Have you ever heard of the Kentucky Derby? Of course you have.
The greatest two minutes in sports!
Here is some information on the Traditions of the Kentucky Derby.
GARLAND OF ROSES
First established as part of the Derby celebration when they were presented to all the ladies attending a fashionable Louisville Derby party, the Garland of Roses was such a sensation, that the president of Churchill Downs, Col. Lewis Clark, adopted the rose as the race's official flower. The rose garland, now synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, first appeared in the 1896 when winner Ben Brush received a floral arrangement of white and pink roses.
THE TWIN SPIRES
Throughout the world, the Twin Spires are a recognized landmark and have become visual symbols of Churchill Downs and its most famous race, the Kentucky Derby.Constructed in 1895, the Twin Spires were the creation of a 24-year-old draftsman, Joseph Dominic Baldez, who was asked to draw the blueprints for Churchill Downs' new grandstand. Originally the plans did not include the Twin Spires atop Churchill Downs’ roofline, but as the young Baldez continued work on his design, he felt the structure needed something to give it a striking appearance.
Described as towers in the original drawing, the hexagonal spires exemplify late 19th century architecture, in which symmetry and balance took precedence over function. Although Baldez designed many other structures in Louisville, the Twin Spires remain as an everlasting monument to his memory.
MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME
In the world of sports, there is not a more moving moment than when the horses step onto the track for the Kentucky Derby post parade and the band strikes up “My Old Kentucky Home.”
Although there is no definitive history on the playing of the Stephen Foster ballad as a Derby Day tradition, it is believed to have originated in 1921 for the 47th running of the classic. The Louisville Courier-Journal in its May 8, 1921, edition reported, "To the strains of 'My Old Kentucky Home,' Kentuckians gave vent their delight. For Kentucky triumphed in the Derby." The story refers to the popular victory of the Kentucky-owned and bred Behave Yourself.
The actual year the song was played as the horses were led onto the track to begin the Derby post parade is also unclear. A 1929 news account written by the legendary Damon Runyon reported that the song was played periodically throughout Derby Day. A report by the former Philadelphia Public Ledger provides evidence that 1930 may have been the first year the song was played as the horses were led to the post parade - "When the horses began to leave the paddock and the song 'My Old Kentucky Home' was coming from the radio, the cheering started."
The Mint Julep has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. Early Times Kentucky Whisky has been privileged and honored to be a part of that tradition. The Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail has been "The Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky Derby" for more than 18 years.
As for the crowd attending the the Kentucky Derby an all important item is of course a stylish, memorable, practical, and sometimes comical HAT to be worn.
PHOTOS ABOVE AND BELOW ARE SOME OF THE COLLECTIBLES OF THE KENTUCKY DERBY THAT WE HAVE AVAILABLE.