Kentucky Derby days are here again. The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports takes places on the first Saturday in May. Louisville, Kentucky rolls out a Southern welcome to thousands of attendees while Churchill Downs takes the lead as Kentucky Derby festivities and finery celebration central.
Iconic to sight and tradition, the landmark Twin Spires of Churchill Downs were designed by architect Joseph Dominic Baldez. The twin hexagonal spires stand tall as the premier architectural feature so closely associated with Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.
Time-honored traditions and thoroughbred horse racing reigns supreme on Kentucky Derby Saturday. Red roses, mint juleps and fascinating choices of Derby Day finery fill the grandstands, box seats and infield of Churchill Downs as well as themed Kentucky Derby Days parties.
Derby Guys and Dolls Finery
My parents and I attended the Kentucky Derby in the late 1970’s. Experiencing the Derby live and in person is a thrilling event, but once was enough for us. Expensive? Yes! Crowded? Oh, dear goodness, yes, and that was 30+ years ago! I can only imagine the crowd control issues involved with the attendance numbers of today’s Kentucky Derby. Are we glad we attended? You betcha!
Get Down and Derby Playlist
Our current Kentucky Derby Days party is an at home affair. We are not above breaking out the good stuff as in fashion jewelry, hats, tableware, get down and Derby tunes and Kentucky bourbon in My Old Kentucky Home fashion.
The Run for the Roses is a win, place and show tradition for this horse racing enthusiast family, and it’s a sure bet next Saturday the hats, the party and the race will be on. The Derby Day tablescape always includes red roses, a hat of top, feathered or derby style, a toast to jockey silks and a creative spin on cocktail and dinner napkins. I’m using the red rose paper cocktail napkins and considering red toile fabric dinner napkins. Silver mint julep cups are the traditional favorite, but I’m taking the long shot odds the copper plated mint julep cup will make a stylish showing. Pewter stirrup hors d’oeuvre forks keep the theme going, and the ebony dinner plates from Dollar Tree round out the field.
It isn’t a Derby Day party until traditional Kentucky Derby delicacies are served. The fresh rosemary in Roasted Brown-Butter Pecans is the perfect taste complement to the minty bite of a Southern strong Mint Julep. If it doesn’t bite, it isn’t right. Tea sandwiches spread thick with Benedictine spread and garnished with radishes, pimento, cucumber slices and bacon are bite sized samples of traditional deliciousness, and a classic Run for the Roses Red Velvet cake topped with a gold horse is a Kentucky Derby dessert must.
And they’re off!