Nestled on Hope Street across from the Bristol Post Office, Linden Place represents a piece of Rhode Island’s past. On May 5 from 4-8pm, the grounds will come alive with a Kentucky Derby Day party, welcoming us beyond the gates to marvel at the building’s legendary architecture.
Susan Battle, executive director of Linden Place, has worked there for about 15 years and is excited to host such a large-scale event. “This is the first time we’ve done a formal fundraiser in a long time,” she says. Festivities will include live bluegrass and Dixieland jazz, silent and live auctions, a cash bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, and food stations. And of course, guests will be able to view the Kentucky Derby live from the ballroom while enjoying their cocktails.
The mood and theme of the party, Battle says, is perfect for a building that was built in 1810 and has housed generations of important families like the Colts and the DeWolfs. The Derby Day party is designed to bring that history to life. “It’s very much in line with something that Colonel Colt would have done back in the day,” Battle says.
Tickets are $75 for the public and $65 for Linden Place members; the money raised will go towards restoration projects like reworking the mansion’s 1900s-era electrical system, and to raising awareness about Linden Place’s history and various educational programs.
Overall, Battle hopes that the party inspires people to explore all that the mansion has to offer. “There are so many angles for what makes Linden Place interesting that we can really attract different audiences,” she says. “Linden Place is really a tangible connection to Rhode Island’s past, and we have an important story to tell when it comes to architecture and important topics.”