Tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby. You cannot appreciate what happens to this town in the weeks leading up to the event, let alone the weekend of it without living here. The word “hype” doesn’t begin to do it justice. It is certainly the most exciting two minutes in sports – I’ll buy that. But it is so much more than that in this town. The celebrity watch and parties, the wall to wall coverage on every TV and radio station, the parties (Derby parties are as ubiquitous as Super Bowl parties), the parades, the pins (traded like Olympic pins)…. you get the idea. We awoke around 5:30 this morning (briefly), and flipped on the TV to discover that the day-long live coverage from Churchill Downs was underway in the dark. You see, today is the Kentucky Oaks, when they run the phillies. Oaks day is about at big as Derby day – they call it “Louisville’s day at the races” because its when all the locals turn out to show off the fancy outfits and hats that they don for the occassion (because the nice seats for the Derby itself is often dominated by out-of-towners.)
Put it this way: Schools are out today…. because of a horse race. Crazy, eh? But we’ll take with us the tradition of having a Derby party – could be a fun thing to do when we live elsewhere.