Why Derby is Louisville’s Favorite Holiday

The first Saturday in May is a HUGE deal in Louisville because that’s when the annual Kentucky Derby takes place! Horse racing, mint julep-sipping, and hat-wearing prevail on this wonderful day. Derby season (yes, it really is a season) is one of the most celebrated times of the year, and it’s when Louisvillians feel most proud to call our city home.



Derby is, quite literally, the biggest event in town, with a month-long festival leading up to it.  Parades, fireworks, galas, full and half marathons, hot air balloon and steamboat races get everyone excited for the grand finale on Derby day!


Did you know that around 170,000 people come to Churchill Downs, the infamous twin spires, for this celebrated event? Since its first race in 1875, the Kentucky Derby is the US’s longest-running major sporting event. While they’re at the track, attendees drink around 127,000 mint juleps and wager around $192 million. And throughout the race day, 600+ jockey jerseys are washed at the track. Once the winning horse is determined, they trot off to the Winner's Circle to be draped with 400 beautiful red roses.



Whether you’re at the track in your best dress and a fabulous hat or sitting in your living room in front of the tv (still wearing your fabulous hat), every Louisvillian celebrates spring by watching the Kentucky Derby. Make this race a part of your springtime tradition, too!

Sources: Entrepreneur.com and Reader’s Digest