fourth Street.


April 10, 2014. Louisville, KY.   – ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit will be the featured speaker for the Kentucky Derby Festival’s 58th annual They’re Off! Luncheon on Friday, April 11. In “GameDay” style, Herbstreit will address approximately 1,500 Derby Festival supporters and patrons in attendance for this community tradition, which begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House East Hotel, site of the festive event since 1974.


Since 1995, Kirk has been a college football analyst for ESPN/ABC.  He joined ESPN’s College GameDay program in 1996, making 2014 his 19th season on the Emmy Award winning show.  In 2006, he joined Brent Musburger for ABC’s Saturday Night Prime Time broadcast, television’s first ever weekly prime time college football game.  Kirk has also called the last eight Rose Bowl games and the last six BCS National Championship games.  Kirk has been nominated seven times for the Sports Emmy Award as television’s top studio analyst and is a two time winner of the Award.  In addition, College GameDay is a three-time winner of the Sports Emmy Award as television’s top studio show.  He had his wife reside in Nashville, Tennessee with their 4 boys.


First held in 1957, the second year of the Derby Festival, the They’re Off! Luncheon serves as the time-honored kick-off to each year’s Festival. Herbstreit, joins Dick Vitale, Terry Bradshaw, Bill Walton, Archie Manning, Greg Gumbel, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Larry King, Bob Costas, Robin Roberts, Cawood Ledford, Phil Simms and Howard Cosell in a long list of luminaries who have entertained They’re Off! Luncheon audiences for the past 58 years. This year’s luncheon will also feature the presentation of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Volunteer of the Year Award and the Fifth Third Bank Silver Horseshoe Award for service to the community.


Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.

January 11 - April 20
April 11 - April 21
April 15 - April 16