The 129th 'Run for the Roses'
will be tomorrow!! The area goes nuts at this time of year in celebration of the Kentucky Derby
and the associated horse racing that preceeds the Derby.
The Derby Festival actually consumes the full 2 weeks prior to the Derby, with community events scheduled daily . Wed. evening we watched the 'Great Steamboat Race' on the Ohio River from the Indiana Shore. This year there were 5 boats participating...2 being actual steam powered, and the others using diesel power to their paddle wheels. They race up river about 6 miles, turn around (a traffic jam always occurs on the turn) they come back down the river to Louisville. The weather was perfect, and the riverside parties seemed quite 'active'.
There is a Marathon, a run for the Rose' where food server's compete for the title of "best in town", A Hot Air Balloon Race with 50 Balloons entered, A bed race, many companies sponsor parties and get togethers over this weekend. And a ton of other activities. This all begins with an AirShow and major Fireworks display Titled " Thunder over Louisville
" (2 Weeks Ago) All of this leads up to today when the Kentucky Oakes runs...a race for Fillies, and Tomorrow the 9th race at Churchill Downs will be the Kentucky Derby.
Even a non-horseman like myself can get caught up in the emotion of the programs. There will be countless neighborhood derby parties going on tomorrow, with grill-outs and BBQ, beer and especially Bourbon being the center of most menu's
To return to our interest in this festivity...Specialty foods and drink for the celebration include-- BBQ and Burgoo, Derby Pie- a pecan or walnut pie with a layer of fudge on or under it, Mint Julips
are the traditional drink ( Bourbon and sugar syrup w/ mint sprig) but if it is a warm day, BEER or Lemonade will be common also.
Going to the track is an exercise in patience. There will be a couple of hundered thousand folks all doing the same thing at the same time... Kind of like Superbowl/Rose Parade/New Year's Eve in NYC, and other events like that. The infield is open and is the place where the "blue-collar" folks go to party hard...Some never see a horse with all the music and dancing etc goin on. What you will see on NBC when they cover the race, will be the 'Big Buck' Grandstands and Terrace Boxes. It is the closest thing to a Medieval Pageant I have ever seen.
My personal Derby Activity will be Today and Sunday, Today a special train using historic equipment will roll down from the Great White North (Canada) bringing officials of the Canadian Pacific Railroad and their guests to the Derby. My son and I will be 'chasing the train' to get some good photos of the old engines and passenger cars as they come down into this area. On Sunday the Honorable Order of the Kentucky Colonel's
, of which I am a Proud Member (A charitable organization) will sponsor a BBQ in Historic Bardstown KY (center for Bourbon production and Home of Stephen Foster) It is a fundraiser for local charities, but a great party also with several thousand enjoying the event (we hope).
OK...You asked, now you know !! OH Yeah, My picks for the Derby??...Buddy Gil
will have a shot at this one, as will 10 Most Wanted