For Indy, the month of May is dedicated to the Indianapolis 500 – the greatest spectacle in racing – but in Louisville, their big race doesn’t include fast cars. The tradition the Kentucky Derby holds is all about fast horses.
While Indy is celebrating the 100th Indy 500 on Memorial Day weekend, the first Saturday of May marks the Kentucky Derby. As part of their two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival, people from all over the world – the Queen of England came in 2007! – head to Louisville to enjoy the event. Here’s a few of the things we love about the Derby
The Tradition: This year’s race is the 137th Kentucky Derby. That’s enough to call it tradition, but we’re going to dig a little deeper. It’s one of the crown jewels of the elusive Triple Crown series of horse races, which includes the Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes. Other traditions, the Mint Julep (stayed tuned…), Burgoo (a tasty thick stew), the infield and – who can forget – legal gambling. The Derby is often called the “Run for Roses”, which is now the races official flower. So much to tell about the traditions within this annual race – but we’ll leave it at that.
The Hats: We like to think all of you checked out those amazing hats worn at the Royal Wedding just last week. Weren’t they fabulous? But, for us commoners here in the States, the Derby is our chance to show a little style and class of our own. Perhaps after checking out these images of past Derby hat attire, we’ll all be intrigued enough to purchase our own to wear… around the house?
The Mint Juleps: Along with the hats, this popular beverage has become a staple at the Derby for many years. It’s traditionally made with four simple ingredients: mint, bourbon, sugar and water. A sweet mix of flavor full of that Southern charm we all love. Refreshing!
If you can’t venture across the state line for this one, be sure to throw your own garden party to celebrate. Put on that floral cocktail dress and oversized hat, mix up that mint julep and have a friendly gambling escapade for which furry friend will take the garland of roses.