It’s that time of year …. The Kentucky Derby is here! As you can imagine, I as well as so many of you, love pulling out the hats, decor, and toasting ware. The combination of beauty and elegance from the horses, to the people, to the decor is perfection!
Years ago, I was lucky enough to check off attending the Derby from my bucket list and it was a weekend that will truly be in my top five for the rest of my life! Three best-of-friends couples, two days of races, six hats, three new pairs of emergency rain boots and a lifetime of laughter will never again be matched! I was already in love with decorating for hometown Derby parties but experiencing the event live in person captivated me for forever. Please enjoy along with me some memories as well as collections.
Until I decide which hat I shall wear for the race, I of course use them for decorations. The kitchen island is the perfect place to walk by, contemplate, and strategize which one shall be the crowning glory this year!
Here, you will also see some of my collection of Derby glasses. Years ago I went to a Derby party at the parents home of a dear girlfriend and that is where I succumbed to the adoration of these glasses. She had so many and I was instantly obsessed. Thank you my dear Mrs. Maus for introducing to me to year-round collecting of these glasses!
My morning coffee spot, which happens to be one of my favorite places on earth, showcases more of the Derby theme. Most importantly, my coffee is at the ready so that we can determine our race contenders for serious competition later. If need be, I will put on my rhinestone “Brainstorming Work Hat” and really get serious studying the horses!
All of my kitchen cast members are adorned and ready. Newest to join the dress up team is our rooster, who most assuredly feels emasculated, but will readily show off for us in my favorite hat of all, my gold sequin apron, and a sash left over from a party way years ago created by the one and only Liz Snowden (Tallahassee entrepreneur of all things fabulous) for all of the party hostesses.
Elmer the cow thinks he is running the course, but instead he will be leading us in singing “My Old Kentucky Home”.
Last but certainly not least, our deer is wearing an authentic riding hat and a silk vest to make him ready for the races too!
In addition to hats, bling is always needed to add to the finery. These are just a few that I have held onto for years and they always find a special place. The hat is near and dear from my Mother’s keepsakes. Not all bling is made of rhinestones though.
You will see here the armband I had when we were in the clubhouse level for The Oaks … that day this entry band felt as if it was made of diamonds!
While I did not personally experience the infield at the Derby, I have heard of its craziness for years. Not all those attending the Derby are in their fanciest of hats. I understand the infield is full of good old fashion dressed down horse betting folks. If I had been able to sneak down there I would have just for the experience!
I am sure these cowboy hats are aplenty and all kinds of cowboy boots high step it all day in the infield. One day I may have to return and see it for myself. At least I will have my Kentucky Derby cowboy hat ready to go!
Once the race is finished, the finery is tucked away into these hatboxes. I must share these hat boxes have been in the forefront of my closet for over twenty years. A fabulous lady in Tallahassee, Rebecca Harrell, owned a store called The Ivy Rose and I remember to this day buying these from her and thinking these are for years to come … successful hatbox mission!
For now, adorn yourself, your family, and your home in Derby style. If betting on the horses, feel free to steal my strategic move … $1.00 on every horse in the race and you will be a winner!
As always, “Sparkle On”!