Truly Kentucky Experiences

By Carla Sue Broecker


Glenda Thome, president of The Fillies, is a very busy woman these days. Even though the Derby and Derby Ball is next year, she and the members are already hard at work.

Glenda did take a break last week and had a luncheon where all of the past presidents of The Fillies were invited. There were lots of pictures from past balls along with some hilarious incidents that were crises at the time but have now become part of the lore and history.

Natalie Brown, a UofL graduate from Crestwood, is the current queen. She was an Honor Scholar, a Trustee Scholar and a Cardinal Ambassador with a major in communications. The Delta Zeta sorority member was also a volunteer at Heuser Hearing & Language Academy.

The Fillies Derby Ball will again take place at the Galt House. Mark your calendar, for April 14 is the date.

There are over 100 applicants for next year’s royal honor. The three out-of-state judges will have two rounds of judging, one of which will be in November and the other in January.

The Fillies will have a new robe for this year’s Festival Queen. Millie Lopez, a noted photographer and costume designer for classical ballet, is copying the Queen’s robe that has been used forever and it is shot! Millie lives in Arkansas but has family and friends in Danville, Columbus and Louisville. She is volunteering her time and only being compensated for the materials she is using. She is also making a “traveling” robe to be used when the queen is out and about at less formal occasions.

The Fillies work jointly as a nonprofit organization in promoting Derby Festival activities, the official Derby Festival Program, the Children’s Tea and the Royal Court Float in addition to the Ball. They are proud of their annual contributions to The Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation and are committed to continued service to the people of the great Commonwealth of Kentucky.


Archaeologist Nick Laracuente has uncovered the history of O.F.C. Distillery. Bourbon enthusiasts and historians will enjoy this special dig into the excavated ruins of Col. E. H. Taylor’s late 1800s distillery. It is like Pompeii, hidden for years on the grounds of the current Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort.

Mint Julep Tours has a tour of the site, nicknamed Bourbon Pompeii. Highlights will include an extensive tour of the excavation site led by Bourbon Archaeologist Nick Laracuente, a guided tasting of Buffalo Trace Distillery bourbons in the Old Taylor House and a craft cocktail paired with appetizers in the George T. Stagg Gallery.

Bourbon Rocks and Ruins digs deeper into O.F.C. Distillery than any other tour available. Guests will visit century-old spaces throughout the grounds while learning from the state’s leading Bourbon-focused archaeologist. From the Old Taylor House, the oldest residential structure in the county, to the relics in the George T. Stagg Gallery, every aspect of this inside tour is rich with history.

Bourbon Rocks and Ruins departs Thursday, November 2 from the Galt House at 3:45 p.m. and returns at 9:30. The cost is $175 per person. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Woodford County Heritage Committee. For more information visit mintjuleptours.com/exclusive-experiences

Colonel Taylor was born in Columbia in 1832 and was a descendant of two U.S. presidents and lived an aristocratic life as a banker before entering the world of whiskey. He would become known as the father of the modern bourbon industry through groundbreaking innovations at O.F.C. Distillery in 1873.

His flagship product, Old Fire Copper Whisky, melded traditions of distillers before him with forward-thinking processes and marketing. 

Today, Buffalo Trace is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort. It dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp and Elmer T. Lee. It is a fully operational distillery producing bourbon, ryeand vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark. VT