It’s Derby Time!!
Spring has finally arrived, which means it’s Kentucky Derby time! The Kentucky Derby has been on my bucket list for years, so when the Louisville Kentucky Tourism Bureau invited me to a Pre-Derby Party in Nashville; I jumped at the chance. Let me give you a little history about the Derby just in case you have lived under a rock your entire life. The Kentucky Derby’s long history began in 1872, when Meriwether Lewis Clark, the grandson of William Clark – of the famed pair Lewis and Clark – traveled to Europe. While there, Clark attended the Epsom Derby in England, a well-known horse race run since 1780. Clark was inspired by his travels and experiences, and upon his return; was determined to create a spectacle horse racing event in the States.
The beginning of the Derby
With the help of his uncles, John & Henry Churchill, who gifted Clark the necessary land to develop a racetrack; the racetrack opened its gates, and the Louisville Jockey Club sponsored the very first Kentucky Derby. A total of fifteen three-year-old Thoroughbred horses raced one and a half miles in front of a cheering crowd of approximately 10,000 spectators. Aristides was the first winner of the Kentucky Derby.
Saturday, May 6, 2017; will be the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. The celebration will be held in Louisville, Kentucky at Churchill Downs, where it has been held every single year since 1875.
The Kentucky Derby has been coined “The Greatest Two Minutes In Sports,” as its official website points out, and it’s easy to see why — the excess of old-timey mint juleps isn’t the only reason why the Kentucky Derby is an event you don’t want to miss. The University of Louisville Marching Band also plays “My Old Kentucky Home” as the horses are paraded before the grandstand. It’s such a grand spectacle!
The Kentucky Derby-themed promotional party was held at Acme Feed and Seed in Nashville, TN. It was a Bourbon, Bluegrass, Juleps & Jockeys event featuring Derby-themed cocktails (including the Mint Julep, the Official Cocktail of the Kentucky Derby) and Southern-inspired hors d’oeuvres, as well as live bluegrass music.
I felt like I was right at the Derby from the hats to Mint Juleps, and here are my top reasons why you should put the Kentucky Derby on your bucket list.
Why Should you go to the Derby
- The Kentucky Derby horses’ names are both majestic and odd at times. From the number one ranked Ocho Ocho Ocho, to International Star and Itsaknockout; listening to the announcer call out these horses’ names will be the most entertainment you will have all year.
- Every year, the winner of the Derby is awarded a luxurious bouquet of 554 roses. The Kentucky Derby is often referred to as “The Run for the Roses.”
- Who doesn’t love a good celeb sighting? The Derby brings out celebrities from all over the world!
- Last but not least, the race itself! Though the race is only one and a quarter miles, I hear it is one of the best races and is super exciting to witness in person.
After you have the time of your life at the Kentucky Derby don’t stop there because Louisville has so much to offer. Next on your list is to explore Louisville Bourbon Trail!! Stay tuned for my review of the Bourbon Trail because it’s on my bucket list and make sure you use the #LoveLouisville when you post all of those great photos on your FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Have you been to the Derby? Have you been to Louisville’s Bourbon Trail?