The Kentucky Derby may be delayed, but we're still celebrating come the 1st Saturday in May.
As the emcee of one of many annual Kentucky Derby Festival traditions, Magic Johnson once quoted that “Derby time in Louisville is like the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras all rolled into one.” Couple that with the fact that the Kentucky Derby is the longest running annual sporting event in North America, since 1875, and it’s no surprise how such an event becomes eternally ingrained into the culture of a city like Louisville. Though history may be on hold with the 2020 Kentucky Derby rescheduled for September 5th, it would be impossible for the first Saturday in May to pass in the Bourbon City without some sort of nod to the “most exciting two minutes in sports.”
For that reason, we have put together a list of ways to celebrate the annual tradition and pageantry of the Kentucky Derby at home on May 2nd. Use the hashtag #KyDerbyAtHome on social and tag us @GoToLouisville to show us the creative ways you're celebrating at home.
What to Watch on May 2nd
Tune in to a special broadcast on NBC from 3 to 6 p.m. EST, which will feature the 2015 Kentucky Derby that began American Pharaoh’s historic Triple Crown run. In addition, the NBC broadcast will highlight Churchill Downs’ first ever virtual horse race - The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown, a computer-simulated version of a race which will feature the 13 past Triple Crown winners and use data algorithms about each horse to determine the probability of their potential finishing positions. “Bet” on your favorite horse and Churchill Downs will match your wager with all proceeds going toward COVID-19 relief funds. Learn more here.
• Watch previous racing and a live running of the Arkansas Derby by tuning into Fox Sports or NBCSN for a 6:29pm EST post time.
• Attend Derby Delay, the official Louisville virtual after party here.
• Add a Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Derby Festival inspired background for your next virtual meetup here.
What to Eat and Drink
Like any good party, the right food and drink are critical to its success. With over 145 years of annual racing, Louisville’s Derby culinary traditions have had plenty of time to marinate. From the world-famous Mint Julep to the lesser known Benedictine spread, learn to make your own Kentucky Derby inspired dishes and cocktails at home, here.
• For an even more extensive list of Derby inspired dishes and desserts visit here.
• For more Derby inspired cocktail recipes click here.
What to Wear
Finding the perfect Kentucky Derby ensemble can sometimes feel as complicated as hitting the Superfecta. From over-sized ornate hats, to brightly colored pinstripe suits, there is a certain level of showmanship exhibited with every outfit. Celebrating Derby day while being healthy at home, now is your chance to be as modest or as over-the-top as you want with your Kentucky Derby inspired getup. Show off your stylish selections by uploading them to social media using the hashtag #KyDerbyAtHome.
• Learn to make your own Derby hats at home with instruction from our friends at StyleBlueprint.
• See other Derby inspired looks here.
How to Place Bets
There are many methods and strategies racing enthusiasts resort to when trying to pick the perfect horse to win a race. From simpler methods, like the colors of the jockey silks, to more complicated alternatives, like the thoroughbred's racing history, selecting a sure winner can be a difficult task. You can learn the ins and outs of betting, as well as testing your new found knowledge here.
What to Listen To
The week before the Kentucky Derby is typically packed with concerts and events with headliners who have ranged from Jimmy Eat World to Stevie Wonder. The weeks of revelry seem to reach its peak just minutes before the Kentucky Derby race as 100,000+ attendees sing a moving rendition of the Kentucky state song, My Old Kentucky Home.
• Find some of our favorite Kentucky born artists or Kentucky related songs by listening to this YouTube playlist.
• Tune into the Derby Delay after party for live music by DJ KDOGG starting at 8pm. Listen here.
For the Whole Family
Just like Thanksgiving, Halloween or Christmas, Derby Day in Louisville is worthy of being declared its own holiday. The day before the running of the Kentucky Derby, public schools are closed as families gear up for the city-wide celebration. Start your own Derby-time traditions with your family by checking out all the kid-friendly content produced by the Kentucky Derby Museum. You’ll find coloring sheets, lesson plans, fun facts and more at their virtual museum which can be found here.
And while the two-week long Kentucky Derby Festival celebration may have been delayed, there are still ways to be festive at home – like designing your own Festival pin, building a hot air balloon and at-home bed races! Find all of these activities and more here.