Derby Day Gala at Rockledge

Duration: 5 hrs. 4:30 - 9:30pm

Date: 5 May 2018

Location: Location - Rockledge, beneath the Mill Mountain Star.



21 & Over Only

Advance ticket is required, capacity is very limited. Tickets are non-refundable. Gala held rain or shine.

Calendar of Weekly Tours.

Sat. May 5, 2018, is Roanoke’s most glamorous and delicious annual fundraising event. One of the Top Kentucky Derby Parties in the U.S.!

Enjoy a champagne welcome plus a wide selection of wine, beer, a limited bar, and Mint Juleps

Artfully prepared heavy hors-d’oeuvres, action stations, and spectacular desserts!

Live band and lots of dancing.

Lucky Lanes "friendly wagering" fundraiser! Plus the Rockledge Derby game.

Shuttle service from the covered parking garage at the VT School of Medicine.

The Lucky Bar will be creating signature specialty cocktails. Thanks Lucky Restaurant!

What to Expect

The 10th Annual Derby Day Gala



The 2018 tickets are on sale – Book Now!


The SW VA Chapter of the American Culinary Federation is the Gala’s non-profit beneficiary. Through the efforts of the ACF’s member chefs themenu for the 10th Annual Gala will once again be amazing.  To make the 10th anniversary even more special, it falls on May 5, the Cinco de Mayo celebration!  Plan for a special and fun-filled day at this year’s Gala.

Be sure to Like the Gala’s Facebook page for frequent updates and fun items.


Derby Day Auction Information & Items

Each year at the Derby Day Gala we offer a handful of exclusive, unique and one-of-a-kind items and experiences during the fun live auction. This year’s items will be amazing.  So much that they now get their own web page so you can take a closer look and be prepared to bid on your favorites.  100% of the proceeds for all auction items benefit the SW Virginia Chapter of the American Culinary Federation.

You can purchase some of the auction items NOW, before the Gala – We’ve established a Buy Now Price

The Pre-Gala Auction –

You Can Buy It Now

Items include:

One Week stay at Casa Piazza luxury beachfront villa.

A once in a lifetime vacation for 10 guests on the Mexican Riviera.


Two – 50 Yard line, 2nd row, tickets to a 2018 Washington Redskins home game.

Your pick of the game.  These tickets are so close to the field and right behind the team bench.  Plus 1 night hotel stay with this package is at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington VA.


Party Like a Chef – Group Experience 

10 guests, 3 breweries, lots of great local beer, lots of tasty food made on-site, 1 big meal to finish the day.  All presented by the ACF chefs.


See all the Auction Items – Click Here!


2018 Derby Day Gala Schedule

(Times may vary – updates are expected)

4:15 pm             Shuttles begin from VT Medical School parking garage

4:30 pm            Champagne Welcome & Hors-d’oeuvres

4:30 pm            House Bars open Cocktails & beverage (2 bar locations) presented by Coots, Cross, Lavinder & Quinn Family Dentistry

4:30 pm            “Lucky”  Bar – Special cocktails (kitchen)

4:30 pm            Kentucky Derby “Lucky Lanes” opens

4:45-5:45 pm   Live music – Uptown

5:00-6:15 pm   Rockledge Derby Game (kitchen)

5:15 pm             Derby Buffet begins

6:00 pm            Non-Profit Presentations (outside tent)

6:15 pm             Best Derby Attire Awards

6:24 pm             Official post time for 144th Kentucky Derby

Immediately after race – drawing for “Lucky Lanes” winners

6:45-7:15 pm    Live music – Uptown

7:15 pm              Live Auction (outside tent)

7:45-9:00 pm   Rockledge Derby Game (kitchen)

8:15-9:30 pm   Live music – Uptown

10:00 pm          Last Shuttle from Rockledge to the parking garage


What is the SW Virginia Chapter of the American Culinary Federation?  And why we support them!

This local non-profit organization’s membership are professional chefs, cooks, enthusiasts, students and others engaged in the planning, preparation, service, and supervision of foods and beverages, in commercial kitchens, hospitality, institutional and educational establishments. But this definition doesn’t fully tell their story.

Sure this group is active in raising our local food scene through education, training, and certification. Heck, you’ll find some of their members at the Culinary Institute at Virginia Western on any given day. But it’s when you look deeper you see the value and why they deserve our support. They are constantly giving of their time and talent to so many other non-profit causes and organizations. It might be their members provide an auction item for another non-profit’s fundraiser, or providing meals for US Veterans on Memorial Day or cooking for a fundraiser.

In fact, these chefs were the first group to say “yes, we’ll help” when the Derby Day Gala started 10 years ago. Back then the Gala helped fund another non-profit.

The 2018 Derby Day Gala will be fully supportive of the SW Virginia ACF chapter. This is their primary fundraising event. The funds raised will branch out into the Roanoke community in so many ways.

The ACF has supported these organizations:

Apple Ridge Farm

Al Pollard Memorial Foundation 

Downtown Roanoke, Inc.

Happy Health Cooks

Local Environmental Agriculture Project Inc. (LEAP)

March of Dimes

Roanoke Rotary

Roanoke Valley YMCA

Ronald McDonald House

St. Francis Service Dog Foundation 

US Veterans

Virginia Culinary Team USA

VA State Prostart Student Invitational Competition

West End Center


Gala Questions & Information

Have questions?  For instance, where do we park to get the shuttle to the Gala?   What’s the menu look like this year?    What are this year’s auction items?  Or, why didn’t I get tickets in the mail or via email?

Please download these documents for the answer, and more!

You can also call us at (540) 309-1781 or email





Meeting Location

209 Reserve Avenue Southwest, Roanoke, VA, United States

Parking Location - Derby Shuttle mini-buses will start at 4:15 pm from the covered parking garage at Virginia Tech School of Medicine - 209 Reserve Avenue SW, Roanoke VA 24016 – entrance next to Cambria Suite Hotel.

Get Directions

Beautiful location for a great event. We had so much fun!

J. Harbeson - Facebook Review