The Kentucky Derby is a southern tradition held annually on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. And the week prior to it, that leads up to the Run For the Roses, is known as Derby Week.

Talk about a party!

And if you are looking for another occasion to wear your hat from the Royal Wedding, then this is it! The hat parade is as traditional as the mint juleps and Kentucky Derby Pie!

This year the race will be Saturday, May 7 at 6:24 pm. For those of us who will not be in Louisville, NBC is providing television coverage beginning at 4:00 pm.

For those lucky enough to be in bluegrass country, many fun events will be taking place.

It kicked off this past Saturday, April 30, with the Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial Race and a balloon race.

Monday, May 2, at The KFC Yum! Center, the Stock Yards Bank Great Bed Races takes off. This isn’t what you might think. It’s a parade of adults racing with various mattresses – no laying down allowed, through a ‘track’ of cones.

Tuesday, May 3, The Kentucky Proud Derby Festival ‘WineFest’ @ 5:00 pm. $35 gets you a souvenir pin and a wine glass.

Then at 8:00 pm on the river front the Dazz Band and the S.O.S. Band will perform.

Wednesday, May 4, The Derby Post Position Draw will be held at 5:00 pm, the Great Steamboat Race will be held on the river, and ‘WineFest’ will continue.

Thursday, May 5, the Kentucky Derby Celebrity Luncheon opens at 11:30 am at Churchill Downs – $99 including a day at the races.

At 5:00 pm Louisville’s Parade fills the street with equestrians, floats, and marching bands.

Friday, May 6, the all-pink Kentucky Oaks runs at 5:45. There is also a breast cancer survivors parade.

At 8:00 pm, The Galt House hosts the black tie Julep Ball.

Saturday, May 7, is the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

8:00 pm is the Belle of Louisville Riverboat moonlight cruise. Tickets are $50.

And for $375 a ticket can be had for The Galt House’s ‘Night of Silk’ Derby Party. The proceeds benefit permanently disabled Jockeys fund.

All this week, the city of Louisville celebrates. Restaurants, night clubs, shops, street corners, all offer entertainment and special events. If you are lucky enough to be there, it’s a party! If not, why not celebrate at home. Have a derby party – serve burgoo, mint juleps, and chocolate almond derby pie. I will post my recipes for these southern delights during this week.

For more information check out these websites:

  • http://derbyfestival.org/
  • http://sports.yahoo.com
  • http://www.kentuckyderbybetting.org

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