[Moderated by Matt Jones]
That was a shameless shoutout to Fake Barney.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about the history of the Kentucky Derby, some Derby traditions have stood the test of time and are a big part of what Kentuckians look forward to each time the first Saturday in May rolls around. Here’s an overview some of the best:
It’s hard to accurately describe the infield to someone who’s never been. The official website of the Kentucky Derby calls it comparable only to Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras, which is bold. Here’s my infield analogy: a frat keg party with over 80,000 attendees, mixed with Girls Gone Wild, shaken with a jigger of mud wrestling and strained over an American-themed costume party, topped with a token family shocked at the Bacchanalian debauchery around them, all blended together seamlessly to create a new drink called “Where the Wild Things Are.” With a horse race, allegedly, but no one in the infield can actually say they’ve seen it.
So in a word, fun. In two words, trashy fun. I’ll have a more specific guide up later this week to help you novices out.
Derby attendees try to class these up by giving them their own genre of headwear, “Derby Hats,” but let’s call it what it is: an excuse to wear a funny hat, and be complimented instead of given funny looks.
This guy’s picture was on TIME magazine’s website the next day. No, not the guy on the right, the guy in the middle of Layson and me (figured you needed clarification)…
I will never NOT love a picture of someone in a funny hat. If that person is a celebrity, so much the better.
Exhibit A: Kate Gosselin, a D-List celebrity at best, in a hat that makes her appear to be courting a male ostrich
If that person is in the infield and wearing American flag apparel to boot, I have an automatic new best friend.
Bucket hats: A classic. Sombrero fascinators: a classic in the making, especially with this year’s Cinco de Derby.
This confection of bourbon, mint, and a sugar syrup is, let’s say, an acquired taste. So suck it up and chug one down. It’s tradition, damn it. Click here for a recipe.
The Port-a-Potty Run
It is what it sounds like.
Basically, any fool climbs up on the Port-a-potties and sprints from one end to the other, while mean people on the ground throw things at them. I don’t condone this. Looks painful. I’ll stay on terra firma and drink, thanks.
The Playing of “My Old Kentucky Home” Before the Start of the Race
If you don’t cry, you’re not a true Kentuckian. If you don’t know the words until it gets to “Weep no more, my lady,” here’s a video to help:
What other Kentucky Derby traditions are there? Tweet ‘em to me @KristenGeilKSR
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