It’s February, sure – but, in my world, it’s Derby Season.
There are so many traditions that revolve around this time of year in Kentucky. Designing the perfect hat, being sized for a custom suit, selecting the perfect dress, perfecting that Benedictine spread, planning a brunch that would impress the toughest of critics, practicing your vocals for the singing of My Old Kentucky Home, and testing your best cocktail recipes (The Punch Brothers said it best – “heaven’s a julep on the porch”).
Me? I’m a purist. I want my Derby Pie (read: the entire pie). I start shopping for my bowtie after New Year’s Day. I plan my parties months in advance. While I’ve witnessed many Runs for the Roses, this will be my first time attending as a Louisvillian (I was out of the country last year). Furthermore, I have never attended Thurby or the Kentucky Oaks – a reality that will change this season.
For this reason, I – along with the team at Yes Louisville – am reaching out to you, dear reader. I want this Derby Season to be as authentically 502, as classic, and as unique as possible. On the Sunday morning post-Derby, I want to be able to say to myself: “JC, you did the damn thing.”
That said, what are your Derby traditions? What events can I not miss? What recipes do y’all want to see? What, to you, makes Derby special? What is the best way to experience the season as a local?
Please let me know in the comments below, on Instagram, or via email.
I can’t wait for the corn-top to be ripe, the meadow to be in bloom, and for the birds to make music all the day; weep no more, my lady – the sun will be shining bright before we know it.