The event is steeped in old-fashioned traditions and heaps of Southern charm. The Kentucky Derby Annual Breakfast takes place the morning of Derby Day at the historic site of Farmington in Louisville. Admiring the Southern Belle’s in their gorgeous hats and dresses is certainly one of my favorite traditions of the event. The men look dapper in seersucker suits and patterned ties. Choosing a hat can be a daunting task, especially if you have a small head like I do. Of course there are all those celebrities who turn up for the event and most of the attendees won’t rub elbows with them since they are seated in the Millionaire’s Row section, but their pictures will be in the newspaper the day after the event.
The infield is a scene where a spectator cannot see the race but is there for a general admission price ticket and the pure element of the party. And party they do with reckless abandon. In 2002 when I was there and toured the infield it was one, sloppy, muddy mess but everyone was having a great time. As the horses parade before the grandstands, the tradition of singing My Old Kentucky Home cannot help but make you misty-eyed and happy to be in the bluegrass state. The Kentucky residents have the lyrics memorized and the rest of us are assisted with lyric cheat sheets. The Call to the Post is done by the bugler before every race signifying the horses will be coming out to the track and the race will begin. This lets those inside placing wagers know they need to finish placing their bets. Then there are those stronger than lighter fluid Mint Juleps another tradition of the Kentucky Derby. If you have one, you will have a second one but I cannot admit to having more than two. Did you know the town of Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby, is named after Louis XVI?