There's more to it than just beautiful horses. There are beautiful hats, interesting traditions (including an official drink), and lots of memorabilia and collectibles.
Check out the Kentucky Derby Museum website.
From 'A Taste of Kentucky': "While the concept of serving mint juleps was not new, the development of the Mint Julep Glass came later.
Many people think that Kentucky Derby Mint Julep glasses started in 1938, but although the confusion is understandable, they did not. What happened in 1938 is that instead of serving their mint juleps in paper cups, Churchill Downs served them in tall water glasses and people kept stealing them!
So the following year in 1939 Churchill Downs created a promotional piece — the birth of the Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Glass — that people could purchase and keep as a souvenir of their visit to the Kentucky Derby.
Over the years mint julep glasses have gone through many designs and styles."
It's a fun tradition for ladies to wear big-brimmed flower and ribbon trimmed hats at the Kentucky Derby.
Some designers specialize in over-the-top toppers. Read "Crowning Glory: The Art of Kentucky Derby Hats".
HORSE RACING BOOKS & DERBY HISTORY
- Read Horse Racing History Books from Arcadia Publishing
- Some Kentucky Derby books from Amazon: