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Community comes out to celebrate 147th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs

The Hillside Public House at Doneckers in Ephrata, PA hosted their first Kentucky Derby party and many locals came out to celebrate the sporting event.

EPHRATA, Pa. — Medina Spirit upset the field and owner Bob Baffert set a record for his seventh win on Saturday at the 147th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

The Hillside Public House at Doneckers in Ephrata, PA hosted their first Kentucky Derby party and many locals came out to celebrate the sporting event.

 “I’ve always hoped that there were more Kentucky Derby events in the area,” said Penny Sorensen, ambassador of the Hillside Public House at Doneckers. “With the pandemic most of us spent the last year in sweatpants so I thought what a better way to get out of those sweatpants and get dressed up and celebrate” 

Racing fans were able to enjoy mint and ginger juleps as well as an array of BBQ meats and sushi while donning traditional derby attire.

 "I think people that come out will see the variety we offer, the atmosphere is great, there’s a jukebox, we have a shuffleboard, we have darts, we have video game machines and an all-around great experience,” said Travis Sorensen, ambassador of the Hillside Public House at Doneckers. 

The Hillside Public House at Doneckers passed inspections at the end of February 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic which pushed their pending approval off until October 2020.

After opening for a short eight weeks, they had to shut down again. Hillside’s landlord did not observe rent during the pandemic so their business was able to survive, and their restaurant could make their initial introduction to the community. 

“With events like these we are hoping to get the name out and have people come in and see the kind of quality food they can get and the quality drinks they can get here and just have a great dining experience," said Sorensen.