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This cup, handmade by Berea College Crafts especially for the Gala on Derby Eve, will serve as the bourbon-tasting cup for guests to the new Bourbon-Tasting Tent. Purchase of the $25 cup grants access to the tent, which will remain open throughout the May 6 Gala on Derby Eve.

If dinner and dancing aren’t enough to wet your whistle, the Gala on Derby Eve has a new trick up its sleeve. For the first time ever, the 2016 Gala will feature a Bourbon-Tasting

“Bourbon pairs well with the Gala, because it’s as steeped in Kentucky tradition as the Derby itself,” says Julie Hatfield, special events coordinator with Hospice Care Plus.

Access to the tent comes with the $25 purchase of a bourbon-tasting cup, handmade for Gala guests by Berea College Crafts. The cups can be purchased at the time of reservation, either online or by phone ( or 859-986-1500).

Available bourbon brands will include top-shelf, award-winning selections from Elijah Craig, Old Weller Antique, E.H. Taylor, Cassius Clay, Jefferson’s, and Bulleit. The organizing committee is also working hard to secure the well-known and much sought after Pappy Van Winkle.

“We’re excited about the tent,” says Julie. “Both the bar and the bourbon display case will be made with bourbon barrels. And the candles on the tables will be covered with cut bourbon bottles.”

Reservations for the Gala on Derby Eve are open through May 2. Learn more about the Gala and make your reservations at the Gala’s online event page.