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Traditions at The Kentucky Derby

Rob Carr, Getty Images

The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, May 3rd, also known as the Running of the Roses. The rose tradition started in 1896 when winner Ben Brush received white and pink roses after his victory. The Garland of Roses became part of the Derby when all ladies attending the Derby party where present with one.

Another tradition at the second oldest horse race in America is the playing of the song ‘My Old Kentucky Home’. As the horses step onto the track for the post-race parade, the band plays the song.

The Mint Julep is the traditional drink of the Derby dating back close to 100 years. The Early Time Mint Julep Ready-To-Serve Cocktail has been the official Julep for 18 years.

Women wearing big and fashionable hats to the Derby dates back to when the race first was held at Churchill Downs 137 years ago. There is no documented proof as to why it started but is believed that when the Derby first came to town they wanted it to be a social affair, so they went around to all the women’s social clubs in the area and invited women to dress in their finest and hats were just part of women’s attire in those days. Over the years the hat tradition grew and women today will spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars for the right hat.

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