Traditions, food, drinks and other iconic customs for Derby Day


The Kentucky Derby is a single of the most iconic sporting gatherings in the entire world. But it’s not just the race that has every person setting up their excursions to Churchill Downs. It’s the traditions and pageantry that have captivated thousands and thousands across the globe.

Catch these traditions are living at the 2022 Kentucky Derby, which will air on Saturday, Might 7 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. ET on United states of america Community and from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Protection is also readily available to stream live on, the NBC Sports activities application and Peacock.

Relevant: How to observe the 2022 Kentucky Derby


The Kentucky Derby is known for its colourful and flashy hats and fascinators. Make your very own at dwelling using an aged hat or headband and whatever supplies all over the property inspire you, like NBC Sports’ Diy Paper Flower Fascinator.

If you are pressed for time or creativeness (hey, no judgement), there are also several selections offered online or in merchants. The Spring 2022 line from Kentucky Derby 148 Featured Milliner Christine A. Moore Millinery contains an array of hats and fascinators in neutrals, reds, pinks and great tones.

Similar: Kentucky Derby vogue: Hats, outfit thoughts,What to know about the Kentucky Derby

Mint juleps

If you are sensation posh and it’s possible a little bit extra adventurous, why not consider replicating this year’s $1,000 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep, which is a nod to the connections between Kentucky and France (for instance, both of those have towns named “Versailles,” but with wholly distinctive pronunciations).

The recipe, of training course, has mint and Kentucky bourbon, but also involves pomegranate, orange, lemon and a dash of honey from Versailles, France, if you take place to have some.

If you are a lot more into fruit, why not test a cherry-infused variation of the Mint Julep, a blackberry acquire on the cocktail, or a recipe that incorporates strawberry.

Related: Kentucky Derby 2022 drinks: Recipes, ingredients for common Mint Juleps, bourbon cocktails

The Garland of Roses

Soon after the race, the winner horse is specified the legendary garland of roses in the winner’s circle, consequently why the race is nicknamed “the Operate for the Roses.”

In 1883, New York socialite E. Berry Wall presented roses to the girls at a party. Influenced by this gesture, Churchill Downs founder and president Meriwether Lewis Clark announced that roses have been the official flower of the Kentucky Derby. In 1896, the custom of draping a blanket of 554 purple roses on the Kentucky Derby winner began.

kentucky derby traditions

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Scorching browns and other Kentucky Derby meals

When it arrives to Kentucky Derby cuisine, it does not get a lot improved than the Kentucky Scorching Brown. The warm brown is a product or service of the historic Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville. In the 1920s, Chef Fred Schmidt was looking for a late-evening delicacy for partying night time owls and found it in this open up-confronted turkey sandwich topped with bacon and Mornay sauce.

You also can not discuss about Kentucky food stuff without having talking about its environment-famed fried hen. Thanks to Colonel Sanders and his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Ky., Fried hen may perhaps be the most common, globally identified export out of the Bluegrass Condition.

Relevant: Kentucky Derby foodstuff 2022: Recipes for standard desserts, treats, pie

The winner’s circle

From 1875-1929, the Kentucky Derby winner would stand in a circled location on the racetrack drawn in chalk dust. It started to be identified as the “winn
er’s circle.” From 1930-1937, organizers moved the trophy presentation from the track to an spot adjoining the clubhouse. An electrical odds board and presentation stands ended up additional in 1938 and each individual profitable Kentucky Derby horse considering that then has been led to the winner’s circle.

The winner’s circle is normally only reserved for winners of the Derby, but it has hosted a confined volume of weddings and even has ashes of notable horse racing and breeding field staff distribute on the ground.

“My Aged Kentucky Home”

Following the Call to Write-up is the actively playing of the condition music, “My Outdated Kentucky Residence.” The tradition dates again to the 1920s and the College of Louisville marching band has been aspect of the efficiency nearly just about every yr.

The music, written by Stephen Foster in the 1850s, depicts slavery in the pre-Civil War South, and there have been renewed calls to re-study the song’s spot – on Derby Day and in American society at substantial – in recent decades.

“Churchill Downs offers very careful thing to consider to our traditions every yr,” Churchill Downs vice president of communications Tonya Abeln claimed earlier this month. “For this year’s Kentucky Derby, we are welcoming the University of Louisville marching band and the accompanying U of L choir to complete the point out music of Kentucky.”

Embrace the most essential Kentucky Derby custom and observe the 148th jogging of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, Could 7 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. ET on United states of america Network and from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Comprehensive coverage is also offered on, the NBC Sports application and Peacock.

2022 Kentucky Derby: Traditions, foodstuff, drinks and other legendary customs for Derby Working day at first appeared on


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