I’m a Louisville transplant. I moved here about 17 or 18 years ago. I had watched to Kentucky Derby, but had no idea of what all happened besides the actual race. Wow, what a huge thing it is. It didn’t take long once I lived here to know that the Kentucky Derby is much more than a race.
In the weeks leading up to Derby, you can feel the energy of the Derby flowing through every inch of Louisville. There is a fever in the air that gets people excited and sometimes a little crazy the closer the race gets. I think Derby is better than Christmas. All your friends are back in town. Spring has pushed out the winter and it’s warm again. There are events and parties springing up everywhere. It’s hard not to have fun during the Derby. There is a recuperation time needed afterwards to regain a sense of normalcy.
Working on the Kentucky Derby Festival here at CurrentMarketing made the derby mean even more to me. Seeing the CM machine go into overdrive as the Festival draws near, and then hyperdrive as it begins, is awesome. It’s that Derby energy with a little crazy mixed in. Then it’s even more rewarding to be at the events that you have gone to for years and see the fruits of our labor. It made me feel like part of the Derby.
Having two kids has changed the Derby a little for me. Instead of closing down the bars at 6 am, I am now waking up and making breakfast for my two year old. I have to find the kid friendly parties now, which is considerably different than the alternative, but still fun. Having kids has also brought me to events that I have never been to before. I went to the Thunder Preview Party with my son Isaac and he was thrilled to get to climb into a helicopter. I anticipated going to more and more of the Kentucky Derby Festival Events as my two boys get older.
I could probably go on for a while about other things I like about the Kentucky Derby and this time of the year, but it doesn’t really do the derby justice, you kind of have to experience it. I can tell you my favorite part of the derby. It’s post time. Everyone is watching the horses move into their position. It becomes quiet, almost still as the final horse approaches. You feel the energy of the horses flowing through you and everyone else and then it explodes as the final thoroughbreds gate closes and instantly the horsed erupt out of the gate. The stillness is shattered and all eyes are glued to the horses for the next two minutes. And down the stretch they come!