And I love living here! Before moving to Kentucky though, the Kentucky Derby was to me a bit of an anomaly in the sporting world. Truth be told I do not remember even hearing about it until some time late in high school when I was actually living in South Carolina.
That is all a thing of the past. I now live in "Derby City" and this is my 4th Derby season living here! I now know that the Derby is much more than a two-minute horse race, or even two days of racing.
In Louisville, the Derby is really a big deal. We begin the festivals two weeks early with the nation's largest "pyrotechnics display" (aka amazing fireworks show). It is 28 minutes of what most other shows would consider the "grand finale"! Throughout the next two weeks there are concerts, festivals, galas, hot air balloon races, and steamboat races. As Derby closes in it becomes common place to see small jets you know, the private jets for the rich and famous flying in to the airport, and traffic begins to get a bit heavier around this part of the week. By Friday the city will pretty much be closed down with the exception of Derby-related activities.
Mint Juleps abound, Derby Pies are assembled, Hot Browns are devoured, and Benedictine Sandwiches fill bellies. Bourbon is a staple in Kentucky so besides Mint Juleps and Derby Pies, the festivals usually include bourbon balls and samplings of the many high quality regional bourbons. (There is actually an entire Bourbon Festival in September but that is another post)
Of course along with Derby fare comes Derby style. Ladies wear big hats, jockeys don their racing silks, and the men dress up to match their ladies.
Whether it is an event that is known world wide or a well-kept local secret, regional festivals include regional fare. What is a festival you look forward to and what foods are associated with it?