LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The sunny skies on Derby drew in almost 165,000 people under the twin spires, the second largest crowd ever.
"I even said when I walked out, 'This is great, this is my weather,'" Karen Schneider said of Derby day.
Sunday she decided to recover from a long Derby week outside on yet another warm day.
"I just think the excitement was building all week long as the weather continued to warm up," Schneider said.
Bardstown restaurants fed off the Derby frenzy.
"This is the busiest time of the year and when the weather is nice, it's even more busy," This Highlands Tap owner, Tommy Clemons said.
Former jockey, Charlie Woods, reminisced about the stormy days at the track.
"You have to put up with the elements whether it's rain, shine, it doesn't matter whether the sun is out, if it's a sloppy track. You put on goggles and you make it happen," Woods told WAVE 3 News.
Another man from New Jersey planned his Derby bachelor party for months. He was happy to leave his jacket home.
"In New Jersey it's been horrendous, the winter's been brutal," Brian Sweeney said. "The winter has been negative six degrees some days."
The Derby brings in around $130 million a year to the local economy -- rain or shine. Near the track the weather helped those who park cars too.
"If you've got bad weather, the people don't want to have to walk very far in the rain," parking lot operator, Bob Adams said.
He's parked cars at his property, which is two block away from Churchill each Derby day since he was 8. That's a tradition that has him looking up every time.
"When I'm out here and looking at the sky and when you get some clouds covering up the sky you lose the sunshine, you begin to worry a little bit," Adams said.
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