The last two weeks in the River City have been spent preparing for the party before the party. Thatâ€™d be Derby, of course.
I caught up with a few friends who have attended a number of Kentucky Derbyâ€™s to find out their top 10 reasons why they love our cityâ€™s greatest event.
- Hats! Hats! Hats! The beautiful and the outrageous.
- Enough spray tans to make Patricia Krentcil move to Kentucky.
- Observing out-of-towners that are passed out in their seersuckers by noon that have not learned to respect the â€œpower of the mashâ€ and never make it to the 11th race for the greatest two minutes in sports.
- The smell of fine cigars and Kentucky Bourbon.
- The excitement in sneaking liquor past security successfully.
- Watching the post parade of ponies in the paddock.
- Catching up with old acquaintances you may only see at the Derby.
- Singing My Old Kentucky Home with 165,000 people.
- Feeling your heart pick up the pace when you hear the words, â€œAnd theyâ€™re off!â€
- Observing the crazy infield antics at a safe binocular distance.
- Because you canâ€™t help but cheer in excitement when 165,00 join you.
- To perform a quality assurance check on Kentucky bourbon.
- To fashion friends, fashion fun and well, just fashion.
- To see the worldâ€™s widest range of the utterly foolish to the utterly fabulous.
- To see which hats the Brits will be wearing â€“ next year.
- Because itâ€™s on my bucket list â€“ every year.
- To lose money, dammit.
- To hear my favorite song.
- To hear Gary Drake explain â€œsuperfectaâ€ to a movie star.
- And among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of the winning ticket.
- Being acutely aware of the skin on the bottom of my feet.
- Wearing sunglasses inside and pretending to be a celebrity.
- Talking to Paris Hilton like we went to grade school together.
- Having a police escort and running red lights until mid-May.
- Falling out of the chair laughing with friends and Sunday during â€œDerby Download.â€
- Joey Fatone.
- My American Express bill.
- Straight men in hats.
- Three solid days in bed afterwards.
- Knowing that thereâ€™s no other city on earth that could do it like Louisville does.
- Cashing a Derby winner ticket!
- Standing on the terrace two minutes before race time singing â€œMy Old Kentucky Home.â€
- Walking among 100,000 beautiful people and feeling relieved that all the hours of shopping have paid off with the right ensemble!
- The crazy people watching as they stand in line waiting to go into the infield.
- Crossing over the bridge and seeing Twin Spires in all their glory.
- Have a Club House ticket and Turf Club pass in my purse.
- Popping champagne bottles and drinking mimosaâ€™s before 10 a.m. and itâ€™s completely acceptable.
- Waking up and heading straight into the hair and makeup chair, knowing no matter what Iâ€™ve done the night before, the artists are going to work a miracle.
- Jack Fryâ€™s and itâ€™s indulgent Shrimp and Grits, Fired Oysters and Pistachio Crusted Salmon.
- Arriving at the Louisville airport and being greeted by beautiful women handing out bourbon balls who act as if theyâ€™ve been expecting you for weeks.