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An Ultimate Southern Tradition: The Kentucky Derby

This weekend marks yet another Running for the Roses for the 140th annual Kentucky Derby. From the hats to the suits to the mint juleps, the Kentucky Derby brings out a little southern charm in everyone. With such style and sophistication, the event brings people together from all walks of life. Even if you can’t be present in Kentucky to watch the race in person, throwing a Kentucky Derby themed soiree is the next best thing! So get out your best hat and be ready to cheer on the field of 20 horses for the “Fastest Two Minutes in Sports.”


Before we get into the ultimate soiree, we have been reading up on a little history and thought it was important to understanding the event a little more.
• First of all, the Derby is a Grade-1 stakes race for 3-year old Thoroughbreds
• The one and a quarter mile race held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky is the first leg of the Triple Crown series
• 120 horses compete in the race, fillies, colts and geldings can compete
• The race has been run consecutively every year since 1875


Along with the prestige of the event there are few things that are considered tradition at the race each year:
• The mint julep is the traditional beverage of the race and traditionally served in an ice-frosted silver julep cup. Recipe via Southern Living.
• The infield is reserved for general admission tickets and although it is not the best place to view the race, one heck of party goes on down there
• “My Old Kentucky Home” by Stephen Foster plays as the horses parade in front of the grandstands, a tradition that started in 1921
• The Governor of Kentucky awards the garland of red roses and the trophy to the race winner.
• A lush blanket of red roses is draped over the winning horse which is very fitting because the rose is the official flower of the race.


The pomp and circumstance of the Kentucky Derby makes the event a must see/do each year! We suggest dusting off the sear sucker and brushing up on your best southern charm for an event that is sure to be one for the books.


For your Kentucky Derby party headquarters head over to kentuckyderby.com.

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