Deep South USA Blog

Although history is on hold this year with the 2020 Kentucky Derby rescheduled for 5th September instead, let's still give a nod to the ‘most exciting two minutes in sport’, and it will give us all something fun to do at home!

Kentucky Derby At Home

The annual Kentucky Derby Festival tradition was once described by Magic Johnson once described as “Like the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras all rolled into one”.  This and the fact that the Kentucky Derby is the longest running annual sporting event in North America, means it’s no surprise that this event has become ingrained into the city culture of Louisville. Louisville Tourism, at, has put together a list of ways to celebrate this annual tradition at home. Use the hashtag #KyDerbyAtHome on social media and tag @GoToLouisville to show off the creative ways you're celebrating at home.

  • Attend Derby Delay, the official Louisville virtual after party here.
  • Add a Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Derby Festival inspired background for your next virtual meet-up here.

What to Eat and Drink

Like any good party, you need good food and drink! With over 145 years' of annual racing, Louisville’s Derby culinary traditions have had plenty of time to marinate. Including the world-famous Mint Julep click here for our recipe.

  • 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 on Derby Day

Finding the perfect Kentucky Derby outfit can sometimes be hard work but great fun! From huge, ornate hats, to the sharpest pinstripe suit, there is a certain level of showmanship with every outfit. Celebrating Derby Day while being #safeathome now means you can be as modest or as over-the-top as you want with your Kentucky Derby inspired outfit. Show off your stylish creations by uploading them to social media and use 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 do you choose a winner?

There are many methods and strategies that racing enthusiasts use when trying to pick the perfect horse to win. Do you go with the colours of the jockey silks, or a name that means something to you? Or do you go with a more complicated alternative like the thoroughbred's racing history and past performances? However you choose – you’re always guaranteed a fun day out and we hope this weekend still creates some fun for you!

What to Listen To

The week before the Kentucky Derby is typically packed with concerts and events with headliners ranging from Jimmy Eat World to Stevie Wonder. The weeks of revelry seem to reach a 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 (see video below to sing along!)

• Find some of our favourite Kentucky born artists or Kentucky related songs by listening to this YouTube playlist.

• For all you night owls tune in to the Derby Delay after-party for live music starting at 8pm local time (1:00am UK time). Listen here.

For the Whole Family

Just like Halloween or Christmas, Derby Day in Louisville is worthy of having its own holiday. The day before the running of the Kentucky Derby, public schools are closed as families prepare for the city celebrations. Start your own Derby-time traditions with your family and check out all the kid-friendly content produced by the Kentucky Derby Museum. You’ll find colouring sheets, lesson ideas, fun facts and more at the 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 have fun at home – like designing your own festival badge, building a hot air balloon or having at-home bed races! Find all of these activities and more here.


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