It looks like it is going to be hot and wet this year at Breyerfest. Being prepared will help you survive the humidity and sudden downpours with humor intact.
First: know where the air conditioning is. There isn’t much, and finding the nearest relief can save your feet and help avoid heat exhaustion. The nearest air conditioning to the action is the club lounge above the covered arena and contrary to the name you don’t have to be a member of a club to find relief. Next most convenient is the American Saddlebred Museum next to the Breyerfest entrance to the horsepark. Entry is free to Breyerfest ticket holders and the museum is small and very nicely done. A bit farther away is the visitors center where you can find a gift shop, short film and the test runs on display. For a beautifully cool afternoon enjoy the International Museum of the Horse and the changing exhibits. They have a very fun interactive game in the Arabian wing and the Calumet trophy display is impressive.
Next drink plenty of fluid and don’t forget to eat. There isn’t much choice for food at the horsepark, and lines can be unbearably long during lunch time. There are a few vendors behind the tent by the barns, and the lemonade can be a lifesaver. Buy the refillable cup, you will be using it. There is one vendor in the covered arena with the run of the mill hamburgers and such, but unless you are desperate I would recommend avoiding this one. I like to take the time to hike to the Bit and Bridle restaurant beyond the visitors center. The chef does delicious soups (yeah I know, but they are wonderful even in the oppressive heat) and all the fresh-cooked options are very tasty (and air conditioned!). One of my favorite snacks is the frozen lemonade. It quenches thirst and stays cool for quite some time.
Print the program and study it ahead of time. Planning out what you want to see can help save walking across the park and surviving the heat. If you want autographs and you want to see certain shows, you will have to plan so the times don’t conflict. There is something going on across the park all weekend. Take your special run tickets and raffle times into account. You have to be present to win, so don’t buy tickets and then not make it back to the covered arena in time. Also familiarize yourself with the main locations on the map. The covered arena is immediately in front of you if you enter through the special Breyerfest entrance, but if you come in through the visitors center you will have to walk around the museum the carriage barns. There is a free tram that drives from the parking lot to the arena, but it can take quite a bit of time waiting for one, and they do not have a schedule.
My personal favorite tip is to plan to go back to the room in the afternoon for a nap or swim. Hit the park at opening, enjoy to about noon or so, then go back to your room for some rest. Activities can last past midnight so the days are long, and the afternoon is the worst for heat and humidity. If my room has a mini-fridge I stock up on snacks and meals and go back to the room to eat. It has a/c and saves me some money. I can have a bit of a nap and get back to the horsepark for the raffle and late afternoon activities and shopping. That way I still have energy to do room shopping at the Clarion all night.
I will be selling from room 119 again this year, so look me up. I will be blogging and tweeting all weekend, so follow this space and my Twitter feed @ChristinaDils for exciting news and events as they unfold.
See you in Kentucky!!!