Kentucky derby attractions
Although the Kentucky derby is primarily about horse racing, this is not the sole reason that people attend. There are a host of events that could keep you entertained for several days after the Kentucky derby is finished. Here are a few of the most popular events that take place during the Kentucky derby.
Undoubtedly the most spectacular event that takes place during the Kentucky derby is Thunder Over Louisville. Every single year, almost five hundred thousand people congregate on the banks of the Louisville’s river to stare in awe at the spectacle that is Thunder over Louisville. This event is the largest ever fireworks display in the world. It constitutes half an hour of amazing fireworks in the night sky over the Louisville river. The reflections of the fireworks on the water’s surface make it all the more awe inspiring. Thunder Over Louisville is preceded by an air show that is held during the day. The air show involves around one hundred planes performing stunts to the crowd’s delight. Thunder Over Louisville marks the beginning of the Kentucky derby festival that runs for almost two weeks.
Another popular event at the Kentucky derby is the Derby marathon. This is a twenty six mile marathon held during the Kentucky derby festival. For those with less stamina but still eager to take part, there is the twelve mile Derby mini Marathon. Over twelve thousand people from all over the world come to take part in both of these events. The course of the marathons run through the parks in Louisville and is quite scenic. The Kentucky derby mini marathon has proved to be quite popular with tourists.
The Great balloon festival is yet another attraction at the Kentucky derby festival. It constitutes a series of five events finally leading up to the climax which is the Great balloon Race. The premier balloon race held at the Kentucky derby only featured seven balloons. Over the years, this attraction has grown in leaps and bounds and is now made up of a weekend characterized by hot air balloons. All of the great balloon festival events are fee as long as you possess a Pegasus pin. The only problem you may encounter is finding parking space.
The last attraction of the Kentucky derby happens to be the oldest. The Pegasus Parade has been taking part since the inception of the Kentucky derby. It is made up of spectacular floats, marching bands and even celebrities make an appearance.
About The Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby is a race that was found in 1875 and involves race of three year thoroughbred horses. The event is held at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. The event kicks off officially on the first Saturday of May of every year. The derby is the longest continuously staged event in the history of US with over 100 years of taking place and likelihood that it will continue becoming popular. With its history, the event is popular internationally. The race itself and the accompanying spectacle make attractive spectacle bound to attract anyone.
The race is often dubbed s `the most interesting sport of two minutes’. Wining horses take approximately to complete the race which involves running across a distance of ¼ mile on a dirt track. This race is the first and the most popular of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. The thoroughbred racing is a collection of big money and high profile races. The other two sports include Preakness Stakes held in Baltimore and Belmont stakes held in New York.
Over the years the event has been taking place; a lot of traditions have cropped up. For instance, the University of Louisville Matching Band presents the song `My Old Kentucky Home’ prior to the race which is normally joined by the jubilant singing from the audience. Attendants are served with iced drinks called Mint juleps. There is also a thick lamb stew called Burgoo. The winning horse is rewarded with a bunch of roses which makes it often be referred as the `run for the roses’.
The Churchill Downs was started by Col. M. Lewis Clark in 1875. The first Kentucky Derby was held in the same year and has been continuous since then. The Clark Handicap and Kentucky Oaks which are held in the same stadium also kicked off for the first time in the same year. The starting of the race by Clark was inspired by three major horse races that were held in England. The Twin Spires were started in 1895 as a result of inspiration from Churchill Downs; and have become popular icons of the event.
Attendants of the Kentucky Derby tend to wear flashy but formal dressing styles. Women also tend to wear unique kinds of hats that are both conspicuous and give them a touch of flashiness. The elaborate hats are iconic of festivities and fashion. With the above 150,000 crowd attending the event, the sport looks highly attractive.