Churchill Downs is where the Derby takes place. I love the twin spires that were built in 1895. They are iconic. That area of town isn't the best, so we didn't really go there much when I was growing up, but whenever we went to "The Downs", seeing the spires was moving.
Now, ya wanna talk about moving..."My Old Kentucky Home" always makes me cry! I don't know why. Take a listen and see if it makes you cry too. The song was written by Stephen Foster upon visitng his family at Federal Hill Manor in Bardstown, Kentucky. (My husband and I, as well as 2 aunts and uncles, were married at Federal Hill.)
Hats. Hats are also an institution at The Derby. The bigger and more fancy the better. I'm more of a straw hat kinda girl. I blame my love of Anne of Green Gables. However, one MUST wear a hat...men and women.
I'm obsessed with these puppies! I won't bet on a horse because of the puppies, but they are adorable. If you'd like to learn about betting, or bet online, here is how it works. Now, I never place money, but Bryan and I each pick a horse and bet against each other with cleaning jobs.
Now, on to the best part of the Derby, outside of the fashion and the beautiful horses, food and alcohol. I'm not much of a drinker, but I love a good mint julep. I know that Churchill Downs uses Woodford Reserve bourbon, but I prefer Maker's Mark; it's sweeter. Derby Pie is a delicious chocolate chip with pecans. The recipe is secret, but there's a lot of replicas. If you've never had a Kentucky Hot Brown, you are missing out. The cheesy deliciousness...okay, now I want one. If you're looking for recipes check out Kentucky girl (and Food Network Star winner) Damaris Phillips Derby party menu.
For a full guide to the Kentucky Derby, check out Garden & Gun.
I had to laugh because I pulled up my Facebook today and saw some of my teacher friends are at The Oaks (The Derby for the fillies). So, school is out...hahaha!