ALTON - Mac’s Downtown in Alton is poised to have another dynamic Kentucky Derby Street Party, and it includes the popular Glendale Riders and Atlanta Rhythm Section. The party begins at 9 a.m. and runs until midnight on Saturday, May 4, 2019.

Those in attendance are encouraged to bring their big hats and bets can be posted at Mac’s at 315 Belle Street on-site Off-Track Betting Parlor during the show. There will be many women in attendance wearing the traditional Kentucky Derby hats.

The well-known area group Glendale Riders will perform from 3:30 to 7 p.m. and the Atlanta Rhythm Section from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Van "Mac" Lenhardt said he is excited about the upcoming gala and anticipates a huge crowd. He estimates last year 7,500-plus visited Downtown Alton during the Kentucky Derby Street party and he expects the same if not more this year. He also said he has had major acts perform since its beginning about eight years at the public’s delight.

“I am excited about the bands, Glendale Riders and the Atlanta Rhythm Section, they are all good people,” Mac said. “This is the eighth year and we have had national acts all along the way. We have a full staff on Derby Day and there are a lot of volunteers who also help. I think this has a big impact on Downtown Alton and all the neighboring businesses in general. We have a strong police presence and that seems to set the tone for everything. We have never had any trouble and it is hard to get 7,500 and not have any problems, but this is a good crowd every year.”

Mac said the women with Derby hats add a certain ambiance to the event and makes it even more meaningful.

The latest list of Atlanta Rhythm Section members listed online includes the following:

Dean Daughtry – keyboards, backing vocals (1971–present)

Rodney Justo – vocals (1971–1972, 1983, April 2008, 2011–present)

Steve Stone – bass, backing vocals (1986–1988), guitar (lead from 2006–present), harmonica, backing vocals (1988–present)

Justin Senker – bass (1992–2011, June 2014 – present)

David Anderson – guitar, backing vocals (April 2007 – present)

Rodger Stephan – drums, backing vocals (March 2016 – present)

In January 1978 ARS released its most successful album, Champagne Jam, which started with the song "Large Time", a tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd, some of whom had lost their lives in a plane crash the previous October. Champagne Jam was their biggest selling album, selling over a million and certified platinum. The album provided two more hits for the band, "Imaginary Lover" (No. 7) and "I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight" (No. 14).

For more information about the Kentucky Derby Street Party at Mac’s, call (618) 465-1006.

If you have a news, human interest or sports idea, e-mail Danbrannan@riverbender.com or call or text 618-623-5930. Follow Dan Brannan on Facebook and on Twitter.

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