Following Derby, work begins to clean up Churchill Downs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Hours after Medina Spirit won the 147th Kentucky Derby, high school students began to clean up the mess Derby goers left behind at Churchill Downs, especially in the infield.

“It looked pretty bad,” Jalen Alfonso, a cleanup volunteer and sophomore at North Bullitt High said. “The fact that people leave their trash and don’t think about other people, yeah, it just looked bad. It looked awful.”

Dozens of high school-aged volunteers showed up at 8 a.m. Sunday to pick up the trash that covered the infield. Many of them decided to help to earn money for their schools’ sports programs.

Volunteers separated recyclables and trash and then loaded up dump trucks to be hauled away.

“Trying to make it look better and more clean, or make it look like the way it was before everybody did this,” Alfonso said.

Darren Rogers of Churchill Downs told WAVE 3 News Kentucky Derby weekend was a success. Around 40,000 people showed up for Oaks Day, and around 51,000 people came to the track on Derby Day.

“It felt great to get back to a little bit of normalcy,” Rogers said.

In addition, this year was the first time most Churchill Downs spectators received free food and drinks with the purchase of an all-inclusive ticket.

Derby was the largest attended American sporting event since the beginning of the pandemic.

“I think we’ve set the tone a little bit and paved the way for sports in America for the remainder of the year,” Rogers said.

Copyright 2021 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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