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Local businesses benefit from Derby excitement

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Posted at 10:20 PM, May 01, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Derby fever goes far beyond Churchill Downs, which has been good for Lexington businesses.

While some enjoyed the races from the stands, others joined in on the fun from home. What’s a watch party without good food or some sweet treats? Derby-themed cookies, cakes and pastries didn't stay on the shelves for too long at Martine's Pastries this weekend. Owner Martine Holzman says the increase in business was surprising.

“We are normally busy, but I think we were extra busy because of all the smaller parties that have been around town,” said Holzman.

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One of those parties was at Elkhorn Tavern, where fans came together to watch the big race.

“We realized we were going to be down here for it. We were like let's go somewhere where there's going to be buzz,” said Mason Farr, who was visiting Lexington from Ohio.

That buzz meant good business for the restaurant.

“It's been very busy and we're excited about that,” said manager Levi Lamy. “I'm actually bringing out some more bartenders to help take care of everything.”

Lamy says they hosted a watch party last year, when the race was moved to September, and now that things have opened up more, this year is much better. Derby fans agree.

“Being able to hang out with our friends, watch a Derby race that we can all celebrate and cheer on with all these people here. I mean, that's the big excitement,” said Martina Cindric, who attended the watch party.