A radiant sun shined down on an old Kentucky home on Saturday as the Richmond Area Arts Council (RAAC) and the Lynwood Estate welcomed a small group of attendees for RAAC's first in-person event in a year.
Donned in fancy hats and bowties, attendees of RAAC's Derby Brunch at the Lawn at Lynwood enjoyed a morning of classic Derby Day treats and music on the grounds of Richmond's historic Lynwood Estate.
"There's no day like Derby Day," Kathy Reece said while adjusting her fancy navy blue hat of roses and feathers. "And today is just perfect. The sunshine, the clear sky, seeing people again -- it gives you hope that we can get back to normal soon."
RAAC Executive Director Randy said the brunch was the first in-person event the organization has hosted since February 2020.
The event sold out in a matter of weeks.
"We didn't know how it would go, really," Westbrook said of organizing the event on Saturday. "We have been following the safety measure and listening to the governor and we are just really glad to be out here and able to do this."
Just a week before the scheduled event, Governor Andy Beshear announced Kentucky's mask mandate for outdoor events with 1,000 or less capacity had been removed.
Arnold Brown said the governor's announcement made Saturday an even sweeter occasion for he and his wife.
"We are both vaccinated and when the governor announced that restrictions had been loosened for outdoor gatherings like this -- it was such a great feeling. It seems like Kentucky is on track to get this virus whipped. So today is almost like a celebration of that as well," Brown said.
Smiles abounded on Saturday as attendees ate a menu which consisted of mini hot browns, burgoo, and shrimp and grits provided by EKU Catering.
Brassfield provided entertainment as attendees laughed, talked, and toured the historic home of Lynwood -- the Queen Anne style mansion and former home of Pattie A. Clay.
Bryan and Melissa Tipton, owners of Lynwood Estate, gave tours of the historic home they have meticulously been renovating since they purchased the home five years ago.
During the tours, Bryan Tipton explained the mansion's origins and how the couple have brought the house back to its former glory.
"This is history. It's Madison County history, it's Kentucky history, and it is so important to me to get this right," Bryan Tipton said of his passion for home.
Westbrook said many attendees on Saturday shared their excitement for a chance to come together and celebrate.
"It looks like people are eager to get out and do things. It's a beautiful day with great weather and everyone is just enjoying themselves," the executive director said.